By April L. Jasper, OD, FAAO
These easy-to-follow steps take the mystery out of how to grow the color contact lens segment of your practice while addressing unmet patient desires.
As eyecare professionals, we want our patients to see their best, look their best and feel their best. For the first time, the introduction of AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses offers one contact lens with a unique combination of breathability,* comfort and beauty to fully capture the exciting potential for color contact lens growth in your practice and meet the needs of your patients.
Now, how do you integrate the innovative technology of AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses into your practice without putting a strain on the eyecare professional and the staff?
I’ve found that by following some easy-to-incorporate best practices, the transition to success is easier than you think.
In many cases, patients will seek out and find information about color contact lenses on the internet or from friends and family members.1 You can use this to your advantage by directing your patients to the AIR OPTIX® COLORS Color Studio at airoptixcolors.com and encouraging them to upload a photo and virtually try on color contact lenses before their eye exam.
1. Success with color contact lenses begins with staff training. Staff training on AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses makes a difference. Encourage your staff to take full advantage of Alcon’s training opportunities, access to tools to help with color selection and tips for success. I also encourage my staff members to wear AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses, and have found that patients may view this form of advertising in the same way they would a recommendation from a trusted friend.
2. Create in-office awareness. Almost 50 percent of color contact lens purchase decisions are made in the office,1 so display AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses educational materials where your patients are most likely to notice them. Ensure that your staff understands the importance of the materials and the placement, too.
3. Everyone deserves the opportunity. Don’t wait for patients to ask you about color contact lenses. Proactively introduce them. AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses are an easy addition for current AIR OPTIX® AQUA contact lens patients2 and an excellent choice for any current clear lens wearer who wants to add on color contact lenses for occasional or full-time use. Current color contact lens patients might also benefit from a comfortable alternative.3 And, last but not least, don’t forget about eyeglass wearers and emmetropes who may be more interested in fashion and beauty than you might suspect.
4. Start the conversation early in the office visit. To gauge a patient’s interest in color contact lenses try asking questions such as, “Are you here for clear and color contact lenses?” or “Have you ever wondered what you’d look like with a different eye color?” or “Would you like to enhance your appearance with color contact lenses today?” Be sure to share your knowledge of the very latest technology by saying something like, “We have new color contact lens technology that’s beautiful, breathable* and comfortable.”
5. Narrow the color selection. Seventy-two percent of interested patients already know which color they want prior to visiting your office,1 so be sure to ask. But for those who don’t, we recommend two colors for patients based on a color selection chart. This is a big time-saver and makes it easy for patients to feel confident in their selection. Viewing the color on the eye is best done with natural light, such as near a window, and by holding a mirror at arm’s length.
6. Create an experience. When the patient decides on a color, be enthusiastic and compliment them on their new look. Create an experience around color contact lenses with a photo opportunity in the office. We have our patients use their cell phone to take a photo of themselves in a well-lit space with our name on the wall behind them so when they post their photo their friends all know where they were fit with these beautiful new contact lenses.
These best practices have empowered my staff and have allowed me to offer AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses to patients without hesitation!
*Dk/t = 138 @ -3.00D. Other factors may impact eye health.
Important information for AIR OPTIX® COLORS (lotrafilcon B) contact lenses: For daily wear only for near/far-sightedness. Contact lenses, even if worn for cosmetic reasons, are prescription medical devices that must only be worn under the prescription, direction and supervision of an eye care professional. Serious eye health problems may occur as a result of sharing contact lenses. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. Side effects like discomfort, mild burning or stinging may occur. To help avoid these problems, patients must follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by their eye doctor.
References: 1. Based on a survey of 375 U.S. consumers interested in or wearing color contact lenses; Alcon data on file, 2013. 2. Alcon data on file, 2013. 3. In a study of 353 FreshLook® COLORBLENDS® contact lenses wearers; Alcon data on file, 2013.
See product instructions for complete wear, care, and safety information.