When it comes to talking money + eyewear with patients things can sometimes get tricky. Depending on the patient this can be a conversation that is easy and just flows, the patient already has an idea as to what the prices may be and understand exactly what is going on, but let's be honest if all patient interactions went like this I would not be writing this blog right?!
I am sure you have been in the situation many times, patients come into the optical under the impression that their insurance COVERS EVERYTHING! NO CO-PAYS... but as we all know there is ALWAYS A COPAY! Now as the eyewear stylist you have to discuss $$$$ with the patient and go over their options based on their budget...
So how to deal with this scenario? ⠀
-𝐀𝐬𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 $$$ 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐬... 𝐛𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞. Asking the patient what their budget is will always be a sure way to guide them in the right direction, think of yourself as their eyewear tour guide. It also takes the pressure away from the patient trying to guess the cost of every frame they try on we want to be upfront and guide them based on their needs.
-𝐁𝐞 𝐮𝐩 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐝𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐛𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐭, 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭. If a patient says they want to stay within a certain price point, guide them to that price point. You don't want your patient to pick a frame that is outside their price point and then hate everything else they try, we have all seen that happen from time to time and everything they try one afterwards never compares to that frame.
-𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 $$$ 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧. You are the expert... pick out some frames for the patient ahead of time, not only does this make them feel special but it will also help the patient avoid decision fatigue. This also helps to create a custom experience so remember to make it your own and memorable.
-𝐀𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚 𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞. The last thing you want to happen is for the patient to select a frame and then surprise them with the additional cost of the lenses which we all know can add up depending on the patients prescription, material etc...
The goal is for the patient to try on eyewear that fits their checklist of needs & feeling comfortable. Talking money and eyewear isn't always a fun conversation, but it will result in better communication with the patient, which in turn means trust & a better experience.
These are some tips that have worked for me in the optical and I hope they help you too!