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Brain Squad

How Do You Do Customer Service?

Brain Squad members share memorable moments in customer care and how they keep their patients coming back.




How Do You Do Customer Service?

Customer service can make or break your business.

Do it right and you’ve got a potential customer for life. Do it wrong and, well, you may never get a second chance.

Last week we revealed how Brain Squad members regard their clientele. The results from a recent survey were straightforward. Out of four choices, nearly 85% selected “The customer is always right… until they are not.”

In that same survey, we followed that question with a request. We asked Brain Squaders for examples of when they went above and beyond to help a customer.

They did not disappoint. Some provided detailed stories. Others chimed in with more general practices. A few detailed their entire customer service agenda.


Here’s a few of our favorites:

(Editor’s Note: Some responses have been edited for brevity or clarity. Also… to see the rest, join the Brain Squad! You get access to survey results before we share them with the world!)

Making Those Adjustments

  • “It is usually the every-day-for-a-week adjustment until it is just right :).” – Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • “Adjusting frames that patients bought online or at another Doctors office.” – Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA

What is money?

  • “I spent over five hours over three appointments with one lady for one pair of glasses. I don’t think it was my wisest financial decision. But she’s happy.” – Kyla Skinner, Specs by Kyla, Atascadero, CA
  • “The amount of times we’ve eaten the cost of a redo (outside of normal parameters) is more than I can count. But to me, the cost of that is nothing compared to what could potentially be an angry patient or negative review.” – Christine Howard, Eyes on Plainville, Plainville, MA

It’s the Simple Things

  • “I found a frame that a patients’ daughters’ lenses fit into while I was waiting on her warranty pair to come in. It may not seem major, but this act of kindness meant the world to her.” – Nick Stubblefeld, Eye Care Avenue, Frisco, TX
  • “Just the little stuff. Over-the-top respect for the elderly – help them up, get the door. No charge replacements for out-of-warranty products for customers and their kids if they are genuine and kind and have minimal disposable income.” – Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Eye Works, Wayne, PA

House Calls

  • “I have delivered contacts to patients’ homes because they are leaving out of town the very next day.” – Sonja Franklin, OD, Modern Eyes, Austin, TX
  • “I have done house calls for a few elderly patients. I have also gone out and done glasses orders for disabled patients in their cars, and a few occasions were in the rain.” – Lindsey Pulford, Insights Eyecare, Manhattan, KS
  • “We’ve remade lenses for free. (We’ve) replaced boxes of contacts lenses and defective contact lenses bought online. I’ve hand-delivered glasses and contacts to people in the area.” – Maureen Garbis, Compass Eyecare, Oak Park, IL
  • “Occasionally we do home deliveries. When we show up at their doorstep to dispense a pair of glasses or contact lenses, the patients have been elated. They are thankful for us taking the time to give them a special delivery.” – Robert M. Easton Jr., OD, Easton Eyecare, Oakland Park, FL
  • “Our opticians have driven an hour away just to dispense glasses for patients. Free of charge.” – Ben Thayil, OD, Lifetime Vision and Eye Care, Miami, FL

Other Calls, too

  • “We had a patient who had been coming to us for years. She was moved into an assisted living facility and could no longer drive. Her glasses needed a major fix, and her CL’s were giving her trouble. The doctor and I went for an optical visit on a Saturday. She cried she was so happy.” – Susan Kantor, Central Phoenix Eyecare, Phoenix, AZ
  • “An out of state patient (not mine) was visiting Disney World but arrived without her contact lenses. Her Vision Source doctor had called my office to see if we could help her. Since I live close to Disney, I delivered trial contact lenses to her hotel and left them at the front desk. I heard from her doctor that she was over-joyed!” – Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • “I’ve made house and hospital calls, coordinated with other offices in town to accommodate our customers, and provide a safe space for all customers. I once hand delivered glasses to a customer in NYC (we’re located in NC) around the time of VEE just so that I could adjust the frames for him.” – Maggie Campbell, Eyes on Trade, Winston Salem, NC

Good Customers Get Rewarded

  • “For pleasant customers, we will go as far as possible to make sure they are satisfied. Even up to swapping frames after they have been dispensed if the request is reasonable.” – Mason Childers, Wiregrass Eyecare of Ozark, Ozark, AL

Bad Customers Get the Door

  • “Once had a couple of patients who were so particular. I spent six hours of an eight-hour workday with them doing adjustments and talking about lens options because they were having trouble with their new lenses. We ended up remaking their glasses multiple times. It became clear they were never going to be satisfied, so we refunded them and went our separate ways.” – Kelsey Bredice, A Proper View, Winston Salem, NC

Great Service, Every Day

Going the Extra Mile

  • “There was a special needs patient who was unable to get a new eye exam. The glasses were broken, and the frame couldn’t be replaced due to it no longer being available. We were able to find a frame to put the lenses into at no charge to the patient. The patient left the office very happy.” – Danielle Doniver, Heritage Optical, Detroit, MI
  • “Answered my phone from the pool on July 4th, and treated a patient with a corneal abrasion with a bandage lens and relieved his pain.” – Patti Richard, OD, Family Eye Care, North Andover, MA
  • “I just called three optical shops in a very remote area to find diagnostic contact lenses for a patient who was vacationing there. He had forgotten his contacts on vacation.” – Deirdre Fogle, OD, Eyetopia Eyecare, Littleton, CO
  • “Recently, I caught myself crawling around on the floor to measure an extremely unusual fit height (for a short PAL for a firefighting helicopter pilot). I told him, “I know how often this carpet gets vacuumed, and I wouldn’t grovel down here on my knees for just anyone!” – Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID

More Than Just Eyes

  • “Listening to a patient and just letting them talk about their life to know where you can fill an unmet need.” – Michael Hawkins, Vision Essentials by Kaiser Permanente, Portland, OR
  • “A patient came in using old crutches that were … really wobbly. I bought her new crutches and “blinged them out” with patterned duct tape and gems. When she came to pick up her new glasses, they were waiting for her. She was so excited!” – Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH

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 our magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



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