Doctor Builds Customer Service Centered Practice with In-Office Lens Production

Optometry Times April 17, 2019 Volume 11, Issue 5

By Frederick Frost, OD

Over the past 14 months, I have made dramatic changes to my private practice that have paid great dividends. Before I talk about those changes, it is important to see where I was before I started.

I had been in private practice for 28 years. While the practice was going fine, we were not growing or slipping—we were stagnant. Our dispensary sales were flat, and our private pay sales were abysmal. It was extremely rare to sell a second pair of glasses under any circumstances.

Our labs provided acceptable service, but we were waiting a week to 10 days to receive our jobs. Many patients were not happy about this. Like everyone, my practice was under attack from online opticals and same-day opticals that could give as good or better service for a lower price.

Rethinking our approach
But then a series of events happened that caused me to rethink the whole basis of my practice.

It started when I learned that LensCrafters, one of the oldest one-hour labs, was getting rid of its in-store labs and moving away from one-hour service. I also heard that Walmart was not doing a lot of same-day service any more.

In fact, it seemed that almost every optical, private or not, was going to centralize lab work in order to save money at the expense of patient convenience.

Because many local labs were moving away from same-day service and into slower service, this gave me an idea where I could differentiate my practice. I was going to do completely the opposite of all of these companies.

I was going to change my practice top to bottom to deliver same-day optical service, and in general, improve all aspects of the customer service we were delivering both professional and retail. <end article>


In January 2018, Dr. Frost added a Q-2100 Digital Lens System with nanoCLEAR AR, ensuring same-day optical service for most patients 


<begin article> Many of the pieces were now starting to fall in place. We had the faster turnaround time we wanted, but we ensured that we had the quality we wanted. By stocking only polycarbonate AR lenses, patients who wanted same-day service had to purchase a premium product. Our cast lenses are quality high-index aspheric lenses. All of my patients were now going to walk out with glasses that I could be proud of

Better service, happier patients
The result of the changes my practice implemented was that patients were blown away.

Not only were they getting better materials than they had had before, they could not believe the speed of delivery. Getting a product while they waited closed the sale many times.

As an example, we had an employee from Amazon go bonkers when we made his glasses in 10 minutes, then he referred his mother. She came in the same day after canceling her appointment at an optical that used to offer same-day service. This started a chain reaction of referrals and new patients coming into the practice.

We added our same-day service pledge to our website, which we updated with online appointment scheduling and optimized for mobile viewing.

Streamlining our optical, adding online appointments, and providing same-day service freed up staff time. We were able to increase the number of appointments we booked every day by 25 percent, which further improved our bottom line.<click to read complete article>

Stand Out from the Crowd

Lab Talk 20 Tips to Improve Your Lab’s Customer Service by Julie Bo’s

  1. Ask customers how you can improve
  2. Use technology to your advantage
  3. Don’t rely on digital communication alone
  4. Offer a resource for quality concerns
  5. Set metrics to measure product quality and customer response time
  6. Speed ordering and tracking with web-based tools.
  7. Help customers understand your process
  8. Encourage customers to submit orders throughout the day
  9. Define expectations
  10. Provide alternatives when necessary
  11. Keep you customer service reps well-trained
  12. Put a smile on your face before answering the phone
  13. Have regular meetings with your entire lab staff
  14. Follow up on all customer requests – no matter how small
  15. Remember, first impressions count
  16. Listen first, then speak
  17. Draft customer service standards
  18. Give more than expected
  19. Capitalize of the power of “yes”
  20. Own up to mistakes

<click for full article>

Tips for Selling Multiple Pair

It should be every associate’s goal to present the multiple pair option to all patients. In an article posted on theopticalvisionsite.com, tips were shared to help achieve this goal.

Step One

Sit with the patient and start a conversation about their Rx requirements. Ask questions about the patient, their needs and lifestyle. You might find they need a second pair for:

1. Occupational or computer glasses
2. Photochromics for an active outdoor life style
3. Performance pair for outdoor activities
4. Sunglasses for driving

Step Two

People in sunglassesAlways bring up multiple pair options. Never prejudge the patient. Always inform of all products available.

Step Three

Always position eyewear as more than just for vision correction. Eyeglasses are a fashion accessory that reflect your style and image. Eyewear enhances your appearance just like a nice pair of shoes, purse or other fun fashion accessories.

Step Four

Always point out the importance of specialty eyewear for sun, sports, safety, as well as performance options.

Step Five

Don’t forget to share multiple pair pricing packages. Point out any 2nd pair or lens packaging options or discounts available.

Utilize the above steps and you will be sure to sell that second pair!

Eye Center Boutique Opens 12th Location with Q-2100 Technology

Optical Dynamics welcomes Eye Center Boutique Guayama to the Q-2100 user family. Located in the Plaza Guayama on the Carribean Coast of Puerto Rico, they are the newest ECB location.

Offering eye exams, contact lenses and eyeglasses made in an hour, they have the best selection of designer sunglasses, boutique bags and a collection of accessories from several designers at affordable prices.

Eye Center Boutique is a unique optical retail concept that includes the sale of handbags and acaccessories along with just-in-time delivery of prescription eye wear using the Q-2100 Digital Lens System with nanoCLEAR AR. The flagship store opened with the technology at the Carolina Plaza Mall in 2010 and has since grown to 12 franchise locations across the island.

Optical Dynamics is proud to have our technology as an integral  part of their successful business plan and looks forward to working with this up and coming retail chain as they continue to expand.

Why Can’t I Use Expired nanoCLEAR AR Chemistry?

Since our AR chemistries rely heavily on nanoparticles to give them toughness and the right optical properties, they require a little more care than our other materials. To figure out how long they last we did long-term testing here at high, low, and room temperatures. We also thought about what they’d go through in normal storage and shipping. If you use your AR chemistry by the expiration date we expect your lenses to perform just as ours do here. If it’s past the expiration date or was stored incorrectly things aren’t as predictable.

Spending a long time at extreme temperatures or even just sitting around will eventually cause the nanoparticles to stick together. Once that happens their properties change and so do the coatings that are made with them. Expired chemistry can give you hazy coatings or ones that aren’t nearly as tough as they should be. It can also clog up the dispense filters in your nanoCLEAR unit or cause other coating defects like comets.

If we didn’t have to have an expiration date we wouldn’t use one. At this time nanoparticle-based liquid chemistries of all kinds just tend to have shorter shelf lives than those without them. If we figure out a way around it, you can bet we’ll use it. For now though, the expiration date is something we need.

Create a High-Efficeincy Practice

In an article in Optometric Management, the editor offers six tips to maximize your patient flow for increase profitability.

Tip 1: When it comes to administration think “e”. By allowing your patients to schedule appointments and  fill out patient forms online, you can free up to 45-minutes a day for your employees and free up time for your patients as well.

Tip 2: Utilize high-tech equipment. The use of high-tech equipment in both diagnostics and production is key to increasing practice profitability. <end article> With the Q-2100 Digital Lens System you can produce free form quality lenses at a fraction of the time and cost as with traditional labs. Dispensing lenses with just-in-time delivery will be noticed by your customers and they will return with repeat business. Everyone wants things quickly and efficiently and this in-office technology allows you meet the expectations of the consumer. <begin article>

Tip 3: Delegate. Don’t try to be the keeper of all the knowledge. Share information and give your employees the opportunity to grown and expand their abilities in the work place.

Tip 4: Provide staff training. Do multiple people know how do do the same job? If not, they should! Cross train your staff in dispensing, lens production and administrative tasks. By cross training your team you will operate at peak efficiency.

Tip 5: Schedule weekly staff meetings. Industry leading consultant Dr. Richard Kattouf recommends you schedule weekly staff meetings at which discussions on how to refine individual responsibilities are discussed to maintain efficiency and enthusiasm.

Tip 6: Value your time and your patient’s. Time is important to everyone. By focusing on efficiency creating choices, you will see an improvement in the time you and your patients spend at the business. Your family will appreciate it and so will your customers.