You have to admit, one of the nice things about working in optometry/ophthalmology is the range of styles in eyeglass frames. There are aviator, horn rimmed, harlequin, schoolboy and the list goes on. It is this choice that gives some measure of control to patients, as well as a lot of satisfaction. After all, patients don’t choose to become myopic or get presbyopia, but they CAN choose an eyeglass frame to their liking. People love to look good!
Sometimes there can be problems with finding the right frame, however. Recently I came across the following story: a mother and daughter came into a practice to get new eyeglasses. The daughter was about 13-years-old and the eyeglasses were for her. The daughter chose stylish frames. The mother picked out some frames that were in the old fashioned vein.
As you can guess, the daughter insisted on the stylish frames and the mother insisted on the old fashioned frames. So what was an eye care professional to do? Let them duke it out, since no one likes a pushy salesperson, not to mention the business credo of “The customer is always right.”
The optician didn’t just walk away and wait on another customer while these two had their “I’m right/You’re wrong” discussion. The resolution to this impasse can be found in educating the customer. The optician explained that since the daughter had a prescription to correct myopia, the stylish frames wouldn’t be a good choice since they didn’t fit her face and would not allow the lenses to be center aligned to her eyes. So, her vision would be compromised. Whereas the old fashioned frames fit her face better and a better fit lead to better vision. Since the daughter needed the glasses for schoolwork, she choose the old fashioned frames.
In our high tech, fast paced world, taking the time to explain things isn’t just some quaint notion, nor is it time lost. It helps both the patient and the practice. The patient gets the right product the first time around and the practice doesn’t loose revenue due to a repeat visit due to poor fit.
Yes, tech tools and advanced degrees help diagnosis a patient’s vision and eye conditions. Yet, it is the old fashioned service that brings them back and every business likes to have repeat business from customers.