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Did you ever go into your optical area and try on a large number of frames that
are on display? I don't mean just selecting a few styles that you might be
interested in for your personal use, but rather trying on fifty or one hundred styles
and looking at yourself in the mirror with each one. I do this once in awhile and
I'm always shocked at how poorly some of the frames fit. Of course I realize that
many frames are not optimally sized for my face, but I can easily look past that
I think frames that are out of standard alignment are found in our inventories for
two reasons: 1) They are shipped that way from the distributor or manufacturer
and staff members don't take the time to adjust them before placing them on
display. 2) They are mishandled by patients who try them on. Whatever the
reason, poor fitting frames on your displays are bad for business.
- nose pads that are extremely too wide or too narrow
- temples that press too tightly on the sides of an average sized head
- one temple that is angled higher than the other
- temple bends that are too extreme and too far in
- pantoscopic tilt problems
- many other maladjustments
Effect on Sales
I'm sure it's pretty standard for opticians and technicians to inform patients that
the fit and comfort aspects of a frame will be masterfully adjusted at the
dispensing visit, and not to be concerned over that during the selection process.
While true to a point, I've had many pairs of glasses that just never felt all that
comfortable after I had my prescription lenses placed in it, no matter how much
adjusting took place. And even though a staff member may provide valid
reassurance, if a sample frame feels and looks poorly, it's likely to be rejected by
the potential wearer.
Effect on Measurements
Making sure the frame fits and positions properly before measuring is a key
element of good optical care. I train my staff to always make sure the frame is
adjusted and in the preferred position on the face before measuring things like:
In spite of all good intentions, however, I know staff members take shortcuts and
don't always perform a perfect frame adjustment during the frame selection
process. It's going to need to be adjusted again after coming back from the lab
- seg heights
- vertical optical centers
- bridge size
- eye size
- temple length
This is another good reason to have frames in inventory in reasonably good
alignment at all times. That way when measurements are taken with the frame
right off the rack, the chances of error are reduced.
Staff Side Jobs
Checking and adjusting frames on display is one of many side jobs that are given
to staff members in my practice. Most practices have some down time in the
office when we are not delivering patient care, so side jobs are assigned to each
employee and it's his or her responsibility to manage that task without being
asked. The key is to give each side job to a specific individual. I don't say it's
everyone's job to adjust frames on display because no one would be responsible
and everyone would rely on the others to do it. If I give that job to employee A, I
know where to go if I see that the standards are not being met.
Best wishes for continued success,
Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Editor, Optometric Management Tip of the Week
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