APR 2016

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Your monthly guide to staff training outside the box

Eyes / Lenses / Fitting Lenses / Free-Form / Frames / Sunwear / Patient Solutions / In-office / Standards

From Technician to Optician

Culture Trumps Strategy Every Day

Many businesses or offices focus on “what” gets done. Whether you measure sales per day, patients seen per hour or average selling price, it is the “what” that is easily measured and managed. However, the “how” things get done and “how” decisions are made, that drive behavior and that in turn, drives results. Culture will trump strategy every day.

Let’s start by defining culture: Culture refers to the deeply embedded beliefs, values, assumptions, behaviors and attitudes present in every business. Each practice or business is unique because of the culture created (consciously or unconsciously) by the owner or leaders. Because we are talking about how people act or respond, those behaviors naturally drive the patient experience, as well as how we attain goals, approach the day, job and each other. A toxic culture (work environment) will lead to less than satisfying business results.

—Michael Karlsrud, MEd

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Do We Need a “Charm School?

By Michael Karlsrud, MEd
Rarely does a day go by that someone doesn’t say something about how impolite an employee is to the patient. For those of us who work retail or optical, it’s hard not to cut loose on a customer/ patient who is running you through the paces. And sometimes we let them win and bust out of our cool head and flare up and say things we perhaps would want to take back.

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Good Patient Transitioning is Imperative to Patient Satisfaction

By Linda Hardy, LDO, CPOT, COA
Good patient flow is important to the day-to-day workings of any office. One of the things I’ve noticed that helps greatly is communication from one person to the next while the patient moves from place to place in an office.

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Let’s Talk Patient Compliance

By Michelle Carte, ABOC, NCLEC
We all have those patients, the ones that can make their contact lenses “stretch” for longer than they should; the ones that wear the trial pair they are fit with for five months or more before they go searching for more. Amazingly enough they never seem to have any negative results from this terrible practice.

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Above all else, when a patient walks, it means quite simply that he or she does not like us. It’s a tough pill to swallow, to be sure, but it carries more than a grain of truth. As a matter of fact, a McKinsey survey indicated that 70 percent of sales were motivated by how well the customer thought they were being treated, with the majority of lost sales being due to customer dissatisfaction with the way he or she was treated.

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Optician: Tailor or Order Taker?

Asking the right questions and responding properly to the answers give you the opportunity to become the expert rather than just the order-taker. The educated optical professional drives the conversation, asks appropriate questions and responds with recommendations based on the information the patient has given.

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A Sparkling Start and Finish

By Barry Santini, ABOM
Place a variety of lens care products right at the front of your reception counter and at your dispensing tables. Be sure all of them are labeled with your store information, as well as a price (this establishes value).

Introduce products for the variety of cleaning and care situations a client will encounter with their eyewear. For example: Sports - sweat and general steaminess = anti-fog; on the go with little carrying space = premoistened towelettes; Best in value = larger size bottles for home use.

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Following Up With Diabetic Patients

In 2013, it was estimated that over 382 million people have diabetes. You can expect to see an increase every year. Diabetes is such a common disease today that optometrists and ophthalmologists are seeing an increase in diabetic evaluations on their schedule.

There is no question: Diabetic patients should have dilated eye exams yearly. If a patient’s blood sugar is fluctuating, they may even need to be seen more frequently. Furthermore, if a patient is diagnosed with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, they should have a dilated fundus exam every six months. And if there are signs of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, it’s time to refer this patient to a retinal specialist.

—Linda Hardy, CPOT, COA, LDO

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