Columns If I Owned: Bob Phibbs Published 6 years ago on April 24, 2015 By INVISION Staff Share Tweet Due to keratoconus, I am almost blind in my right eye. I’ve had mostly rotten experiences in optical stores. Usually, I find myself ignored by some girl hanging out behind the counter while I stare at walls of frames, trying to find what might look good on me. That’s probably why I’ve stuck with the same frames for a while. That’s why, if I owned an eyewear store, no matter how big, I’d focus on the customer experience. I’d hire enough staff so that they could handle the rush of customers on a busy Saturday. I’d avoid employees who feel leaving customers alone is good customer service. If they only respond to customers’ requests, I’d fix that. I’d hire for fun and engaging rather than analytical and efficient. Advertisement First, I’d find out how customers like to see themselves. After all, glasses are a chance to start over again and be daring, dashing and decadent. So I’d organize products in such a way that customers could find the frames that fulfill these wishes. The sweet spot in any retail display is the area between the bellybutton and the eyes, so I’d highlight the best products at eye level. Most people don’t want to stoop. Could the castle of display cases be broken up into islands that encourage browsing through different areas of discovery? I’d limit the talk about insurance. And my employees would never ask customers if they had a budget. I would train staff to show customers to the land of bargain-basement misfit frames only as a last resort, no matter what their insurance covers. I’d suggest that customers buy non-prescription eyewear or Lasik surgery gift certificates for friends during the holidays. I’d shop every competitor in my neighborhood as well as every competitor in the largest city I could travel to. Anything that wasn’t up to that par, I’d replace, from merchandise and point-of-sale system to persnickety employees. Most of all, I’d put the human soul back into my operation. I’d train rigorously that you can’t judge a book by its cover. If Mark Zuckerberg walked in the door in his signature hoodie and jeans, my associates would welcome him as much as if Heidi Klum walked in decked out in Prada. That’s because people don’t dress up to go shopping these days. Just because you or your employees may not be able to afford high-end or designer frames doesn’t mean your customer can’t — or won’t — buy them. Advertisement With more than 30 years of experience, Bob Phibbs’ mission is to get people working in retail to approach customers with an open heart, to engage customers’ senses and deliver an exceptional experience. His clients include Brother, Caswell-Massey, Hunter Douglas, LEGO, Omega, Yamaha and Vera Bradley. Visit him at retaildoc.com. Related Topics: click to Comment(Comment) Up Next Why You Need to Be Asking Dumb Questions Don't Miss Barbara Wright: Principle #3: Pyramid Power Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Only Varilux lenses are backed by the patented LiveOptics™ R&D process which tests our lenses on real wearers in real-life conditions to ensure sharper, seamless vision. With Varilux lenses, your patients may even forget they’re wearing glasses. But they’ll never forget it was you who recommended them. SPONSORED BY ESSILOR See Why Choosing Varilux® Matters You may like Promoted Headlines Make Them Yours: Specialty Coatings/Tints North American Coating Laboratories Introducing EssilorLuxottica 360 Essilor American Eyes 2020 — Safilo’s Celebration of U.S. Eye Care Professionals Continues Safilo Advertisement Latest Trending Videos The Big survey2 hours ago Think You’re Having a Bad Day? ECPs Told Us Their Biggest Screwups Best of the Best24 hours ago This Seattle Practice Turned A Muralist Loose On Its Walls — With Stunning Results Photo Gallery2 days ago 19 Images That Will Change the Way You Think About Optical Lighting Press Releases2 days ago Prevent Blindness Declares December as ‘Give the Gift of Sight Month’ Columns4 days ago Increase Medicaid Patient Engagement With 3 Simple Steps Photo Gallery6 days ago Hilary Swank in Silhouette TMA Frames … and More Celebrity Eyewear Picks Headlines3 weeks ago Report: U.S. Vision to Lay Off 299 Workers Headlines3 weeks ago Pennsylvania Expands Optometrists’ Scope of Practice The Big survey1 week ago These 14 Industry Traditions Need to Die, ECPs Say Photo Gallery3 weeks ago Check Out These 17 Eye-Catching Optical Murals Headlines4 weeks ago Video: Florida Man Invents Robot to Place Contact Lenses Headlines4 weeks ago Video: Some Retailers Board Up Due to Election Unrest Fears Headlines1 month ago Video: Car Crashes Into Optometry Office; 4 Taken to Hospital Sponsored Content3 months ago Introducing EssilorLuxottica 360 Sponsored Webinars3 months ago Introducing Varilux® Comfort Max Lenses Advertisement SubscribeBULLETINS Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION. Advertisement Most Popular Photo Gallery6 days ago Hilary Swank in Silhouette TMA Frames … and More Celebrity Eyewear Picks Benchmarks6 days ago How 6 Eyecare Businesses Get the Word Out to the Right People — On a Budget The Big survey5 days ago 35 Time Management Hacks From Your Fellow ECPS The Big survey7 days ago ECPs Share COVID-19’s Life Lessons Products7 days ago 9 Brands That Ensure You’ll Look Good From Your Head to Your Toes Columns4 days ago Increase Medicaid Patient Engagement With 3 Simple Steps The Big survey6 days ago More Than 60% of ECP Businesses Expect Earnings to Fall This Year Mark Hinton1 week ago Are You Effectively Connecting with Patients Before, During and After Their Office Visit?