Optometric Management Tip # 42   -   Wednesday, November 06, 2002
Staying on top of problem optical jobs

A typical daily scene in an optometric office goes something like this. A patient calls on the phone and asks if his glasses are ready. The receptionist puts him on hold and checks with a technician, who looks through drawers and trays and concludes – no, they are not ready. The receptionist uses her well-developed skills of diplomacy to tell the caller that they aren’t ready, but that the office will call the lab and check into it and she will call him back. The caller accepts this, but reminds the receptionist that he was told the order would take two weeks and it is currently slightly over that. Upon checking with the lab, the technician discovers that the polycarbonate progressive is on backorder... or that there was a breakage on the photochromic executive lens and they are waiting for new lenses… or that the frame is on backorder… or whatever the excuse du jour is.

Obviously, this type of service can hamper your practice’s reputation. From the patient’s point of view, it is poor service they are dealing with your office… not your lab. Here are a few tips to regain control over the service aspects of your optical department.

We may never eliminate all problems associated with making custom products like glasses, but we can reduce them and stay in control of them.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management