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    Why opticals must exceed, not meet, expectations


    Patients expect frames not to lose adjustment or screws

    We know that frames will lose their adjustment and screws will fall out. Simply educating them on this and inviting them to come back every three months will help temper expectations. Plus, we happen to always have new designs in every three months, which often turn visits into extra sales.

    Related: Behind the scenes of Instagram practice photos

    Patients expect us to know current fashion trends

    It is clear dispensing has finally been accepted in the fashion arena. No matter the price point of the eyewear, the dispenser must show that she understands fashion.

    The best way, of course, is to model it through what we wear in our dispensaries. The notion of having the opticians wear whatever they deem fashionable can be risky—open to too much interpretation.

    Some practices find success in having a “wear only black” rule. I have worked with practices with great looking uniforms that had fashion and flair. Everyone looked crisp and professional.

    I may get in trouble for stating this, but get scrubs out of the dispensary. It is very hard to portray fashion when wearing pajamas.

    There, I said it.

    Related: How to use technology to improve patient care

    How to exceed expectations

    The list of expectations our patients shared with us is long—88 items, to be exact. The big challenge is once we identify and meet patient expectations, how do we exceed them?

    Click here to see the list of 88 expectations

    This list below is not so long.

    We brainstormed about things we could do above and beyond the norm that would exceed patients’ expectations. Things such as:

    • Holding the chair for them to sit

    • Walking out to the parking lot to dispense to an elderly patient through the car window

    • Sending a handwritten thank-you note

    • Calling patients two weeks after the dispense to be sure they are comfortable with their new eyewear

    • Writing personal notes about patients in their office records so when they return, you will remember something personal.

    Make your patients feel like rock stars.

    We no longer live in a commodity, or goods and services, economy. Today we live in the experience economy.

    Organizations such as Disney, Ritz-Carlton, Starbucks, and Rainforest Café understand the change in our economy. Take a look at these successful examples and bring the experience to our optical dispensaries.

    People will not remember what we told them, they will remember only how we made them feel. In a society starving for personalized attention, connecting with our patients by exceeding their expectations will go a long way.

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