Chris Bennett: Kiss and makeup
Author: Chris Bennett
If optical professionals saw their patients more often we would be in a much better position to solve many of the woes highlighted weekly in the pages of Optician.
Kiss is a strategy universally rolled out at business seminars so when it comes to education of patients why does optics fail to Keep It Simple Stupid? The multifarious trade bodies and pressure groups and the supply industry all make huge efforts to promote good eye care but why not use the obvious route – the high street optician. It’s a strategy the multiples are using to great effect.
The latest attempt by the GOC to educate the public about the need for proper contact lens care highlights how the best laid plans can be tripped up by their own complexity. It sought to control contact lens supply from the internet without prescriptions or regard for safety through a supplier code of conduct. What it has ended up with is a fluffy PR campaign to the public.
If contact lens wearers were seeing their optician every six months I doubt they would resort to buying from the darker regions of the internet. And it’s not just contacts.
Photochromics are an example where brands such as Hoya’s Sensity and Carl Zeiss’s Photofusion benefitted from professional recommendation when Transitions changed its tack and reigned in big ticket sponsorships.
The industry is prepared to spend millions of pounds going direct to the public but when the spending stops so does the recognition. Why not spend that money funding longer eye exams, more frequent checks or even quick chats, in practice where those good messages can be endorsed by the professional.
Route One is usually the best and the only effective way to educate customers is through optical professionals in the practice.