Premier Program

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO July 07, 2014

Okay, so here is your question for the day: What do your airline, your coffee company, and your local hardware store all have in common?

The answer is that they all offer loyalty programs. They learned a long time ago that if they could deepen the relationship with their best customers, they could then share cost efficiencies and savings. This, in turn, would make the supplier more competitive and all boats would rise.

In today’s competitive environment, it is crucial that optometric practices carefully consider their supplier strategy to maximize profitability. We know that fee increases are difficult in today’s marketplace. It is imperative that we support companies that offer cost-saving opportunities on the material side and that actively seek to put patients in our practices. It should be clear that we must be willing to increase our supplier loyalty if we are to fully benefit from these programs.

I can tell you from personal experience that the VSP Global Premier Program is worthy of your consideration.

First of all, patients benefit with the Extra $20 frame allowance when choosing from qualifying frame collections. Patients have reacted very favorably to this increased benefit.

Second, our practice has experienced an increase in the number of patients (up 6.5%) and a corresponding increase in revenue (up 8.2%) since the Premier Program indicator was added to our practice listing.

Further, UNITY lens products and the Marchon and Altair frame collections have been very favorably received by both our VSP and non-VSP patients. We are anticipating even a greater impact as we use My Marketing Team e-mails and Facebook posts to further our practice visibility.

As I See It, the winning formula is to increase practice visibility, to choose suppliers wisely and become relevant to them via our loyalty, and to make our patients feel like they got a good deal. The VSP Global Premier Program is giving us a distinct strategic advantage in a very challenging eye care marketplace.

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