Who Should Be Involved in Implementing Telemedicine? Smart Vision Labs

Who Should be Involved in Implementing Telemedicine?

Implementing telemedicine into your company is a commitment, not just to the technology but to your whole team. As every business owner knows, for commitments to become successful ventures, everyone involved needs to be working toward the same goals. Introducing vision telemedicine to your company’s current mode of operation will require a group effort to ensure its acceptance and application.

Implementing Telemedicine with C-level Cohesion 

Some of your C-level executives may already be enthusiastic about the potential for increased profits and customer satisfaction that ocular telemedicine brings. But others cite reasons for concern about the profitability or plausibility of the success of this new technology.

A common objection they might raise is ocular telemedicine requires a company-wide startup cost for a service which not every customer will benefit from. And this is true. The exact amount of financial investment needed largely depends on how in-depth the eye care telemedicine platform you want to use is. But they all require some investment of both money (for any necessary equipment) and time (spent on training employees). That might be a valid critique of your attempted ocular telemedicine rollout if it wasn’t so short-sighted.

Let’s say your idea for adding vision telemedicine to your business means hosting a device based vision test in your optical store (or department). The vision test is going to attract customers and retain the ones window shopping your frames.

People will come to your shop for a quick vision test. They might like the affordability or wish to avoid the hassle of making an appointment at their eye doctor just to update their prescription. Whatever their reasoning, they are now in your store. An attractive display of seasonal trends, a showcase of popular designer frames, or a limited time deal might entice them to stay for a purchase.

The reverse is true as well. The window shoppers might spot a frame they like (and want to take advantage of a promotion you’re running) but they don’t have their prescription on them. Direct them right over to your ocular telemedicine platform and show how they can use your device to get their vision tested. The eye care telemedicine you set up in your store converted a browsing passerby into a paying customer.

But even people who don’t use the vision telemedicine technology themselves still hold the potential to generate revenue. Their mental perception of your company will improve. If your eye care telemedicine is marketed as being affordable for all, your company will be remembered as one who cares about and values the people of the town. Others may be impressed your company breaks the stereotype that established businesses have backwards practices and avoid taking risks or using technology. Even if they personally don’t use the ocular telemedicine platform, their correlation between your company name and things like “humanitarian” and “up-to-date” will be remembered in conversations with their friends in-person and with their followers online. The words (either spoken or typed) of a person genuinely associating your company with positive attributes are inevitably going to reach the ears (or eyes) of someone looking for a new optical store.

Employee Education is critical when Implementing Telemedicine

The necessity of quality cooperation inside a company implementing telemedicine isn’t limited to the executives. It is just as important to make sure your employees are as enthusiastic and well-educated about eye care telemedicine as you are. After all, these are the men and women your company will rely on to assist customers with using the ocular telemedicine equipment and offer advice on selecting a new pair of frames to go with the vision test.

To you, your employees might be an extension of your corporate ideals and a filled position. But to your customers? They are the face of the company. Your customers probably don’t even totally understand your job but they do know that Kevin in sales was very helpful when he showed they could take a vision test right in your store using ocular telemedicine.

But you’re running an optical store in the early stages of adding ocular telemedicine to your list of services. Your employees need to do more than create a positive impression and lead customers through sales. They need practical skills to use the eye care telemedicine platform your company offers.

The specific skills they need to learn depend on the kind of ocular telemedicine setup you went with. This is something to keep in mind when selecting a program, system, or service that is best for your company. The most successful vision telemedicine platforms operate on the concept that humans will be both using and benefiting from them.

Keeping simplicity in mind also prevents you from going overboard in trying to integrate too many systems for your store. When you’re searching for ocular telemedicine systems and equipment, you want to shop with your store’s problem areas in mind. Your vision telemedicine inclusion will function the best and show returns the fastest when you’ve selected something which merges well with your current practices.

What if your business is using ocular telemedicine as part of a long-term plan for growth? Use this opportunity to hire employees who are already familiar using telemedicine systems. Create job descriptions which are engaging, yet clear. A well-presented job posting will attract people who are passionate about their work. You want your employees, old and new, to feed off your enthusiasm and relay this to your customers.

Connecting Customers 

Your next responsibility as a business owner is to get your new (or newly-trained) employees some customers to use their skills on.

In this technology-dependent time, growing your business is more about efficiency rather than sheer volume of customers. An optical store using vision telemedicine technology is a perfect example of this. The goal isn’t to stuff as many customers as possible into your on-site eye doctor’s schedule anymore. This old solution just creates crowded waiting rooms, impatient customers, and overworked doctors.

An eye care telemedicine platform in your store is a far more efficient strategy for scaling. You’re creating an alliance with the company you chose for your vision telemedicine solution, supporting each other’s businesses. Working together with other companies to reach wider audiences, along with adopting new technologies and maximizing workflow efficiency, are why scaling your business has become the optimal path for growth.

But you still need to bring in customers to use your vision telemedicine device. That requires a marketing plan.

Your ocular telemedicine system will partially fall under your overall marketing strategy. But not entirely. Your company should consider a promotion specifically to support this new technology. Your new telemedicine solution should be introduced to the people who are going to make it a successful part of scaling your business: the customers.

These future customers need to know a few things about your new ocular telemedicine technology. They need to know the service is available and how to decide if it is for them.

How to go about this depends on the customer your company is targeting. Visualize who you want using this new technology in your store. Whatever advertisement or promotion you run in order to support your new telemedicine platform will need to reach this intended group, whether it is seniors, moms, or fashionistas.

For example, seniors might appreciate a promotion that highlights the affordability of telemedicine vision tests, like a traditional coupon. Busy moms can respond to a social media post about remembering to take time for self-care. The post can focus on the speed in which they can be in and out of your store for a vision test, yet still access their prescription to pick up glasses at a later date. Fashion-conscious young adults might prefer a contest. Whoever takes the most creative selfie and posts it with your company-specific tag can win a free pair of sunglasses.

The point is that promoting your ocular telemedicine service isn’t only about coupons and discounts. It is about engaging your customers with targeted material which shows that you’re interested in their business.

You also need to make sure that the promotion is not only engaging for the intended customer, but that they will see it. A coupon intended for seniors but posted on social media isn’t going to reach the people it is meant for as well as a newspaper ad or a commercial on the local news would. Likewise, promoting the selfie contest in the newspaper would be a waste of funds when it belongs on social media. Again, picture your target consumer, what they like to do, and where they socialize. That is where your marketing needs to hit.

Team Telemedicine

Any optical store owner could run a business utilizing ocular telemedicine. But any successful optical store owner knows it takes more than a financial investment to meet projected ROI. Incorporating eye care telemedicine systems into an existing company is a team effort; from the corporation leaders to the front line employees to the supportive customers.

Your executives should be the driving force on the business side. Unified support and forward-thinking are required to get through the initial steps of purchasing and integrating an ocular telemedicine platform.

Your employees are going to create a stable junction between those corporate goals and the targeted customer base. Staff who are both friendly and knowledgeable create a positive experience for the customers who pay your store a visit.

Your customers are what keep your business financially running. Their support, through their purchasing dollars and praising your business to friends and family, will help connect your vision telemedicine program with the people who will most benefit from it.

Not only do these groups of peers work together, they work with each other to create financially successful businesses known for quality care.  Introducing vision telemedicine highlights the value, both potentially and practically, of everyone who interacts with your optical business.

Learn more about implementing telemedicine with these related posts:
Is a Telemedicine Solution Right for Your Optical Store?
How to Get your Company on Board with Telemedicine Vision Exams
Questions About Ocular Telemedicine?
Telemedicine Myths and the Truths Behind Them

Download your free e-book, How Optical Stores Can Profit from the Telemedicine Revolution.”


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