CUSTOMER SERVICEThink in the Box
Rather than offering patients who purchase three pairs of glasses a discount, the folks at Kenneth D Boltz OD, in Dublin, OH, give them a stylish OYOBox to reinforce the idea of multiple pairs.
SALESDump the Demo Lens
Before you show your next pair of frames to a customer, pop out the lenses, advises Kevin Kretch, owner of Eyes on Chagrin in Woodmere, OH. “Ninety-nine percent of our Rx glasses have anti-glare and most demo lenses do not... Frames look nicer with no lenses at all than with the demos,” he says.
SALESWall of Frame
Matching a frame to a face is an art. Discerning Eye in Iowa City, IA, shows off its successes on its “Wall of Frame” with professional photos of clients “in their fab new eyewear,” says owner Joni Schrup. They also thank customers with a copy.
MERCHANDISINGKnow Your Hot Spots
It’s a rule of merchandising many optical retailers ignore: Place your best sellers where customers are going to see them. It’s something San Diego’s Invision Optometry, our 2017 America’s Finest Optical Retailer winner, is scrupulous about. Says owner Michael Kling, OD: “We strategically place key frame lines in areas which have proven to be the most beneficial to increasing our sales.” Sometimes they’ll limit the number of frames on display to create “the impression of exclusivity.”
Remember: It’s easier to give employees autonomy and freedom than it is to take it away. So, clearly state expectations when employees are new. Let autonomy and flexibility be earned through performance, says Bob Nelson in 365 Ways to Manage Better.
CUSTOMER SERVICEThanks for the Roof-Erral
Charlie Blankenship of The Spectacle Shoppe in St. Paul, MN, keeps dog biscuits on hand for those not infrequent times a customer comes in with pooch-mangled frames. “It adds a bit of humor to the situation but I also believe it gives it a personal touch that stays with the guest … and helps drive word of mouth advertising,” he writes on Daily Optician.
SALESNo More Stone Face
Negotiating tip from Selling Power magazine: Forget the stone face. When a customer balks at your price or asks for a discount, go ahead and cringe. It’ll put them on the defensive and force them to justify the request or offer a concession. Don’t overdo it: you’re not supposed to appear terrified, merely surprised.
MARKETINGMeet the Cool Staff
Now this is how you introduce potential clients to your staff and project a friendly, patient-focused image… The short online staff bios at Accurate Vision in Anchorage, AK, reveal a little of each person’s personality while also coordinating with the store’s design and brand. “The ‘Meet Our Team’ materials are a fantastic invitation to the practice,” noted Brent Zerger, a judge in our recent America’s Finest Optical Retailer contest.
This article originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of INVISION.