DISPENSING WITH CARE…presenting product in a pandemic

From constant cleaning to limited try-on, dispensing in a COVID climate represents a whole new world. How do you keep both staff and patients safe…and satisfied with the frame selection process?

Here are some top tips and savvy strategies that will help.

Tip: Don’t expect your reps to simply sell. Ask them to tell staff the story behind the product.

4any opticians limit the number of frames they’re currently presenting to four.

COMMUNICATE…AND COMMUNICATE SOME MORE

Make a list of your new product- and dispensing-related procedures. Post them at your location, on social media, and send them via email to patients who have an upcoming appointment scheduled with you.

RELY ON REPS

Don’t expect your reps to simply sell. Ask them to tell staff the story behind the product…perhaps where it’s made, and details about outstanding detailing (the material itself or special details about temples or hinges, for example).

MR. (MS.) CLEAN

Don’t just clean after your previous patient leaves. Do it again in front of your new patient. Limit the number of frames the patient touches…and wipe them before try-on. Then set them aside in the to-be-cleaned area after the patient has made a selection.

TAKE CONTROL

Limited patient contact with product requires that YOU take charge of the try-on process. Many ECPs now invite the patient to sit at a dispensing table and then bring them (on-a cleanable tray) no more than four products to try on.

OFFER OPTIONS

Some patients are spending more right now. Others, however, can’t currently afford to pay what they did last time. Be sensitive to that. And, also make sure your inventory covers multiple pricepoints…enough higher-end product to entice customers, but more low pricepoints than before to help those who are in a challenging financial situation. Do you have payment plans in place or work with credit card companies that do?

DRIVE-UP

In this environment, a lot of patients don’t want to come back into the office for pick-up and/or a final fitting. That’s one reason that curbside delivery is so popular. And so, in fact, is curbside try-on. If someone really needs an extra set of eyes, allow them to take a very limited number of frames out to their car…or to a seating area just outside your office.

To say the face of dispensing has changed is an understatement. Tell us how you’ve revised your dispensing procedures and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan