Great tip Ms. Specs!
I would like to add, it’s extremely important to take a moment to say hello to anyone walking through the doors. A simple acknowledgment also goes a long way. I always thank the individual for the opportunity to be of service to them, or better yet ANOTHER opportunity as well when they are on their way out.
Best Regards,
Marisol Rodriquez, LDO, ABOC-AC, NCLEC

Dear Marisol,
Thank you so much for your awesome comment regarding my previous column: “Managing Expectations…First Impressions.” Ms. Specs wholeheartedly agrees with you! Our patients expect that when they enter our dispensary, they should be acknowledged immediately. One may wonder for social etiquette: What if we are at the dispensing table with another patient taking measurements, offering lens/frame suggestions, is a bird in the hand better than two in the bush?

The great news: We can accomplish both! I have learned that when we are with a patient at the dispensing table, and another established or potential patient walks in, we can acknowledge them sans rude behavior to the person at the dispensing table. Usually, with a big smile, I would say to the bird in the hand, “excuse me please” and verbally welcome the newcomer. While this is more challenging with masks, just like you, Ms. Specs has practiced the art and skill of smiling with my eyes. When asked politely, most will be OK with our taking a moment from them to greet the person entering. I suggest: “Hello Fabulous! I will be with you as soon as I can. Welcome! We are happy to have you here.”

Why is this important? Have you ever had an encounter in which you walk into a business, and the employees ignore you while chit-chatting with each other? How many seconds does it take until you start getting irritated? How many more seconds until you start feeling frustrated? Finally, how many more seconds until you simply walk out?

And, Dear Marisol, referencing the second part of your comment: “I always thank the individual for the opportunity to be of service to them, or better yet ANOTHER opportunity as well when they are on their way out.” This brought Ms. Specs back to fond memories about how to maximize the dispensing experience. People expect to be “schmoozed” when they are buying something. What if we focused equally (if not more) attention to the dispense?

Years ago, I was involved with a project about how to maximize the dispense. We realized that the importance of the dispense cannot be underestimated. After all, we want our patients to be our cheerleaders and spokespeople when asked, “Where did you get your fabulous eyeglasses?”

Our team spent a day with a business sociologist and crafted a brilliant “closing conversation” that went like this: “Ms. Jones, congratulations on your good decision to purchase your new eyewear. You look great in them! Please let us know the compliments you receive on your new glasses when you come in for your next adjustment/tune-up.”

There are so many self-fulfilling prophecies here. Congratulating them on their good decision prevents buyer’s remorse. Telling them “You look great in them” sounds better than “They look great on you.” This compliments the patient, not the frame. Finally, when they are playing cards with their friends, and a friend proclaims: “Sally, you got new glasses?” Sally will internalize this as the compliment that her optician told her she would receive.

Making great first impressions and lasting impressions upon dispense is an art. Putting together the science of dispensing and the art of first and lasting impressions is a win-win for all. More on this later…

Until then, Dear Readers, continue being the optical rock stars that you are!

See Well and Be Well,
Ms. Specs in the City
Laurie Pierce, ABOM

Do you have a question for Ms. Specs? Please send your question to [email protected], and we may feature it in a future column.