The number of Canadians who wear glasses continues to grow. With a increasing boomer population coupled with a younger clientele who demand constant changes in technology, more demands are being put on the lens industry.
It is critical that eyecare providers (ECPs) work with patients to build relationships to guarantee satisfaction and sales.
The types of lenses available continue to grow as researchers discover new ways to accommodate condition specific needs as well as create a lens that will last longer than traditional single lens options.
Among the more popular choices for consumers are free-form which are created using advanced digital processing.
“Retailers are automatically sold if lenses are produced freeform,” said Jeremy Carvalho, managing director of Rodenstock. “Software design, compilation of prescription data, sophistication and knowledge in production are not even considered.
These should be the driving factors in purchasing lenses and objectively Rodenstock is the leader in this field.”
He notes that Rodenstock works to match lenses to the specific needs of patients whether they need single vision, hi-tech readers, progressives or high-curved sports lenses.
Their most recent product, is designed to perfect their “System of Better Vision” with Impression 2 and Multigressiv MyView2 lenses.
Impression 2 now offers “Optimized Pupil Correction”, a new and advanced technology unique to Rodenstock. This technology corrects the variation of the eye’s aberration in relation to pupil diameter and provides a vision of absolute precision.
Multigressiv MyView2 now includes Rodenstock’s renown “EyeModel” component, another exclusive technology, already present on their impression lens. Eye Model takes into account that astigmatism correction is different for distance vision compared to near vision, and
allows up to 25 per cent improvement in visual comfort.
These lenses are the ideal solution for eyeglass wearers looking for high visual comfort and a high performance.
“Rodenstock’s major driving force is to provide an individual with the highest quality of lenses. Their tradition in lens production sets them apart from the competition,” said Carvalho. “Research and development, superior engineering, precision grinding, high grade materials and innovative lens finishes are their quality traits.”
He said retailers need to be assured that lenses will give customers the greatest visual comfort and quality of life.
He adds this is increasingly important as Canada’s aging population continues to grow.
“With our aging demographic in Canada, Rodenstock is the ideal supplier to provide individuals with perfect lifestyle lenses for all of their activities,” he said.
Making A Connection
A key factor in achieving a high success rate with patients is one-onone care. It is important that ECPs listen to the concerns of their patients to identify what type of lens is right for them.
Many companies are now offering packages to help both ECPs and patients develop a multi-faceted care plan.
Essilor has carefully researched the needs of patients to provide them with an exceptional lens fitting and purchasing experience. Keenly aware of the challenge of finding lenses,they have offered ECPs tools to help make the process easier.
“Consumers wanting to purchase new lenses are faced with many struggles when deciding where to buy their lenses. At the outset, their options vary in quality, service and personalization,” said Essilor Marketing Manager Sakina Barrault.
“Furthermore, consumers now have several options to choose from for their fulfillment of prescription. These vary from a visit to an eyecare professional,who offers very professional and detailed services, or a retail chain and lastly an online purchase where they are left to themselves to make important decisions.”
Barrault noted these models have emerged since the market has dramatically changed and there are a lot of very aggressive offers featuring very cheap pricing, especially online, but the trade off is made with lower quality products, lower quality guarantees and little or no personal service.
Understanding the importance of working with an ECP one-on-one will ensure a superior lens purchasing experience.
An effective ECP-patient experience also helps better understand eyewear better. Essilor’s latest lens technology, Crizal Prevencia offers improved eye health with a no-glare lens that offers clarity of vision and protection against glare, scratches, smudges, dust and water.
The Crizal Prevencia also protects against Blue-Violet light and has UV filtering to prevent eye impairment and disease.
It prevents premature aging of the eyes by selectively filtering out harmful light The innovative and exclusive Light Scan technology that filters out harmful blue-violet and UV light, allows essential visible light including blue-turquoise to pass through while still insuring excellent transparency and the best enduring clarity of vision by eliminating glare, scratches, smudges, dust and water.
Taking the risk of ordering lenses on line from a questionable source may lead to the purchase of a product that simply cannot match that of a professionally crafted and fitted lens.
“Although consumers are used to searching online for information, the information they find online is not always from a reliable source and can therefore be misleading and confusing,” said Barrault. “The economic situation is tougher,leading to a change in consumer behaviour. They take more time before buying. They shop and compare. They try to make a conscious and rational purchase based on the best value for money they think they are getting.”
Barrault said consumers trust their eyecare professional and often turn to them for advice, personalization and service that they do not get online.
This groundwork is laid at the eye exam and needs to carry through to choosing the best ‘visual solution’ for their lifestyle and medical needs.
“They also ensure the consumer’s total satisfaction thanks to first class products (designs, coatings, materials, guarantees) and measurement tools that will enhance the consumer’s vision and eye health,” said Barrault.
Patient Oriented Solutions
Ensuring patients choose their ECP as their provider of lenses is also critical from an economic point of view.
According to the Daily Mail, a research investigation conducted in 2012 found that of 36 pairs of glasses bought from 13 different online retailers, 15 pairs failed tests including 10 which did not meet British industry standards.
In a second investigation, researchers found that of 15 different online retailers selling contact lenses, a disturbing 13 sellers did not ask to see a prescription. This is an illegal practice in Britain.
“Our focus has been on working with eyecare professionals to provide their patients with unique solutions to their needs, while also providing the option of frame and lens packages that allow ECPs to compete through cost-effective pricing,” said Rick Leroux, director of marketing and communications with Centennial Optical Limited.
He said ECPs should look for speciality products and unique lens technologies as a way to provide value-added service to clients.
He says these types of solutions are an effective way of both treating patients and keeping purchases within ECP offices rather than online.
“They should be very aware of the destabilizing effects of industry deregulation and online purchases of eyewear by their patients and act to protect their business interests with unique products and value-priced eyewear packages,” he said. •