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Last week's tip covered the tangible aspects of dispensing eyewear, so I'll focus on the intangible details this week. Don't underestimate the importance of these details - over time, they can make the difference between a thriving practice and an average one. Be sure to monitor these operations frequently, they have a way of drifting away from what was once standard procedure. Continual re-training of staff members on these points is time well spent.
Here is a good question for a staff meeting, along with some points that I think are important. Compile your own list and print copies for all dispensing staff members.
What should a technician say when dispensing a new pair of glasses?
(I'll throw in a few things to do as well)
Greet the patient with a cheerful and warm statement. Use the patient's name and ask to be corrected on pronunciation if your not sure (it should be spelled phonetically in the chart).
Present and handle the glasses gracefully (see last week's tip also).
Verbally review the features of the lenses and frame. For example, say: "Mr. Smith, I see you've ordered progressive lenses in a high index polymer. These are no-line multifocals, in the lightest and thinnest material available. You also have anti-reflective lenses to reduce glare and look better on your face. WHY do this? Two reasons: (1) Patients forget everything we tell them and they pay a lot for glasses; reminding of the special options builds value. (2) You want patients to talk to others about their new glasses and arming them with knowledge gives them something to say.
Make some adjustment, even if they fit perfect. This enhances the perception of professional, custom fitting.
Perform a final quality check of frame fit and that materials are free from defects. Acknowledge any problems you discover and propose a solution. You may wish to dispense the glasses so the patient can wear them while you re-order or re-make the correct part. Offer an apology without blaming co-workers and without becoming angry or upset. It should be very rare that a problem is found at dispensing.
Complement the patient or the new glasses in some way. Be sincere and natural.
Instruct the patient on use of the glasses, especially if this is the first time wearing this type of lens. Verify the quality of vision at appropriate viewing distances.
Instruct the patient on the care and use of the glasses. Try to keep this simple and easy.
State the balance due and ask how the patient wishes to pay. This requires a system to make this reliable and smooth.
Close with something positive, like "I'm sure you're going to get many complements on your new glasses! Don't hesitate to let us know if they should need any adjustment."
Best wishes for continued success,
Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Editor, Optometric Management Tip of the Week
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Dr. Gailmard offers consulting services to eye care professionals through Prima Eye Group; information is available at www.primaeyegroup.com.
Please Note: The views expressed in Management Tip of the Week do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsor.
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