By Samantha Ramcharran

Self-reflection is something I like to practice, especially during a new year/chapter in my life. I love celebrating the holidays and getting into the spirit for winter. However, the last quarter of the year for this industry is busy and important to the business. The holiday season is filled with bustling shoppers who have expiring insurance benefits, which means last minute shopping! This also means a crowded optical, many phone calls, and beating the clock to the new year for some patients.

We can’t control when patients decide they have the proper funds and time to select and purchase eyewear. But doing our absolute best with customer service is fully within our skills as opticians. Unfortunately for me, I needed to make some errors to realize exactly how important my job was to these patients. It’s amazing how one number or symbol entered incorrectly can ripple into a mess and cost an optician some credibility and confidence shifts. I’ve come a long way to being certain to never make the same mistakes again. The last thing we want is for someone to walk out unhappy and frustrated.

Doing it right the first time is a phrase I tell myself all the time, especially at work. The worst part about making a silly mistake is asking yourself, “How’d I let this happen?!” Small errors contribute to unnecessary stress in the workplace and that’s the last thing needed at this time of the year. It's easy to make mistakes when it’s busy such as entering the wrong information in patient demographics or prescription orders. There’s nothing worse than checking a job and realizing the prescription is incorrect because I failed to double check my work before submitting an order. It’s important to check your work, and it’s a practical measure for avoiding stress and saving valuable time. That to me puts me in good spirits!
We’re human and we make mistakes occasionally. It's likely to happen during busy seasons with an influx of patients needing our assistance but remind yourself that every patient is equally important. One of the worst things we can do as opticians is to seem rushed while helping the person in front of us. It makes the patient feel like they are just another customer and that’s not the kind of optician I aim to be. Talking to people is a huge part of the job and I’m constantly reflecting on how I approach patients when discussing eyewear and eyecare. I find that if I introduce myself confidently and ask the right questions, the time goes by quickly and efficiently for both the patients and me. Assuring patients they will get what is best for them creates trust and reliability. No one is perfect but we can pave the way there and be the best versions of ourselves.

Learn about how to connect with consumers, shorten the purchase cycle, and increase in-store capture rate with our CE, Steps to Enrich the Customer Experience, at