3. Do my opticians realize they are customer service representatives? Are they well-educated, well-trained, and skilled at working with a variety of patients?
In addition to properly guiding patients on frame selection, the staff needs to have a firm command of optical theory to confidently and accurately interpret the needs of patients based upon the prescription written. There are many educational options available for optical teams, including continuing education classes, many of which are offered by state organizations or at national conferences, such as Vision Expo.
In states where continuing education is not offered, opticians can participate in various online courses to further enhance their knowledge. It’s important to motivate and require the staff to work toward ABO certification, and implement incentive programs to help them do so.
Opticians also need to think about how they, in turn, provide eyeglass education to patients. Empowering patients with knowledge will give them confidence in their purchases and, equally important, the dispensary’s expertise in meeting their needs.
Here’s where the client-servicing prowess of the optical staff is critical, as the opticians must provide the same level of service and expertise patients have come to expect in your practice. Only when this consistent, personalized service is achieved does your dispensary truly become a worthy extension of the practice—one that sets it apart from big-box retailers.