Optical, Inc. has named Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center (for the regional category) and Visionworks® of America, Inc. (for the national category) as winners of its fourth annual Transitions Retailer of the Year award. Both of the retailers were honored during a recognition ceremony at the 18th annual Transitions Academy event.
“Both long-time partners, Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center and Visionworks® never cease to amaze us with their endless efforts to promote healthy sight and the benefits of Transitions® lenses within their stores and communities,” said Matt Dorling, director national retail and Canada, Transitions Optical. “We congratulate them on their year-long achievements, and thank them for their continued support. The strong partnerships we have – with these retailers and all of our finalists – have allowed us to continue to grow the Transitions® family of products and introduce new programs to reinforce the importance of regular eye care and the power of choice when it comes to eyewear selection.”
Additional finalists for the 2013 Transitions Retailer of the Year award included Henry Ford OptimEyes and Northeastern Eye Institute for the regional division; and Costco Optical and LensCrafters for the national division
Already two-time finalist for the Transitions Regional Retailer of the Year award, BDP made a goal at the beginning of the year to take home the 2013 title. Throughout the year, BDP made Transitions lenses a focus – offering the full family of everyday products in all of its optical locations, including several sunwear products like Transitions® Drivewear® sun lenses and Oakley® Transitions® sunglasses.
The BDP team is enthusiastic about the recent launch of new Transitions® Signature™ VII lenses, and believes it will be a huge growth opportunity for both their stores and the optical industry.
“Even though Transitions Optical offers so many great eyewear options, we have found that a lot of our patients just aren’t aware of the choices they have, or may not realize that the technology has changed and improved, even over the past year,” said Debbie Bacon, director of optical services, Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center. “We are excited to offer new Transitions Signature VII lenses and the entire family of products – and we always make it a point to reinforce to our customers that they do have a choice and that there really is something for everyone.”
Before the optical staff at BDP talk about Transitions lenses with patients, they first take the time to get to know them on a personal level.
“We don’t immediately start bombarding them with questions, but rather we get to know them throughout the appointment by asking them about their lifestyles and preferences as part of our conversation,” added Bacon. “Providing personal care to all of our patients – and being able to recommend eyewear that is tailored to their needs – is something that we take pride in, and is something that keeps our patients coming back year after year.”
Once they learn more about their patients’ needs, BDP takes advantage of numerous tools and programs to get their patients excited about Transitions lenses. They use Transitions®-branded brochures, dispensing mats and Transitions UV demonstration units in every office, and even have their lab create special eyeglasses so that their patients can experience Transitions lenses in a unique way. These glasses are designed so that each lens features a different product – so, for example, a patient may experience Transitions® Vantage™ lenses through one eye, and regular, clear lenses through the other. “It’s something our patients love,” added Bacon. “It helps make the decision easy in most cases.”
One of the main reasons BDP believes they continue to experience tremendous growth with Transitions lenses is because their entire staff is on board. BDP offers ongoing education for its optical staff – from training on new products and programs, to refreshers on existing products – and encourages all staff members to “experience” Transitions lenses for themselves. Each year, all staff members are required to complete a training module on a featured Transitions lens product. At the end of the module, they are eligible to receive that product, free of charge. In 2013, BDP placed a focus on Transitions Drivewear sun lenses.
“These training modules really get our optical staff energized and ready to talk about the products with patients,” said Bacon. “Many of our staff members have and wear all of the products within the Transitions family. We’ve found that when they can experience the product first, they are better able to explain the benefits with patients because they are true believers.”
To reinforce the benefits of Transitions lenses with patients at the time of pickup, BDP takes advantage of the Transitions Certificate of Authenticity (COA) program. “We hand our patients printed COAs and even have the website pulled up on our computer so that we can register their lenses on site,” said Bacon. “It allows us to communicate to our patients that they are getting quality lenses.”
Headquartered in Phoenix, BDP operates 14 locations across Arizona. For more than 35 years, the doctors at BDP have been providing state-of-the-art medical and surgical eye care in Arizona. BDP was named a Transitions Retailer of the Year finalist for 2011 and 2012.
A former winner and three-time finalist for the Transitions National Retailer of the Year awardVisionworks® has long been committed to promoting Transitions lenses within its more than 620 locations. In June 2013, Visionworks launched the full Transitions family of products in all of its stores – offering Transitions lenses, Transitions® XTRActive® lenses and Transitions Vantage lenses, plus Transitions Drivewear lenses.
Being able to offer the entire family of Transitions lenses is something we’re very excited about – and it’s showed through both sales and in customer satisfaction as well,” said Jim Eisen, president, Visionworks®. “It was a significant endeavor, but our entire lens and stores teams embraced the change with open arms. Being able to offer new choices has allowed our conversations to naturally change from ‘would you like Transitions lenses,’ to ‘which Transitions lenses would you like?’ and ‘let’s find the Transitions lenses that are right for you.”
Known for its commitment to “putting the customer first,” the Visionworks® team makes ongoing efforts to ask lifestyle questions and engage customers in conversations to determine the lens options that best fit their needs. “Our customers leave with more than just a pair of glasses,” added EIsen. “We work hard to ensure a good customer experience is always met by taking their vision needs and lifestyle into consideration.”
To help explain the benefits of Transitions lenses and the different options available, Visionworks® takes advantage of numerous tools and programs available from Transitions Optical, including the Transitions UV demonstration unit and brochures. Throughout the year, doctors and opticians receive ongoing education about the Transitions family of products so that they understand all of the benefits and how to position each lens option to customers. The doctors and opticians are also encouraged to work together as a team to ensure each customer gets the right product.
“At Visionworks® stores, the conversation starts with the doctor and ends with the customer leaving with high-quality, stylish frames and lenses custom-made just for them here in America,” said Eisen. “Making the best eyewear recommendation is a mix of understanding what the customer wants and what their vision needs are – so we believe it’s important for the doctors and opticians to collaborate to make sure each customer leaves satisfied.”
Community involvement is something that is also encouraged across all Visionworks® locations, with stores participating in hundreds of community events throughout the year. In June, Visionworks® teamed up with Transitions Optical during the Country Music Awards Music Festival to provide free vision screenings, eye health education and discounts on Transitions lenses to more than 2,000 attendees. “It was a huge success for us,” said Eisen. “We saw tremendous growth – not only in our Nashville locations, but also throughout the country.”
Visionworks® also leveraged Transitions Optical’s Official Sponsor of Sightseeing™ ambassador, Darius Rucker, to help educate local high school students in Nashville about the importance of taking care of their eyes. Visionworks® provided free vision screenings to all students, and those who failed their screenings were also given vouchers for a comprehensive eye exam and free pair of eyeglasses with Transitions lenses. During the event, Darius even spoke to the students about his own experience with vision problems.
With 2014 now underway, Visionworks® is looking forward to being able to offer Transitions Signature VII lenses to its customers. “We launched it on January 19 and so far have seen a lot of excitement,” said Eisen. “We believe the new offering will energize the lens business and allow even further engagement with our customers when they are choosing eyewear.”
ormerly Eye Care Centers of America, Visionworks® is a leading provider of eye care services with more than 620 optical retail stores in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Visionworks was honored as the Transitions Retailer of the Year winner in 2010, and as a finalist in 2011 and 2012.
ABOUT THE TRANSITIONS RETAILER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Through its Retailer of the Year program, Transitions Optical, Inc. recognizes one National and one Regional Retailer of the Year for actively supporting the Transitions® brand and demonstrating a commitment to enhancing the vision of their customers and communities. All Transitions Retailer of the Year award finalists are judged on several factors, including overall photochromic growth; efforts to support the Transitions brand through marketing programs and promotions; quality of education provided to optical employees; efforts to promote healthy sight in their local community and support and involvement with public service programs; and an overall commitment to educating customers about the importance of healthy sight and benefits of Transitions lenses.