By Dan Woebkenberg

Transitions Academy always falls right around the Super Bowl—something I’ve found to be ironic, because being a contender for the Transitions Lab of the Year Award is like participating in the Super Bowl for the optical industry.

Diversified Ophthalmics’ partnership with Transitions Optical spans more than a decade. We were recognized as a Transitions Lab of the Year finalist for the first time in 2004, won our first “Super Bowl” in 2005 and have been vying for another big win ever since. That’s why 2012 was all about focus for us—we huddled as a team, set our eyes on the prize, and went for the touchdown. Together, we were able to grow our share of Transitions lenses even during a time when the overall industry has remained flat.

Earning the Transitions Lab of the Year title is a true testament to the hard work of every single person on our team, and to be recognized alongside such strong players —Expert Optics and Walman Optical—is a true honor in itself. While we were all competing for the same title, we shared a common goal: to provide the best possible service to our customers, and to help our customers provide the best possible service to their patients. Transitions Optical has been a great partner to help us achieve our goals, because they not only offer tremendous support in terms of staff training, marketing materials and programs, but also because they supply what I believe is one of the best products in the market for patient satisfaction.

We Built a Dream Team

Any coach will tell you that the best players are a mix of natural talent, drive and dedication. One of the reasons I believe Diversified Ophthalmics has been so successful is that we recognize the importance of building a strong team through ongoing training and education. While Diversified Ophthalmics is headquartered in Cincinnati, we have offices throughout the country— and education is the main way we kept all of our offices engaged throughout 2012. With the support of our Transitions Optical representative, Elliott Reshard, we were able to make sure that Transitions lenses—and all of the programs and resources available from Transitions Optical—were a big part of every discussion.

We started with internal training on how to present Transitions lenses to eye care professionals. In 2012, our national call center, headquartered in Cincinnati, participated in a continuing education program focused on the latest technologies promoting eye health. Eleven of our programs were specific to the Transitions family of products and reinforced why Transitions lenses are important for both business growth and patient satisfaction. Nearly all of our call center staff has completed the training to date, with an average score of 98.6 percent. Once our team was ready to talk about the Transitions family of products, we focused on customer education. Throughout the year, our territory managers conducted numerous training sessions on the Transitions family of products, specifically Transitions Vantage lenses, which were launched at last year’s Transitions Academy. In addition to encouraging our customers (as well as our own staff) to attend Transitions Optical’s local Transitions Vantage tour events, we brought more than 75 of our top eyecare professional customers to our Cincinnati headquarters for a day of training at our annual open house event. During the event, eyecare professionals had the opportunity to attend a two-hour ABO module on Transitions Vantage lenses, as well as tour our facility. To build excitement, we branded the day with a “Get Digi With It” theme and handed out gift bags with t-shirts branded with our unique PureSite® digital family of products featuring Transitions lenses.

In addition to providing education on Transitions Vantage lenses, we also focused on the benefits of pairing Transitions lenses with an anti-reflective coating as part of our PureSite digital package. We conducted a training course, developed by Palmer Cook, O., and promoted it through out the year.

We Made Strategic Plays

When presenting Transitions lenses to our customers, we took full advantage of the education and marketing resources available from Transitions Optical. We have a lot of faith in Transitions lenses and believe that if our customers (and theirs) experience it for themselves that they will, too. In 2012, our goal was to get a Transitions Optical UV demonstration unit into each practice. In order to make this happen, we offered gift vouchers to our customers so that they could get the unit free-of-charge. We also fitted each member of our sales team with new Transitions Vantage lenses (or the product of their choice) so that they could better explain the benefits to eye care professionals. I’m a firm believer that the best way to get someone to trust in the product you’re talking about is to show them that you, yourself, trust it to use in your own life. We also absolutely love the Transi tions Online Marketing (TOM) tool and take advantage of the online templates to create our own customizable marketing and point-of-sale pieces. Another favorite has been the Transitions Optical pen, which includes a pull out flag that talks about all of the products in the Transitions family.

We Maintained Motivation Throughout the Season

We implemented two main marketing programs in 2012. Our “Transitions Snapshot” campaign was designed to encourage our customers to increase sales of Transitions lenses by showing them their practices’ monthly sales reports in comparison to the national average. We sent out e-mail blasts to reinforce what they were missing out on if they were below the national average, and also included links to training resources and point-of-sale materials to support additional growth for their practices.

Our second marketing campaign, “To & Thru,” was all about educating on the benefits of pairing Transitions lenses with an anti-reflective coating as part of our PureSite digital package. We provided messaging and resources for eye care professionals to share with patients, including an educational brochure and other in-office sale aids. As a result, we saw a dramatic increase in sales of this package.

We Did a Little Showboating

One of the best ways to keep up the momentum is to throw a promotion or two into the mix. We held several promotions throughout 2012 and all of them had something to do with Transitions Optical. Through our promotions, we offered incentives to top-performing accounts, such as aggressive pricing and discounts on our digital packages, plus gift cards.

One of our most successful promotions has been a campaign in which our customers can save 20 percent off of both Transitions lenses and in-house AR from Diversified Ophthalmics. We also held several joint promotions with partners including VSP® Vision Care and Signet Armorlite to offer cash back or discounts on Transitions lenses.

We were able to get our territory managers revved up with our “90-day challenge,” which ran for three months in 2012. Each manager challenged his or her key accounts to grow their Transitions lenses volume from the prior year. As a result, we saw a month-over-month increase in sales of Transitions lenses.

We Engaged Our Spectators

In football, it’s not all about the players; it’s also about the fans. We have a similar belief at Diversified Ophthalmics; we know that our customers’ patients are important to them, which means they are important to us. Throughout 2012, our offices engaged in several community outreach efforts, most of which focused around educating children and their parents about the importance of getting regular eye exams. Our “Eyes on Art” program, which was supported by Staples and PNC Bank in Greater Cincinnati, engaged children by encouraging them to visit and submit drawings related to their eye health and vision. Parents and the general public were charged with going to the website to vote for their favorites, and the winners received gift cards to Staples to purchase school or art supplies. We worked with two local grade schools to drum up entries – both of which also received $500 gift cards from PNC Bank to purchase new art supplies for their schools. The three-month promotion drove hundreds of people to the destination to vote and learn more about their eye health.

We’re Headed Into Overtime

We reached our goal by becoming a two-time winner of the Transitions Lab of the Year award, but know that the best is yet to come. Our entire team is committed to working hard throughout 2013 and beyond to keep up the great momentum and visibility that we’ve built over the past year. We have great plans in store for 2013, including a ramped up social media presence. Keep watching for us!


Labtalk June 2020