Fresh Practice Perspectives
Michael Kling, O.D.
Success in optical today is dependent on good customer service. This is true not just in the dispensary, but in the exam room as well. That is, in fact, where the tone is set and is one very good reason why doctor-driven dispensing makes so much sense.
Tip: Our mindset needed to move away from clinical toward providing a more retail experience throughout.
Does this enhanced service have a payback? According to Avenade, a tech services provider, “For every $1 spent on developing customer experience, organizations are seeing [on average] a $3 return.” To learn first-hand from someone who has initiated several changes in his own practice, we sought out Michael Kling, O.D., president and CEO of Invision Optometry in San Diego. The result of four practice purchases, Invision Optometry now has four doctors and 25 employees.
Why is now the right time to rethink doing things the same old way? As Dr. Kling puts it, “Consumers, especially millennials, are changing their attitudes. That means you need to change as well.” Here’s what he has to say about updating a practice to enhance customer service and move to doctor-driven dispensing.
- RETAIL EXPERIENCE. While there were several reasons Dr. Kling recently upgraded his facility, key ones included the need for more space and new technologies, as well as a new way of viewing the practice. “We recognized that …our mindset needed to move away from clinical toward providing a more retail experience throughout,” explains Dr. Kling.
- PRODUCT. “With the downward pressures of online eyewear sales, it’s more important than ever to create value for our patients by offering them superior products. That certainly includes the latest offerings in progressives. And, it’s no longer OK to limit such product conversations to the dispensary.”
- TECHNOLOGY. “We are experimenting with new ways to engage with customers,” explains Dr. Kling. His practice uses interactive flat screen monitors to “represent our best frame lines, and display marketing and video content unique to that line,” he explains. The system also indluces a built-in camera for selfies and posting online. And to help in dispensing, it offers a lens demo feature to help opticians.
- PLANNING. “In our practice, planning is a fluid, ongoing process.”
- EXAM AREA. When the space was redesigned, Dr. Kling added interview rooms where pre-exam data is collected. He also uses advanced diagnostic testing to gather data that is then transmitted to the exam rooms.
- CLUTTER. “Efficiency is critical,” stresses Dr. Kling. To that end, the exam rooms are completely clutter-free. And modular cabinetry adds flexibility.
- OPERATIONS. The feel throughout is fresh and sleek. That’s one reason they moved business operations, including phones, away from patient care.
One must, stresses Dr. Kling, enthusiastically embrace technology throughout the practice. “Embrace it, talk it up, and share your enthusiasm in the exam room and throughout.”
Do you talk up the technologies in your practice? If so, how do you address its importance? Tell us and share in the conversation on Facebook here.