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Extra Little Touches ECPs Have Added to Boost the Experience of Visiting Their Business

BUZZ SESSION: Going above and beyond is no longer remarkable … it’s expected.

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Question

What have you done to boost the experience of visiting your business — and how successful was it?

  • I’m big on keeping frame styles, particularly women’s styles, up to date to stay on top of what’s trending. Of course, what’s trending in our small town is probably long gone in LA or NYC but it has been very successful. That has been part of the increased business. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Every patient is greeted by name. 2. Since opening during the pandemic, we have streamlined our schedule to limit waiting times. Patients have expressed appreciation of this. — Rita Ellent, OD, The Gardens Eye Care, Forest Hills, NY
  • Word of mouth, we use a referral program where both the person who did the referring AND the person who came in receive a discount. Very successful. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Current online comments reflect patient satisfaction and appreciation for COVID protocol, overall patient experience. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Customer service is always our number one goal. Our friendly staff is something we take great pride in and sharing a smile is always successful. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • My shop is very unique not the traditional optical I have sand on the floor, a waterfall, and a cheeky hut roof above my displays. I think customers come not only for the appeal of the shop but because of me. My business is a reflection of my personality and when I wait on my customers we often become friends. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Starts with associate training. And quietly observing them to ensure follow through. Each optician has to make the patient feel absolutely and genuinely welcome. What helped during COVID and is now ongoing is scheduling patients for all sales, adjustments, and repairs. This gives them the dedicated time to take care of them and it has paid off wonderfully for the patients and the opticians. — Chris Dudley, Independent Optician, Central FL
  • We are updating things in our office. Currently adding a TV more for marketing purposes. — Sherry Morgan, Logan Eye Care, Lake Mary, FL
  • Timing. We make sure our doctors are efficient and always on time. — Heather Aites, Family Vision Center, Westminster, CO
  • We always make it a pleasurable experience at our shop … never charging for minor repairs, nose pads, adjustments, or spare cases, even for people who are not our patients. We’ve found that this has given us a local edge to other businesses that nickel and dime patients constantly. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Schedule ALL visits to the office in an effort to keep the number of patients to a minimum. easier to maintain social distancing and proper cleaning of the office. Patients appreciate the effort. — Sonja Franklin, OD, Modern Eyes, Austin, TX
  • We hang original artworks all through the space. Customers enjoy coming to see the new pieces or viewing the art while they wait. We also get new customers who come to purchase the art they saw online and find their favorite new eyewear as well. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • We have a temperature check wall mount so the staff doesn’t have to come around their desk to check people when they enter. It signals a normal or high temperature with a sound. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Take a lesson from urban planning: make parks and green spaces where there aren’t any. For many years we’ve grown 6-foot-tall sunflowers at one location right on the edge of a sidewalk/biking path. It is selfie-central for the general public. We have yellow bench swings at two of our locations — where people stop and chat with friends, take pictures of their kids, or just take a breather — right in front of our business. One of the benches is set in a pretty little garden with stone path. We just planted a flower-bulb garden at our third location and a meandering stone path to our front door and people just love it. Never underestimate the power of nature and beauty. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • We are super friendly and honest. It’s hard to make the experience better than that. But we do have a candy jar to make it sweeter! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I put a scented warmer close to the entrance. This month it has a warm vanilla cookie scent. I think it makes people stay a bit longer. — Star Taylor, Richens Eye Center, St George, UT
  • We are known for having unique eyewear that you can’t find within at least 100 miles so when we get an especially unique piece we highlight it on social media and they typically don’t last long. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Simply ask: “What brings you in today?” Keep asking open ended questions like ” How do your eyes feel?” to help educate patients on the scope of what you treat. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center For Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • We have a lot of word of mouth and people coming based on the online reviews. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • We have an online video tour of our office so patients are familiar with our office. We have a lot of new patients that have come to our office after having seen us online and also online reviews. — Melanie Jenkins, Spring Hill Eyecare, Spring Hill, TN
  • Provide the best customer service period. We also add a new piece of diagnostic equipment each year that tends to “wow” the patients and it’s been very successful. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Since COVID we see patients on the hour which gives us more time to speak to the patient, answer questions, and provide more comprehensive care. Patients notice we are relaxed which in turns puts them at ease. Overall, our patients appear happier and they are spending more. — Robert M. Easton Jr. OD FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • We sanitize everything after each patient, and we train on all of our lines so we can give the patient information as to what makes each line special. — Steve Burek, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • We’ve made our office very spa like and comfortable. — Kathryn Collins, OD, Kissel Eye Care, Lititz, PA
  • Just have understanding; each patient has a story to tell. — Ken Weiner, OD, Livingston, NJ
  • We now have a TV in the optical that we can play different movies on. It gives patients waiting something to entertain them and us moment to breathe between patients. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • We are trying to personalize what has become — due to COVID — a very impersonal experience. Most everyone complains of the lack of personal interactions today. If we can provide an extra smile, or interact at a more personal level, even if from under a mask, we hope people will remember the experience more fondly. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • My whole focus when starting Eye Candy and continuing to this day is to give my customers a wonderful and fun experience! Colorful, interesting displays, great opticians that share their passion for eyewear, fabulous collections, refreshments … FUN! — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Everything is still by appointment. More one on one time with no wait. Best thing ever! — Kristina Jordan, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • Took the staff secret shopping at other stores to compare the experience and recently we added in fresh clean white hand towels instead of paper towels and it classed up the place. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Offered a sunglass sale and complimentary anti-fog cloth with purchase. — Tia Douglass, Harkins Eye Clinic, Grand Island, NE
  • Thank you cards. — Dorothy Reynolds, Eyes on Fairfield, Fairfield CT
  • We are the complete package. A medical office can be professional, kind, friendly, and engaging, while offering great eye health care, accurately made eyewear, and beautiful vision. — Amie Robinson, Spring Hill Eyecare, Spring Hill, TN
  • Stay open late one night. We also have trunk shows for lenses: computer, polarized, safety. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, San Antonio, TX
  • We are trying to make everyone feel safe and comfortable coming to visit our business during these times. We have some many safety precautions in place for staff and customers. It has been successful because business has increased. — Danielle Doniver, Heritage Optical, Detroit, MI
  • We have a watercooler and offer patients that are waiting in rooms or in the waiting area water and also chocolates. We keep our office clean and make sure bathrooms are stocked and cleaned throughout the day. We also give out a lot of the vendor gifts that we get to patients as give-a-ways or just as courtesy gifts. — Caitlin Neal, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Pre-COVID we served each patron a cup of coffee/tea/water and some cookies. People LOVED it; they still ask about it. I hope when we return to a “normal” world we can start doing that again. — Katelyn McDowall, Northside Vision Center, Spokane, WA
  • We have implemented a new software system and are remodeling our optical and front office. The new system has helped billing process and helps us capture more billable dollars. — Miguel Rodriguez, Fava & Maria Eye Associates, Lebanon, PA
  • We’ve really upped our style game over the last few years. In the past we offered candy, coffee etc. but since COVID we have stopped that. It’s encouraging to think about how with restrictions lightening we can re-introduce some of these extra services. — Tiffany Firer, Lifetime Eyecare, Jenison, MI
  • Our review feedback is that our patients love our office because our staff is so very kind, friendly and efficient. We focus on explaining each process to the patient as they go through our office and asking “What else can I do for you?” We consistently go above and beyond to accommodate patients when necessary. It’s very seldom that we have problem patients in our office. — Ann-Marie Weaver, Optimal Eye Care, Lewis Center, OH
  • Showing our patients that we are doing our best to keep them safe during the pandemic. Masks, gloves, and sterilization of all touched frames. And I always finish all exams by asking my patients if they have any questions relating to vision or life in general. — Texas Smith, OD, Dr. Texas Smith and Associates, Citrus Heights, 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.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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