Article

THE AR DREAM TEAM

Get the scoop on how 3 very different ECPs sell anti-reflective coatings with rousing success—including the inside line on how each prices + presents the premium add-on

AR is hot.

According to EB’s Annual Market Trends Study 2017, an impressive 82% of ECPs surveyed now recommend AR to all their patients. And, nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) position it as a premium product.

To help those stats come to life, we asked three AR-smart ECPs—two O.D.s and one optician—to share the what, how, when, where, and why behind their AR usage. All are strong proponents of AR, so read on for presentation pointers, tips, and “How I” info on building business with AR.

TALKING AR.

ECPs discuss the benefits of AR with patients more than any other design, coating, or category—82%, compared with 58% who mention UV.

EB’S MARKET TRENDS STUDY 2017

ERIC WHITE, O.D.

BUSINESS: Owner, Complete Family Vision Care

LOCATION: San Diego

AR Penetration: 95%+

AR Pricing: One price—premium no-glare at $150

AR Products: Essilor Crizal mostly, plus VSP AR for VSP plans

Frames or Lenses First?

“Lenses. Patients hear about AR three times—during the exam, after I walk the patient out to the optical and restate to the optician what I am prescribing, and when the optician then repeats and reviews this before frame selection.”

How We Present AR…

“It works because we—my staff and I—truly believe in AR. With our doctor-driven dispensing, I tell the patient I want them to have the best in lenses, and that the best comes with no-glare. Our AR comes with a two-year warranty. We definitely discuss both from the chair and in the dispensary. That’s what doctor-driven dispensing is all about!”

BIG Tip: “Position AR by asking patients if they would prefer to have glare on their glasses.”

PREMIUM vs. VALUE.

55% of ECPs sell AR as a premium add-on, 32% in a premium package, 10% as a value add-on, and just 3% in a value package.

EB’S MARKET TRENDS STUDY 2017

GARY KASCHAK

BUSINESS: Franchisee, Sterling Optical

LOCATION: North Wales, PA

AR Penetration: Not counting backside, we do 75%+

AR Pricing: A low of $45 out of pocket with insurance, up to $170.

AR Products: “Because of insurance, we use 13 or 14 brands. We use a lot of Seiko and rarely have anyone dissatisfied.”

Frames or Lenses First?

“It depends, but we make sure AR is always part of that conversation.”

How We Present AR…

“We start by promoting it in-office. We run a video showing the difference when driving and when working at a computer. We have samples with one clear lens and one with AR. It’s such an easy sell because everybody can tell the difference. It’s actually a surprise when they don’t get it.”

BIG Tip: “It’s such an easy segue…’I see you are wearing AR’ or ‘I notice you’re not wearing AR.’ Then you take it from there.”

CAROL RECORD, O.D.

BUSINESS: Drs. Record & Record Optometrists
(recently acquired by MyEyeDr.)

LOCATION: Charlottesville, VA

AR Penetration: 95%+

AR Pricing: Three tiers—good, better, best

AR Products: Crizal

Frames or Lenses First?

Lenses. “A patient’s visual needs are assessed in the exam room, and products to address those needs are also discussed there. Then [the conversation] is continued in the dispensary.”

How We Present AR…

“Recognizing that everyone’s budget is not the same, we offer good, better, and best lens packages. We present the best first and then work our way down. Almost all our patients have Crizal lenses because the coating simply makes the lens and the vision it provides better.”

BIG Tip: “Include AR in all your offerings. In our practice, a lens without AR is not an option, unless the patient absolutely insists.”

PATIENT PERSPECTIVE

An Illinois College of Optometry study, commissioned by the Lens Division of The Vision Council, recorded consumer reactions to AR lenses, as well as non-AR lenses.

Subjects were examined, fitted for lenses, and given two pair in identical frames—one in poly with a scratch coat and another in poly with a scratch-resistant coating and a premium AR coating. All subjects wore each pair for a period of two weeks.

The result? “Subjects would recommend AR lenses and would continue to wear them in the future,” concludes the study. Telling consumer comments included:

CLARITY

With AR: ”My vision seemed clearer…and my eyes feel less tired.”

Without: “I disliked aberrations in the corners of the lens.”

EASE OF WEAR

With AR: ”I am far less aware of the glasses, as I don’t see halos or reflections much at all.”

Without: ”This pair just doesn’t seem as sharp.”

COMFORT

With AR: “Comfortable and clear. I forgot I was wearing them.”

Without: ”Vision was not as sharp. Driving at night was very poor. Lots of glare.”

COLORS

With AR: ”My vision was clearer and sharper, and colors were more vibrant through these lenses.”

Without: ”Lots of glare. While driving, numerous times I thought there was something in my view when it was just glare.”