By Samantha Ramcharran, LO

Being a newly licensed optician has been rewarding since I've passed my boards. There is always something new to learn. I had an immediate sense of relief and added confidence when I opened the letter to discover I passed. It’s a great feeling and it’s certainly a milestone. Losing my training wheels from being an apprentice was exhilarating and meant more responsibility. The pressure of being a good optician has taken over as I begin my journey to further improvement.

Currently I am a part of our management team, which involves additional responsibility as well as being an optician. Since I've gotten my license, managing a sales floor and being the sole optician can be overwhelming on an everyday basis. It’s challenging to be able to balance a busy sales floor while restringing a pair of glasses or taking measurements. Sometimes dispensing eyeglasses can be time consuming if the patient cannot see well. Troubleshooting with a patient who can’t see well can be a simple adjustment or a difficult prescription issue.

To anyone else who may be in my shoes, having this role takes patience. I continue to improve managing the sales floor. Increasing my overall awareness and understanding of patient needs are crucial. I recommend active listening to what the customer wants and their description of their lifestyles. This reduces remakes and leads to an overall satisfied customer. This grows the business because they are more likely to return and become a loyal customer. Many customers come to us to relieve pain from nose-pads that pinch, crooked frames and a solution for their broken glasses. I try to put myself in their situation and often their frustration makes sense. I imagine myself trying to drive with one contact lens because the other one ripped and is now irritating my cornea. Simply offering to clean someone’s glasses can drive the business and makes customers feel comfortable.

In this field, we opticians are mini managers without realizing it! Many complaints are about vision, frame fit or lenses and it’s our job to be the problem solver. Every day that goes by I feel like I am improving. Asking questions and consulting with other opticians build my confidence. Every profession requires practice and I embrace the idea of learning something new. Having a healthy balance of doing the right thing for the customer and taking care of the business is what helps me thrive at my store. Having a good work ethic and providing outstanding customer service contributes to becoming a better manager and optician.

You can learn the steps for troubleshooting complaints with our CE, Problem Solving 101: How to Troubleshoot Like a Pro, at