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Do You Or Don't You

Cross-Training Staff is the Way Most of You Go, But Some of You Still Say ‘No Thanks’

Most eyecare business owners see value in having staff handle multiple duties.

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Yes: 86%

  • All of my opticians do it all. Kevin Bushouse, RxOptical, Kalamazoo MI
  • Techs can do front desk scheduling when front desk needs vacation time or is out sick. Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Lone Tree, CO
  • I am fortunate to have same team for 12 years and everyone can complete entire process, including cutting lenses. This allows for smooth vacation time or if our lab manager is sick, we can still order and cut the jobs without feeling the impact. Of course, I prefer everyone to keep in their lane so they can be as effective as they can be. Monika Marczak, Eye Candy Optical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • I’ve crossed trained my staff and recently took them to Texas for training but because of the Trump economy, I’ve received two week notices from two of my staff taking higher paying jobs with benefits. Two other local practices are having the same issues keeping staff. Marc Ullman, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Staff expects and takes more and more absences. That combined with increasing wages to keep good employees require offices to function with fewer staff but still have coverage, so cross training is a must. Zach Dirks, OD, St. Peter Eyecare Center and Belle Plaine Eyecare Center, St. Peter and Belle Plaine, MN
  • We are a small office. All the staff can do everything, but focus on one main task. The front desk reception only stays up front. She is the doctor’s wife and doesn’t want to learn frame dispensing. We just roll our eyes when she says, “she is too old to learn selecting/dispensing.” Allen D. Hoek, OD, Ripon, CA
  • Cross training just worksEdna Shelby, Macomb Vision Associates, Shelby Township, MI
  • We have a team of 12, and inevitably someone is sick or more than one person wants the same day off. Cross training is time-consuming, but it gives us greater flexibility and can also improve service by avoiding long waits for an OCT/photos/dispense/scheduling if someone else can jump in and help on the fly. Sarah Jerome, OD, Look + See Eye Care, Minneapolis, MN
  • Everything is everything. Everybody does all. Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Eye Works, Philadelphia PA
  • In our office, no one person has one job. Every person has the full capacity to do at least two (mostly three jobs). Opticians can file insurance or cut lenses and do repairs/adjustments. Technicians can book appointments, order contacts, scribe and special tests. This ingraftsour family to ensure everyone is and can be helped. If someone is overloaded or absent, the machine still runs. Blake Hutto, OD, Family Vision Care, Alma, GA
  • During busy times in a small office, having an available staff member help a patient is paramount in offering the customer service we strive for. Karen Santos McCloud, OD, Hamburg Vision Center, Lexington, KY
  • We cross-train in numerous ways, but the big one is this: Everyone on our staff is able to fit, measure, dispense, and sell glasses. Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Just being able to jump in to help another department when overwhelmed. Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • It works well when a staff member calls in sick, we are each able to cover for the other. Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • We are a small office. We all do a little bit of everything. I actually want to strengthen our cross training even more. There are a lot of things I do that no one else knows how to do, and if I got hit by a bus it could get tough! Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • I have a small staff so a certain amount of cross training is necessary. Expertise is still required in your given title and I like to be able to train a specific person on their specific position so we can grow and take care of our patients the best way possible. Shimul Shah, OD, Marysville Family Vision, Marysville, OH
  • With cross-trained staff, we can stay open during lunch time for pick-ups and new orders. Our opticians can run the front desk and our administrative staff can handle small repairs and orders. It isn’t always seamless, but hopefully our patients can appreciate our service. Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, PC, Johnson City, TN
  • What I tell our staff is that no one person is better than anyone else. We train all our staff to have the ability to do every day to day task needed to keep the patients and our practice happy. No one person is too good to take out trash or clean, or pre-test or educate a patient on what frame looks and fits the prescription best. All members of the team can advise a patient the reason behind the need for a particular product. It makes it so our patients have less of a wait time and a better overall experience! William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • We do personality and skill testing first to determine if they are a good fit to cross train in that specific department (scribe, stylist optician, claim processor, lab tech, etc.) We use tests like Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC, The Birkman Method, Wealth Dynamics and Sally Hoghead’s Fascinate (we learned about this one at the Transitions Academy in 2016. She was the guest speaker.) We do invest in these tests but some are free. We find this helps train them more efficiently and we know ahead of time if the task or skill they need to learn is congruent with their zone of genius. Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Because we are an independent practice with seven staff members, cross training is vital when we are missing staff due to vacation, illness, staff leaving, etc. Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • All of our staff are cross-trained. We’re a new and very small office. So, all of our staff are trained in every department (optical, contact lens, welcome area, etc.) This way if one of the two employees need a day off, the other can pitch in and not a lose a beat. Shane Clark, Infinity EyeCare, Rapid City, SD
  • We have a small office with three employees. Everyone knows how to pre-test and check-out patients. That’s usually where our bottlenecks occur. Danielle Jackson, OD, Jackson Eye, Fairburn, GA
  • Front desk with insurance, OD tech with optical department. John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • We are a small three-person office so if anyone wants to go on vacation everyone has to be cross trained. We Have an employee follow one of us around for a couple weeks until they can do ok with the new job and then have them fill in every once in a while to keep up the skills. Tammy Hazelett, Wylie Vision Care, Garland, TX
  • We try and teach most employees several parts of the business. For example, our opticians can be our techs as well. Stacey Korte, Rockford Family Eyecare, Rockford, MI
  • It has worked well in all aspects; we are a small office and it is vital that everyone can help in all areas. Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • Smaller practice’s need to be flexible so everyone jumps in when needed. Heather Nagucki, Brodie optometry, Perrysburg, OH
  • We currently have one front desk/receptionist that is cross trained for the tech position, another front desk/receptionist that is also trained as an optician, and a tech who is trained as an optician. Jason Stamper, Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA
  • It really helps cover all aspects of the business during vacation time; anyone can rotate where needed. Kathy Maren, Comb EyeCare & Eyewear, Western Springs, IL
  • At any given point, someone in our office could be busy. This shouldn’t mean that a patient can’t be helped. As a result, we believe in everyone knowing a decent amount of each part of everyone’s job. That way, even if there are some things that can’t be addressed immediately, at least the patient feels as though they are a priority and being attended to. Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Everyone needs to know how to work the front, cut lenses, do lab duties (clean, check, call work, neutralize lenses.) Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Helps. Needful at times. Appreciation of others. T.S. Stephens, OD, Dr. Stephens and Associates, Vienna, WV
  • We try because in this day and age people are gone more and call in more. Likewise it is less affordable to have extra staff so having staff who can cover vital areas at times or on days that the office is short is imperative. Zachary Dirks, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I have five employees: All five can dispense, sell, answer phones, schedule appointments, calculate and bill insurance. One is office manager also. Two of those are CL technicians. One is clerical, although two more are able when she’s out. All trained from the beginning, then then shifted to where their strength lies for the majority of the day. Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • We’re a small practice so I personally pre-test patients, order glasses and CLs, adjust and repair frames, bill insurances, sell product, edge lenses in house, answer phones making appointments and I’m all worn out just talking about it. Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • Telephone conversations, problem patients, training new staff, problem solving. BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • While we do believe in having expertise in specific disciplines for each person, it is important to provide basic training so each person knows a little about each other’s responsibilities. This helps in that: (1) In the event that a person is away another can provide some assistance in a person absence. (2) Team begins to respect the expertise each team member has by knowing “hands on” what another person does. Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • All employees are trained on the phones to schedule appointments and take contact lens orders. This works well because if someone calls, they’re not put on hold. We’ve tried to train the front desk staff to do basic repairs but hasn’t worked well because opportunities are few and far between so they forget how or run into a situation they haven’t been trained on and still need to wait on an optician. Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • While most of our paperwork (recalls, insurance and patient registration) is electronic, pre-testing, OCT, Fundus, Fields and eyewear selection are performed by whoever is available. Eyewear measurements still require an optician. Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Front desk can do dispensing and price with insurances. Tech can do dispensing and show frames optician does all. Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • I wouldn’t ask you to do anything that I wouldn’t do. Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • Too small of an office to just have people special in one area. Jeff Hayden, Vision Care Center, Brighton, MI
  • Opticians answer phones and do check out. Jill Schnurer, Village Eyecare Co., Clarkston, MI
  • I only have two staff members. They have to be able to do each other’s jobs if necessary. Kimberly Riggs OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Cross-training our optometric technician in the matters of insurance eligibility, types of lenses, frame adjustments, etc. It allows her to fill in where necessary if a co-worker is ill or if our office is very busy. Cassandra Nash, HD Optical Express, Lansing, MI
  • Just in case someone’s on vacation or sick. Larry Wiggins, UseeMe, Rockville, MD
  • I am a one-person operation so I have to know how to do everything! Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • We’re a small office so it’s a necessity. Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • In a small office (six staff) we have to cross train because when staff go on vacation or sick, they have to be able to fill in different job titles. Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • My scribe can tech and my tech’s can scribe. Everyone in the office can answer the phone, schedule appointments and answer general questions. We are a small office so cross-training is essential. Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Opticians can pre-test our patients as well as answer phones and make appointments if needed. Theodore Sees, OD, Rockford Family Eyecare, Rockford, MI
  • Two licensed opticians do everything. Front desk can also prescreen patients and occasionally will deliver an Rx if needed. Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Our staff can run the front desk, work up patients frame style and adjust frames. Our intern also learns these important procedures. Robert M Easton, Jr., OD, Oakland Park, FL
  • Sales should know data entry and select staff is chosen for duties like ordering frames/lenses and insurance submission. We will see who’s able to be cross trained to do particular side work. Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • I have my office manager work on occasion in the vision therapy arena. There are times where my vision therapist has taken over some office clerical duties. Everyone works the optical area. Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • We are a small five-person staff (plus 1 doctor) office and so being able to be out front, do auxiliary testing, and work with issues on glasses is essential to our success. Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • We train our clinical staff to help patient select eyewear. They establish a rapport during the exam process and we feel it translates nicely for when the patient is picking out eyewear. Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • All of my employees are cross-trained. I can’t imagine it working any other way. As a small business owner knowing that I am covered if there is a call-off or vacation time puts my mind at ease. Each employee still has the thing that they are MOST responsible for, but each can pre-test, schedule, sell, and edge lenses. And I, as the doc, can also do ANY job at my office. Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH

 

N0: 14%

  • I’m a one-man shop. Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • It’s me (owner/optician) and a part time secretary. I’m a control freak so I have slowly let her do insurance billing, a little selling, and paperwork but I do the bookkeeping, edging, repairs, selling, adjustments. Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I think this would be a good idea but the size of our company makes it hard for a person to learn and retain that much. Smaller locations of ours we have started to try this and it has been helpful. Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Lancaster, MA
  • We are understaffed and there is no time to cross-train. I help out when needed, but can only do so much. Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • New staff needs to be trained first before we cross train. Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Do You Or Don't You

While the Majority of You Do Not Conduct Working Interviews, Those of You That Do Ensure a Cultural Fit

And many who don’t, haven’t because they are one man shows of boast impressively long staff tenures.

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Yes: 35%

  • We have them answer phones, interact with patients and staff. We like to get a feel of their personality and make sure that they mesh well with the rest of our team. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • It varies; for the most part we want to determine interest and whether or not the candidate feels they can perform the job. Math tests can be important dependent on position as well. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • We have them read a script in Spanish because being bilingual in Spanish/English is required in our practice. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Answering a phone properly, greeting a patient properly, computer software capability, auto lensometry, auto refraction, topography, history taking, and handwriting are all part of the first days of the interviewing process. Our staff has stayed with us 20-30 years. — Robert M Easton, Jr., OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • I’m not looking at the task so much as we are looking at how they interact with the team. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I allow the candidate to shadow a seasoned employee for an hour or so while watching for the way they interact with patients when they walk through the door. Someone who really wants to be with us and has a love for the industry will be easily realized! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • First and foremost, math testing including a written test, and can they make change without batteries. As well as verbal skills, demeanor, and decorum. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Candidates shadow the position for a half day. We are looking for a personality that fits our tight team, and someone who asks thoughtful questions and isn’t afraid to jump in if a patient asks them a question, even if it’s to say, I’m not sure! — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • We ask them to perform simple tasks that relate to what job they will be doing. We’re more interested in judging their personalities though. Skills can be taught and refined. Personality can’t be fixed. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • Service. — Chris Mark, OptiMark, Des Moines, WA
  • The candidate shadows for the day. During this time, we have the candidate assist in the dispensary and the lab. This is a great way to see how the candidate interacts with patients and other employees. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • We ask potential candidate to shadow the position they may be hired to fill to make sure the work actually meets the expectation of the job they think they are applying for. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Work with a potential customer, review frame lines. Personality, professionalism, optical skills. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Perform lensometry, frame adjustments, watch patient interactions and communication. Making sure that they are a right fit for our office culture. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Phones, dispensing, pre-testing. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Ability to communicate with clients clearly and possess great listening skills. — Kate Giroux, MacPherson Opticians, Arlington, VA
  • We want potential new staff members to be immersed in our culture before we bring them on board. It’s so important that someone understands what you do as a brand before you invite them to be on the front lines. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Kind of a working interview … we do a three month trial. At the end of the three months, if things are working out we hire them. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • We feel like we are an office family, so I want to get my entire staff involved. Just spending time with each of my staff helps ensure it’s a good hire. — Kenneth D Boltz, OD, LLC, Dublin, OH
  • We are trying to assess their personalities and if they fit in with our couture. And since most opticians are unlicensed we need to see if they are as qualified as they claim. — Bart Parker, OD, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • Seg heights, PD, fitting glasses, watching the interaction and personality of the interviewee and how they mesh with everyone; pre-testing ability if that is what they are being hired for. — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • I ask them to do the job I am hiring for. I am looking to see how they work with the team and how they interact with clients. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

No: 65%

  • It’s often difficult to make a working interview happen logistically when the person is still otherwise employed. We tend to interview at least twice when we are hiring and it usually gives us a pretty good read on a person. — Katie Gillenwalters, Clifton Park Eye Care Associates, Halfmoon NY
  • If it’s a seasoned optician their resume speaks for themselves. I wouldn’t doubt their abilities. A less experience optician, I would ask questions. Who is Roy G Biv? If they don’t know, they failed. — Rigo Lopez, Gilman&Vorster Optometry, Indio, Ca
  • This business is a one-woman operation we do no interviewing. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • We don’t do working interviews, but we do phone interviews first of all. I’ve been able to weed out candidates based on poor phone skills or poor time management skills, like not answering the phone for a scheduled and confirmed phone interview. — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • They have to “sell” me something in the interview. — Amy Kraemer, Optometric Eye Care Centers, Maplewood, MN
  • We make the candidates go through a couple different interviews and research all their references and past history so by the time we’re ready to make an offer, we have a really good idea of what we’re getting. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • We find ourselves hiring people with more retail experience because it’s hard to find people with optical experience that haven’t been sucked into the Essilor/Luxottica state of mind. So new employees tend to not know how to help in a working interview unless they have some experience in the eyecare industry. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • We’re very fortunate that 3 out of our 4 employees have been with us since we started nearly 10 years ago, and our newest employee has been with us for 5 years. We simply haven’t had to perform many interviews. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Must have Optician license and prior experience. — Texas L. Smith, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I have no employees but if needed to hire, here would definitely be a trial period so we could see if we were compatible to work together, have the same work ethic, treat customers respectfully, have the right optical skills, and are as meticulous as I am. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I haven’t had to hire anyone yet. It’s an interesting concept though. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • We are incredibly fortunate in that our state Department of Labor offices allow local employers to send in a pool of preselected candidates for free skills testing. They administer the tests and then email the results straight to us. We use their Basic Skills test to screen applicants for personal strengths (math, filing, spelling) and for speed at processing. It is an incredible vetting tool — in part because 50 percent of our selected applicants never show the ability or motivation to go take the test. If someone can’t take an hour of their time to complete something that simple, then we don’t want them running more complex systems at our office! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • It has been too hard to coordinate with our busy schedule. Likely should but no longer do. Occasionally we will have the candidate merely job shadow. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I see little value in it. Most mechanical pieces of what we do can be learned. The ability to listen and interact with people successfully can be determined face to face. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • We are a licensed state, so candidates are at times already familiar and they normally have the needed skills because of their license. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Inc., Lancaster, MA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You

Slightly More than Half of You Ask for Patient Reviews Regularly

The rest of you are missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity.

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Yes: 53%

  • Every patient that has a scheduled exam receives a survey via text or email. We love feedback! — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family, Nappanee, IN
  • We send a survey to all of our patients via solution reach after each appointment and they are asked to review us as well. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • We ask through Prime Nexus. — Vivienne Velasco, OD, iFocus Vision Center, Las Vegas, NV
  • We send a text via Weave two hours after their appointment. “Hello, thank you for choosing The Eye Center. It’s our priority to continue providing top-notch service to customers like you. Please leave us a review on google or our Facebook page by clicking the links below. It will only take a minute, but it will make a huge difference to our practice. Thank you!” — Jessika E. Arena, The Eye Center, Asheville, NC
  • I ask in the exam room with a simple, “Has everyone been nice to you today?” or “How has your experience been start to finish?” My words to the patients are “We can think we’re doing everything at our best, but unless we ask, and you let us know (good or bad) we cannot assume.” — Blake Hutto, OD, Family Vision Care, Alma, GA
  • Patients are sent a request for a review survey via e-mail at the end of the day. — Kathy Maren, Combs Eyecare & Eyewear, Western Springs, IL
  • If a patient seems especially happy in our office, we ask them to feel free to review us online. — Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • “If you love us, let the world know!” — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc., Allen Park, MI
  • They receive an email about their experience after they leave. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • We have a sign Google sent us that we display in check out. When they are checking out, we ask them: “How was your experience today at Buena Vista Optical?” If they sound excited and happy, we point to our Google sign and say: “We would be so grateful if you shared your wonderful experience with us on Google. it takes a few seconds and we would be eternally grateful for your feedback.” — Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • We ask them at dispense. They are usually pretty open to the idea. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • All patients are sent recalls, appointment reminders and reviews through Web Systems. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • We have an app called Wombly and also internal incentive program for our employees. — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • We recently posted a small sign because the staff doesn’t like asking for reviews but I do urge the staff to ask our very positive patients for a review on occasion. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • We send an email. Looking forward to some new ideas! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • It’s built into our Weave so that it asks for Google reviews to help boost our SEO. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • When they have found us through a review site, then I well ask them to review us on that site if we did a good job of taking care of their needs. Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • We offer $10 credit to their account per family/household for a Google review. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • If they are happy I ask them to leave a Google review. Yelp is a joke, we have over 60 reviews and they only recommend 13-14. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Online, Social media. — Bryan Hartgrave, Vision Solutions, Lamar, MO
  • We have a sign in our lobby asking them to review us. — David Weber, The Eye Zone, Dallas, TX
  • We send an email from Solution Reach. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • I ask patients how they found us and to write a review where they read reviews about us. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Through an automated follow up email thanking them for coming in and then option to review. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • DemandForce follow-up after a visit or purchase. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Our patient communication system automatically sends a “thank you for your visit” message and then invites patients to answer a brief survey and review our business. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • We use Weave, which sends automatic messages to patients after visits to review us. — Bhumika Patel, OD, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Surveys are text or email a day after their exam. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • When a patient is enthusiastic about the eyecare we provided, we tell them to feel free to 5 Star our office on Yelp. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • We send follow-up texts or emails with a survey and a link to review the office. — Melissa Creath, AAFEC, Lothian, MD
  • We have patients sign in on an iPad, they include their email and cell and are messaged after their appointment for feedback, if they supply, they are asked if they would like to add online. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Just starting to ask people for Google reviews. I’m trying to ask from the chair so I can gauge who has had a good experience. Then we text them the link to our Google review page. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • If I get a comment on our staff customer service or someone who’s learned something from there visit that they have never been told before I ask them to please provide feedback on our social media as well as Google reviews. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • BirdEye Review invitation. — Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Castle Rock, CO
  • At the end of every visit, we ask if the patient was pleased with their experience. Then, we ask if they would provide a review and text them a link. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • We most often ask after doing a repair at no charge or after a follow up adjustment. Many patients will say “What do I owe you?” and we will typically respond, nothing at all but if you find the time to leave us a review on Google or Facebook, we would love that! — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Just ask when the patient is at a wow moment, or when they complement something, then send them a link right then. — Elizabeth Atkinson, Atkinson Eye Care, Algonquin, IL
  • We use 4PatientCare to evaluate their experience, and those who rate us well are prompted to review us on Google. — Andrew Romeril, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • We DO ask customers for reviews. It is a numbers game. You simply must ask. Happy customers do not write reviews. Everyone uses reviews but few write them, you must ask and it must be sincere. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Automated by SolutionReach. — Jeffrey Safarik, OD, Newport Mesa Optometry, Costa Mesa, CA
  • Automated system send review requests. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • We highlight a line at the bottom of our receipts that asks people to review us on Google. We also will ask clients that came to us from finding us via Yelp or Google if they’re interested in being the next great review. Just a little push in the right direction. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • If you had a great experience please refer friends and give us a Yelp! — Paul Super, The Eyesite Optometric, Los Angeles, CA
  • We send them a survey a day after their visit. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • 4PatientCare emails patients a very brief survey after they have a service or make a purchase. If the patient rates us very high, 4PC invites them to leave a Google review. We’ve received 180 4 or 5 star reviews in the past 12 months. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • If a patient mentions that they love our office, we ask them to review our business. — Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, PC, Johnson City, TN
  • Post exam text. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Anyone looking for a new doctor or optical shop will first look to reviews. That is the new norm. Good reviews are awesome, but even bad ones can be a learning experience. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Emails are send and if a patient responds the info is shared with the whole staff. — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY

No: 47%

  • Most of our patients are not frequent Internet users. — Annie Thompson, Lawrence Eye Care Optical, Lawrence, KS
  • We do occasionally. Right now, we are focusing on Lasik success stories. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eyecare, Lancaster, MA
  • It puts people off. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Occasionally, we fall short on this area. We do need to do more of this. When our patients are happy we should always ask to let others know. — Becki Martin, Harrington Vision Center II, Florence, SC
  • I want the customers to do a review if they feel they want to on their own I don’t want to pressure them. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Presently having issues with inaccurate directory listings for the practice. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • I really ought to start. There’s nothing like a good review to make you feel good about what we do each day. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • We should, but we just haven’t gotten into the habit of asking. It’s on ‘the list…’ along with a hundred other things we’re trying to implement. — Katie Root, Latham Family Vision, Latham, NY
  • Because I can’t get anyone to ask. Need to find a reward system. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I get reviews on Google and Facebook all the time. When a customer walks in and says, “Hey they were just talking about your shop at the bank…” I know I don’t need to beg for reviews. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • We do, but it’s sporadic at best. It consists of someone on staff remembering to verbally ask a happy patient to “remember to leave us a review online!” And they usually don’t. Overall, we like that our online reviews are a little thinner, because they don’t look fake. Not like when folks try to “mill out” reviews through one of those follow-up systems (that basically spam people). — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Don’t want to put them on the spot. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • We don’t and I am not sure why. — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • We aren’t quite to the technological age yet. — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC

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Do You Or Don't You

One Third of You Offer Same-Day Service

Many of the rest would like to offer it.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Do you or don’t you offer
 same-day service?

Yes: 32%

  • It’s an occasional “yes” if we have the lenses in stock. I’d love to do it more often but that’s not in the cards. It’s great because you don’t have to order, then call, then dispense. It’s all done in one day. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Very minimal same day options. It works for emergency situations.— Todd Lapointe, VIP EYES, Portland, ME
  • Unfortunately, not exams unless it is an emergency, however we provide same day service for single vision and customers enjoy it very much. — Monika Marczak OD, Eye Candy Optical Center, McMurray, PA
  • We stock Zeiss SV poly UV with DuraVision Platinum AR for in-house edging jobs. Patients love not having to wait a few days. They’re happy coming back later in the day or waiting 20 minutes while we make them. I used to work in LensCrafters way back in the day and understand the power of instant gratification. Often patients will purchase upgrades to get their glasses done the same day. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care, Hackensack, NJ
  • We offer same day service on in stock single vision jobs, which has also boosted profitability by allowing us to offer 30-minute package deals on stock lenses. — Gregory Williams, Arboretum Vision Care, Austin, TX
  • Only SV poly with/without AR. Most work out well. Thinking of expanding stock ranges. — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • We use “same day glasses” in our SEO and get calls weekly. Also, Spring Break is huge with our same day service especially for parents that have their kids boarding in college and want to get their glasses before they go back to school. We have found this to be a pattern every year with certain families. Also, a lot of chain stores have closed their labs which makes us even more unique. — Diana Canto-Sims, La Vida Eyewear, Chicago, IL
  • We do not advertise that we can do same day service. It really wows the patient when you can deliver that quickly without sacrificing any quality. — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Stockbridge, GA
  • In cases where patients are in a hurry it is great, however most patients are more than happy to wait for glasses that cannot be finished in an hour. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • On single vision and only if needed. We explain the differences between stock lenses and surfaced lenses; fast lenses and great lenses. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Works well when someone is in a pinch. Other than that, we don’t advertise it. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Great for single vision. — Paul Pascarella, Pascarella Eye Care & Contact Lenses, Newtown, PA
  • It’s been a game changer for us. And it’s often a trigger to push people to buy when they are iffy. Our customers also enjoy coming into our lab to see how the edger works and a little bit of what goes into their glasses. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • For single vision, we have lots in stock, but we don’t surface. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Having the ability to edge lenses in-house has made many of our patients ecstatic! Sending a -6.00 or +4.00 out the door with new lenses the same day is a great assist to have. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Same day emergency eyecare but not eyewear. I feel that same day eyewear makes people automatically associate it with “cheaper.” I like the convenience for people but I would not advertise it per se. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • We only do it on a limited basis to help our clients out of difficult situations. It is very hard to maintain a full inventory of lens blanks to use. — Deborah Bosner, Northwest EyeCare Professionals, Columbus, OH
  • It works great for people who lost, or broke, their glasses. I only have single vision available same day. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Speed kills. You simply MUST offer same day service on SV RX’s in this day and age. The world is changing quickly. People have “Amazon” delivery expectations on everything these days. Telling people to wait a week for SV glasses is a thing of the past. We can make a pair of SV glasses within 15 minutes and we do! Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • It’s working great. Our patients get very excited when we tell them your glasses will be ready in an hour. — Bhumika Patel, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Not many takers, mainly insurance. — Jeff Hayden, Vision Care Center, Brighton, MI
  • We were the first one hour optical in Tennessee. Still going strong. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • It has always been great for us because we have central lab. — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • We only offer it if someone is in a pinch. They’re always very grateful. — Erin, 3 for 1 Glasses, St. Catharines, ON, Canada

No: 68%

  • We customize everything. I’ve never had anything that I have purchased that was customized be given to me on the same day. Seems very unrealistic. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Never. — Susan Frein, Ames Eye Care, Ankeny, IA
  • We have an edger we just aren’t using it as no one is trained. Patients don’t really complain about turnaround time when we send to the labs. — Maureen Garbis, Compass Eyecare, Oak Park, IL
  • I’m going to add it. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • We’d like to offer same-day service, but we don’t have the equipment, space or staffing to do so. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • We don’t have the time, space, or staff. — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • If we have the lenses in stock we offer same-day service. If we don’t have the lenses, there’s no way to offer it. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Nice idea for cities. Bad idea for small towns and folks who don’t play the vision insurance “game.” — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • I have a fabulous lab in Cherry Optical! — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • I couldn’t offer the same quality! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • We have same day but we don’t offer it since we don’t have a lab tech. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • We don’t advertise it, but we do offer it in emergencies, i.e. patients losing or breaking glasses, etc. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • We do not have an onsite lab. Quality takes time. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • We promise to spend MORE than one hour on your glasses. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I would like to offer same-day service. It’s something that I will consider in the future, but right now my customers have no issue waiting a couple of days. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • With so many vision plans, I feel the ROI would take years to recoup! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Would like to, don’t have the staff for it right now. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • We have, in the past, housed a lens inventory but in the end we’re left with a bunch of lenses that were never used. Stock lenses can be overnight if an urgent pair is needed. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Lancaster, MA
  • Would not be opposed to it. — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • Waiting to years end to see if it makes financial sense. — Sherry Berry, Eye Against Eye & Ardmore Eye Care, Ardmore, PA
  • We take walk-ins for exams and keep contact lenses in stock for same day pick up. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • It’s a plus if you can, but I wouldn’t promise it. — Rigo Lopez, Gilman & Vorster Optometry, Indio, CA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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