For most of us, walking into work, even driving to work, becomes a habit. We go through the motions but don’t always pay attention, taking it all for granted. Unfortunately, when we do that, we often miss the subtle changes that over time may become more significant.
It’s time to look at your practice in a different light. Put on your customer shoes and walk through the door as if it is your first time there. What do you see?
Begin with the basics. Stand in the doorway and take in the entire room. What thoughts first come to mind? Attractive, well organized and modern? Or boring, cluttered, and outdated? Perhaps it’s something in between.
Now walk through the space to see if your initial impression still stands. Is there a flow? Can you move easily around dispensing tables and displays, or do you find the space crowded? Do you have ample space to stand a few steps back from a frame board and take it all in? A sense of openness tends to gives a more welcoming and inviting feeling compared to the uneasiness of a crowded space.
Take a look at the dispensing tables and other counter areas. Give yourself a pat on the back if they’re clutter free. When too much counter space is used, it can create an overwhelming feeling or disengage the customer. Next turn your attention to the displays and furnishings. What shape are they in? Be sure they are clean, cushions are not torn, and all furniture is steady.
Now on to the walls. While color trends come and go, colors can help elicit responses, from grabbing attention to providing a comforting feeling. Are the wall colors adding to or detracting from your overall brand personality? Be sure to look at the condition of the walls and take note of marks and dings.
Now on to the finer items that can give the impression of being modern or a bit dated. Are the edges of posters and signage frayed and bent, or is the overall piece faded? If so, recycle those and speak with your sales rep about new materials. Suppliers are always coming out with something new – and you should be advertising what’s current.
How old are the magazines in the waiting area? It’s a nice gesture to stock a few magazines to help pass a patient’s waiting time on those busy days. While current magazines sometimes grow legs and walk out the door, your local recycling center will gladly accept the old issues that are no longer relevant.
Keeping eyeglass frames and mirrors clean is a daily task. But when was the last time you gave a thorough dusting of the entire practice? The hard to reach spots or those below eye level may not always make the routine cleaning.
When it comes to frame organization, review how the frames are currently grouped. Whether by brand, lifestyle, or price point, for example, does the current format make sense or is it due for some revisions? The set up you have now may have worked well a few years ago; however, if you’ve added or discontinued frame lines since, you may want to adjust. Have a line that’s selling beyond your expectations? Be sure to feature it.
While there are more areas to look at, you understand the overall purpose of this evaluation. You may decide it’s time for a bit of a makeover. It may be a simple refresh – paint, a good cleaning and new signage. If you think you may want more, a remodel or renovation, consult with an optical display company or two. From lighting to the latest trends, and everything in between, they will bring expert advice as to how best to use the space to meet your goals, needs, and budget. And if nothing else, you’ll know from this exercise what needs some serious spring cleaning.
Jodi Groh is a marketing professional with 20 years experience in the optical community. An expert in lens care, she is passionate about growing business at the customer level. She is an ABO speaker and has been recognized as one of Vision Monday’s Influential Women in Optical.