Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Gourmet Eye Doctors

It was a last minute decision, to be sure.

We’re heading out of the country for three weeks next Saturday. I need a new contact lens prescription. I was going to be cheap. Skip it. Wear glasses for three weeks. I’ll be fine.

But my wife convinced me otherwise.

I’d been to a local eye doctor. Figured I’d try the same place. It was going to be two weeks before I could get an appointment and it was going to cost me nearly $300. And that was before spending money on a new set of lenses.

Immediately after hanging up the phone I did a web search. I mean. I don’t want a gourmet eye doctor. I want a simple contact lens examination so I can order a box of contacts before leaving the country for three weeks.

Option two provided a simple way to make an appointment online. I secured an appointment for the day. I was greeted by friendly and helpful staff. An hour later I had my prescription and a generous supply of sample lenses. It cost me $89.

What was the difference? The machine that shoots a puff of air in your eye or the sign with letters posted on the other side of the room are not that different. I ended up with the same brand of contact lenses from the $89 that was prescribed for me at the $300 place.

My $89 experience was much better than my $300 experience.

Sometimes you get what you pay for. It’s rare that I trust a cup of coffee that only costs me 75 cents.

Gourmet experience doesn’t always have to be about the price. But I know that my experience with a $3 cup of coffee is usually more than $2.25 better than the 75 cent cup of coffee. (I’ve had my disappointing expensive coffees. But this rule usually holds true.)

But if you do choose to charge $300 for a contact lens fitting, think well about what the patient is getting for their money and create an experience that makes it worthwhile.

The $89 people have a much better business model.