“I hate how I look in my new glasses!” Those words, when spoken by a customer, can cause even the most seasoned optician to cringe.

Of course, all types of retailers must learn to adroitly handle customer complaints. But customer complaints can take on a larger dimension in the optical realm because eyewear is so personal and integral to our appearance. The fact that most people wear a pair of glasses for several years further magnifies the importance of selecting the right pair.

For some people, the buyer’s remorse they experience may be due to a lack of confidence in themselves. Maybe their husband or co-workers gave the thumbs-down to their new specs. Or maybe they were worried they had paid too much on their glasses, a growing concern for cash strapped consumers.

In order to help these folks, a little patient psychology may be in order. (Do they teach psychology at opticianry schools?) The dispenser should remind the patient of what they liked about the glasses in the first place. Reassure them of the quality of their eyewear, the styling, the materials, the workmanship.

However, if the complaint is not purely subjective, it’s time to take a closer look at both the eyewear and the patient. That’s where Dr. Palmer Cook’s insightful cover story comes into play. As regular L&T readers know, Dr. Cook always manages to uncover interesting and often overlooked dispensing techniques that can make a critical difference when trying to solve a patient’s eyewear problems. His clear, to-the-point explanations of proper fitting techniques and frame selection should be required reading for both veteran dispensers and those who are less experienced.

Once you read and absorb his lessons, I know you’ll be hearing more customers say, “I love how I look in my new glasses.”

—Andrew Karp