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Are you looking to boost your practice's optical sales this year? Making business decisions for your optical practice without knowing your numbers is like attempting to read a letter chart with your eyes closed.
Data provides valuable insight into how your optical is performing, both as a healthcare resource and a successful business. Figures such as your capture rate, average order value per patient, and staff time spent with customers will help you understand your current operational climate and reveal clear directions for improvement or change to boost your optical practice sales year after year.
4 Expert Tips To Boost Your Optical Practice Sales
So how can knowing your numbers enhance your optical’s selling power, and what are some figures you should pay special attention to? Here are a few tips and examples to set you on the right path, along with expert advice from our partners at Williams Group Consulting.
1. Know Your Capture Rate
Your practice’s capture rate (the percentage of patients filling their prescriptions at your office) will give you a snapshot of how patients currently view and interact with your offerings. If something is off, the data will demonstrate that. In return, you can make more accurate business decisions that actually make a difference in your metrics and patient perception.
Example: Is your capture rate low? Use the data to identify where you should start. Are walk-outs not being recaptured? Are second-pair sales nonexistent? Can patients order easily if they break their glasses in-between exams? Ask these questions, check the data, and look at improving one sales opportunity at a time.
2. Create Attainable Goals
A big part of using your business statistics involves dialing back your expectations and creating goals that can be realistically met (incrementally, if need be) based on numerical feedback.
For example, your numbers might indicate that your sunglass sales are lower than RX sales. In response, you might provide better education, doctor-driven recommendations, and additional training for your opticians. These practices can keep your staff feeling confident when conversing with patients and ultimately boost your brick-and-mortar game.
Learning how to evaluate your practice’s current outlook to make realistic adjustments sometimes takes a good deal of industry wisdom to pull off, but can ultimately keep your business moving in the right direction.
As President of Consulting for Williams Group, Robin Elliott, put it:
“You don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t track and understand what the numbers are telling you, it’s difficult to move both the top and bottom line. It is difficult to make confident decisions that impact the profitability, culture, and success of your business.”
Executive Management Coach of Williams Group, Michelle Bogeart, echoes this sentiment:
“Measuring key metrics is the best strategy for measuring success within your business. Understanding the metrics within your practice provides you with knowledge you need to monitor your practice health, measure productivity, and helps you to identify areas of opportunity with your practice.”
Take a hard look at your analytics and decide on a course of action to set goals that strengthen your practice.
3. Find a Business Consultant
A business consultant has the know-how to gather your most important optical statistics, interpret them objectively, and offer advice based on your current operational outlook.
Consultants specializing in optometry, like Williams Group, are masters of business management and possess the experience to see the opportunities and red flags that might be invisible to you. Good consultants will also stick with you long-term to make sure your business is thriving with their recommended changes.
Keep in mind that optical private practices are quite different from other businesses. Most patients view frames and contact lenses as considerable buys, meaning they tend to invest a great deal of thought into their purchases and aren’t willing to shop outside of specific stages in their buying journey. A specialized optical consultant knows this upfront and can provide recommendations accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to seek help from experts. The success of your practice isn’t something you want to risk. To stick the landing, objective advice from experienced professionals who can help you interpret your data and adjust practice strategies accordingly can be a game changer.
4. Track Progress with Good Software
Boosting your optical practice sales will require refining your numbers and gradually implementing changes for the long haul. This introduces two key elements to your optical success formula: time and persistence.
Shifting your sales figures will require actively keeping up with your business statistics as time goes on. Keep a close eye on your optical sales behavior relating to the time of year, your competition, and any new initiatives (marketing or otherwise) you and your staff are taking to attract buyers. Log these findings to see what works and what doesn’t.
Optical eCommerce technology can make this process easier and ensure accuracy. You’ll want software, like Optify and EyeCarePro, that records and compiles your sales, capture rate, website traffic, inventory, patient spending habits, and much more.
“When joining Williams Group and beginning to implement technology like Optify and EyeCare Pro’s Ring Analytics,” Bogeart said, “you are providing your consultant with real-time data and practice details that allow us to be more specific in our consulting strategy. We are quickly able to identify opportunities and are able to help you find solutions, and guide you in implementing those solutions with your team.”
Director of Operations and Education of Williams Group, Bess Ogden, states a clean EHR enables tech solutions like Optify to really shine:
“Make sure your EHR’s inventory system is super tight! Then Optify is well worth the investment, as it is easy for the practice to set up and administer, makes the frame select process smoother, is patient-friendly, and is efficient. Receipts per purchase tend to be higher for patients who pre-shop vs those who don’t.”
Knowing your numbers also means knowing what to do with them. Without a clear plan, the numbers won’t really mean anything. This is where a professional comes in.
Williams Group Consulting has helped many practices achieve success no matter what stage of development their clients find themselves in. Our industry experts know what it takes to compete in the optical market, from the technology you’ll need to the investments you should make to improve your patient experience. Williams Group knows that your data is the key to unlocking your practice’s full potential.