Optometric Management Tip # 501   -   Wednesday, September 28, 2011
How is your dispensing process?

Sometimes doctors and staff members are so close to the day-to-day operations of their practice that they can't see the forest for the trees. As the needs of the practice set in over time, it's easy to gradually stop working the vision of greatness you once had. I'm guilty too.

That's why we must step back and review key elements of the patient's experience. This week, let's tackle the delivery of new eyeglasses.

Is it special or mundane?
From the patient's point of view, new glasses are a very special event. As eye care providers, you and I wish it was not quite such a landmark event and that the public would buy them more often... but the fact is, they do not. Patients don't think about the fact that you dispense and adjust hundreds of glasses per month; they just think about their new pair that will soon be on their face for the world to see. They hope it will make them look cool. They hope they will see really clearly. They view glasses as very expensive with a lot of technology they don't understand very well.

To maximize the patient experience and to garner as much positive word-of-mouth chat as possible, the act of picking up the new glasses should be made very special. Review the process as it is now in your office. Has it turned into a quick in-and-out visit with a busy optician? Does it seem routine and boring? Are the glasses treated like a commodity?

Tips for maximum dispensing
Consider these simple steps to make the most of the dispensing visit and make it memorable. You will elevate the importance of the eyewear and increase the perceived value.

Other niceties
Here are some ideas for additional items you can place on the dispensing tray.

Make dispensing of new eyewear a fun and important event in your practice. Celebrate it and start the patient off with enthusiasm!

Best wishes for continued success,

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