If Hubble’s business model doesn’t make you re-think your practice philosophy on contact lens sales, consider the tremendous growth numbers around consumer subscription services. Subscription services were accessed by a whopping 21.4 million Americans in 2016, and that number is expected to grow by 800% in 2018.
The biggest barriers around selling contact lenses, increasing annual supplies, and tackling the elephant in the room – customer loyalty – start and end usually with price and convenience. Take that a step further, as consumers are now looking for the unexpected, and the idea of making a purchase of something “easier” or “more convenient” is certain to get them excited. Subscription services do just that – they get consumers excited about a product and the experience of purchasing that product.
A Stale Process
Contact lenses have typically been purchased, delivered, and experienced the same way for 20+ years, but if the founders of The Lens Butler have their way, that’s all about to change. The Lens Butler, a monthly subscription service for contact lenses, was started by two former reps, moms, businesswomen, and experts in consumer purchasing habits. Beth Samenuk and Allison Granger, co-founders of the platform, believe The Lens Butler is the future of contact lens sales at the practice level.
There are other services backed by big industry companies, so why The Lens Butler? Not only does The Lens Butler get it right, they tackle the subscription service channel from a unique perspective and continue to disrupt convention in the industry.
While most of us actively try to increase patient compliance by prescribing the latest technology in daily disposable contacts, patients still extend their contact lens wear AND their annual exams to unhealthy intervals. The Lens Butler addresses both of these issues. Their service is good for one year, the length of an annual supply, to emphasize better wearing compliance while encouraging an exam closer to 12 months.
2. Increased Staff Efficiency
The Lens Butler takes the admin out of contact lens sales. No more interruptions with one-box orders during the day, or box pick up. They handle ordering, fulfillment, and ALL customer service issues and communicate important patient information to the practice. The built-in annual recall system takes one more task off the staff to do list, and the easy-to-use doctor portal makes signing patients up seamless and easy.
3. Patient Loyalty
Actively stay in touch with your patients and send personalized messages via The Lens Butler’s monthly box delivery. Every shipment comes with a message from your practice, branded with your practice logo and information. Promote in-office events, build referrals, feature new products, or highlight various clinical aspects of eye health. The Lens Butler prints your message and makes sure it’s the first thing the patient sees when they open their box. Not a wordsmith? The Lens Butler has taken the leg work out of message creation if you can’t come up with your own.
4. Concierge Level Approach
The “At Your Service” guarantee speaks volumes. Patients get the royal treatment they expect from you and from a subscription service. Lenses are delivered monthly in a chic blue box which makes receiving contact lenses exciting and fun. The staff feels the love too as signing patients up is quick and easy.
5. Elevating Practice Growth in All Categories
The Lens Butler isn’t just about increasing contact lens sales. Their holistic approach allows for increased dual-sales including glasses and sunglasses, while the monthly messages help drive patients back to the practice for other products and services based on content.
So how does The Lens Butler work?
In general, The Lens Butler facilitates contact lens ordering in the office - while handing customer service issues, payment issues, or patient concerns as it relates to the service itself. All prescription questions or concerns are fed back to the office for doctor review. The office is responsible for signing the patient up during the annual exam through the doctor portal, and The Lens Butler handles ordering, fulfilling, communication and shipping from that point forward for an entire year. The majority of profit from contact lens sales is fed back to the practice on a monthly basis in the form of a rebate statement.
Unlike Hubble, The Lens Butler allows doctors to clinically prescribe the best contact lenses for the patient and fit the lens of their choice. Patients who sign up are agreeing to an annual supply that will be facilitated over the course of 12 months. This helps patients stay compliant and adhere to their wearing schedule, and due to the annual subscription, reminds patients of the importance of returning to their doctor for an annual eye exam. The Lens Butler does not service patients beyond an annual supply and requires the patient to be seen for an annual exam to be re-enrolled in the service.
Signing Up for The Lens Butler
The sign-up process is extremely simple and The Lens Butler even takes a concierge-like approach to on-boarding the staff and ensuring success. To sign up and/or for more info, please contact The Lens Butler at: email@example.com. For pricing contact The Lens Butler at: firstname.lastname@example.org and mention NGO/NewGradOptometry for 10% off your first month.
Dr. Kambiz Silani, is Chief Clinical Director of Beverly Hills Optometry, Winner of Open Care Patient Choice Award 2015, 5 Star Optometrist on Yelp, Zocdoc, & Healthgrades and has been featured in the prestigious Beverly Hills The Guide Magazine. Learn more about his unique practice.