By Trudi Charest, RO
It’s back-to-school time and that means new eyewear!
Kids today are more informed than most people realize. They watch a lot of TV and spend a great deal of time on digital devices. They know brands and they often have a good idea of what they like and don’t like.
There is probably a good chance that they have an idea of what they want in a new pair of frames, especially if this is not their first pair.
There are ways you can make this an exceptional experience for kids. We want them to feel that getting new eyeglasses is a fun, exciting event and that takes some effort and planning on the part of the practice or optical store.
Catering to kids is easy…just think like a kid!
Here are nine ways to create exceptional kids’ eyewear experiences:
- Create a kid’s environment
Offices that build an area for children see great returns on investment. Not only does it keep the little ones busy and entertained while waiting for appointments or available staff, it also helps create that experience. Kids like to come to places that are fun! Think bright colours, kids-sized chairs and tables, jungle jim activity centers and cartoon characters.
- Toys, books & TVs
On top of building an actual children’s play area, other great distractors are toys, kids books and, of course, TVs and ipads.
A cartoon playing on a digital TV can captivate a child for hours and provide time for parents to look at eyewear or talk to the office staff.
- Use technology
Children today are growing up watching and using digital devices. Incorporating devices into the play area, eye exam or eyewear selection can help elevate and modernize the overall experience for kids.
Use ipads to take a picture of the child to show them how the new frames look on them and offer to email it to the parents. They love this extra technology attention.
- Talk to them
Consult with the parents, but don’t forget to talk directly to the child. They are a bundle of knowledge and opinions. They will love to be asked about their likes and dislikes when it comes to eyeglasses. Give them the chance to tell you what they want.
- Reward them
Nothing goes over better than a reward for being good or just for being a customer. It can be as simple as a sticker about eyeglasses or a new toy. Have different levels of rewards that appeal to different age groups. Some optometry practices give away a child’s first pair of sunglasses to get parents to realize the value of ultra-violet protection at an early age.
- Family fun days
Create a family day that will entice parents to bring their kids in for new glasses. It can include a special kids gift with purchase or FREE hot dogs all day. Offer a family discount if they purchase more than one pair of glasses for different family members. This shows you are a family-oriented business.
- Special kids events
Put on a special event for kids like a craft day or rent an inflatable jumping gym that you can put just outside your business. Not only will it draw attention from people driving by, which is great marketing, but it will also encourage parents to bring kids in as they know how much kids love these bouncy houses!
Make picking up new eyewear a celebration. Find ways to hype up the experience of picking up new glasses so children are super excited about wearing their new eyewear. Have balloons, candy, take their picture and tell them how awesome they look.
To finalize the celebration, ask the parents if you can post the picture to social media with a sign that says: My First Pair of Glasses!
Parents will now be on your social channels liking and following your business, but also sharing the post to all their friends and family telling people all about their great experience.
Last note: Becoming the eye care office that delivers a great experience to children is just smart business. Once kids start wearing glasses, they need regular eye exams and new eyewear as they grow. They become a customer for life when given an experience that warrants loyalty and retention. Happy selling!
Trudi Charest is co-Founder of Marketing4ECPs, a digital marketing agency for eye care. Marketing4ECPs builds websites, social media, SEO, review management, Google advertising, digital advertising, marketing analysis and consultations and so much more! You can reach Trudi at www.marketing4ecps.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.