The Aaron Optometrists ethos is a patient centred one, not a sales driven one. We do make mistakes and we do get it wrong but we sincerely strive to
achieve and supply services reflecting the following mantras. Unlike most modern businesses we do NOT put sales targets first. A business whose success is based on trust and personal recommendation must have a patient centred plan.
We must be able to supply any service or product which will solve the patient’s presenting problem. This means pushing the boundaries and not sticking to a narrow portfolio of services and products returning the greatest profit. We do not constrain people to a limited range of products or services.
We believe in giving everyone the greatest choice: of Professional Services, frames, lenses, contact lenses. There may be coercion in advertising to suggest price is the only arbiter of fairness but this is simply not true. We have absolutely no right to presume what a patient may or may not value. Our role is to impartially inform so each person can make an educated decision on what may best suit their personal needs.
Our dispensing policy highlights this strategy. We must never presume what a patient may or may not value or wish to afford. We are simply giving the
patient the courtesy of the fullest range. We do not mind if the patient wishes to spend nothing, a little, or a lot. Only offering, or at least pretending to offer, ‘cheap’ is a great disservice to patients. It is like saying, ‘you can only afford second best so that is all we will offer you’! Pushing expensive and over selling is equally morally and ethically WRONG. Offering the fullest choice – from inexpensive to very high end is an absolutely positive thing to be proud of, not embarrassed by. We must never do the patient the injustice of presuming what they want!
How do we do this?
Give patients all their options, without pressure.
We base our ongoing success on long term loyalty rather than immediate sales. Patients must value our clinical skills and wide ranging services, rather than sales driven gimmicks. If we do not educate patients to value us rather than deals then we must not be surprised if people follow the gimmicks rather than clinical skills. Loyalty only comes with trust and understanding. We must consider ourselves educators.
Optometry’s historical skill base was a purely optical one. Opticians screened for abnormalities and referred to a clinician to diagnose and treat abnormalities detected. Apart from very minor, non-sight threatening conditions, this remains the norm for the vast majority of the profession. While correcting simple refractive errors this technical expertise is inadequate to fulfill the evolving clinical demands of community ocular care. The need to change the way optometry works has been evident for many years. But change takes time and often has false starts. As early as 2001 Peter Frampton commenced his Masters Degree in Ocular Therapeutics at Bradford University. He achieved an MSc with Distinction in 2005. While this degree helped Peter enormously in his day-to-day practice it did not enable him to directly prescribe drugs for eye conditions. Changes in the law were still a long way off. In 2009 the law was passed allowing accredited optometrists to prescribe drugs to treat eye conditions independently of GPs.
Unlike large companies we do not set targets for our colleagues. Our business model is a patient centred one, rather than a sales driven one. Our success is based on patient trust if we had a franchise model it would No Targets per se
a. We must tap into lifestyle
The prescription is simply the starting point to customising an optical appliance to suit the individual.
A Prescription gives a 1) a Distance power……and if needed …… 2) a reading addition.
This must be modified to suit specific working distances such as desk top, painting, music.
What best suits the individual lifestyle needs: Varifocals, Bifocals, degressives, Single Vision for distance, intermediate or near. Stronger reading Add for niche craft spectacles. Lower reading add for car dashboards. The list goes on!
People become cynical of all businesses. There seems an accepted truth ‘good’ business is one, squeezing as much profit from every encounter. An acceptable business practice from an accountancy point of view does not make it ethically or morally justifiable. Justifiable or not, the practice may work well for huge companies with prominent advertising profiles to lure customers. However we do not all work to this agenda. We are only as good as our last eye exam; we have no other advertising platform. Patients must trust us, our advice, our product and our services. We depend on long term loyalty, not short term sting. We do mean what we say: