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Special Feature: Love All, Serve All

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Special Feature: Love All, Serve All

 

Q: WHAT’S THE BEST SOURCE
OF NEW BUSINESS FOR ANY
EYECARE PROFESSIONAL?

 

A: YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS. Think about it: By pleasing the
people who are already coming to you for eyecare and eyewear, you’re
keeping them happy — and they’re much more likely to recommend you
to their family and friends.
That’s especially true for your Raving Fans. As Ken Blanchard and
Sheldon Bowles wrote in the best-selling business book of that name,
customer service is generally so lackluster that people rarely expect much
more than mediocrity — and they’re extra-wowed when they encounter
businesses that deliver more than that pitiful baseline.
We asked our Brain Squad members to tell us about instances where
they went out of their way (sometimes far, far out of their way) to deliver
rave-worthy service. We got too many great stories to print, though we
enjoyed reading them all. Here’s a selection to inspire you.


1

FIRST PAIR
Remember the viral video
going around about the little
girl who’d just gotten her first glasses?
Julie Uram of Optical Oasis in
Jupiter, FL, has had that experience,
too. Uram says she’s “old school”
and regularly delivers eyewear to
nursing homes, meets clients after
hours … “whatever I need to do to
make my customer happy. I did once
drop a pair of glasses to a young boy
at his school. It was his first pair.
When he put them on, his eyes lit up
and he got a huge smile on his face.
He didn’t know what he’d been missing.
It still brings tears to my eyes.
What a great feeling.”

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2

UP FOR
THE CHALLENGE
Tamara Walker of Eyepolis in
Homestead, PA, says, “I used
to have a customer, a paraplegic, who
would come in for glasses. She communicated
with a light pen attached
to her specs, which she pointed at a
computer alpha tablet on her wheelchair
table. She was always all done
up, hair and makeup. The other opticians
were really intimidated by all of
the ‘technology,’ so she became my
client. She was always a blast, super
happy, but a challenge. Finding a pair
of eyewear that fit her style and accommodated
her light pen sometimes
took hours … but it was totally
worth it.”

3

NO HEADACHE
Like most ECPs, Deanna
Gusk of Cambridge Eye Associates
in Cambridge, MN, likes her
Sundays. But she heard from a friend
of a friend whose son, home from
college, had been suffering severe
migraines. His doctor recommended
that he have an eye exam and it
turned out he had astigmatism and
needed help right away or he’d have
to delay his return to school in Missouri.
“I mentioned to my friend that
I’d be happy to help on the only day
that worked for the patient … Sunday!
He met me, picked out an awesome
Oakley, I made the Rx and he’s
one headache-free happy camper to
this day!”

4

CURB SERVICE
Paula Hornbeck of Eye Candy
in Delafield, WI, says, “ A customer
ordered a pair of glasses from
us while she was in town. She was
leaving the next day for home many
states away. After she left, I realized I
had forgotten to take her PD. I met
her at the drop-off area of the airport
40 miles from the store with my pupilometer
the next day and took her
PD just before she flew out of town.
She was thrilled with my extra effort
and loved her new glasses when she
got them.”

5

BE OUR GUEST
Dr. Mark Perry of Vision
Health Institute in Orlando,
FL, recalls a time when a fellow Vision
Source doctor from Oregon
called “to ask if it would be possible
to give a patient of his a pair of trial
contact lenses because she had lost
her only pair while here in Orlando. I
personally delivered the CL trials to
their hotel 20 miles away. The patient
felt like a VIP, the Oregon doctor
was pleased that he was able to
solve his patient’s dilemma and I was
more than happy to help.”

6

CONNECTING
THE DOTS
Todd Lapointe of VIP Eyes in
Portland, ME, had an older
patient who developed cancer on the
right side of his head around his ear
lobe. “The cancer spread rapidly and
eventually he had to have his ear
removed. Needless to say, fitting a
pair of eyeglasses to him was pretty
much impossible. We tried everything,
but because the right side of
his head was so tender — and to
avoid any kind of infection — we
weren’t allowed to have any material
touch that side of his head. All this
customer really wanted to do was
read the newspaper in the morning.

“One night, I was sitting at home
and happened to glance at my DVD
collection and saw that one of my
children had pulled out The Matrix,
and it hit me. Perhaps a pair of
‘Morpheus’ glasses would work!”
Lapointe found a dealer for a templefree
frame about an hour’s drive
away, made a Sunday appointment
to fetch the spectacles “and proceeded
to fill a FT-35 prescription for the
customer. I drove it out to his house
upon completion and was able to get
my customer reading the newspaper
that night! He was thrilled! His head
has now healed enough to allow a
strap on his eyeglasses and he does
not wear the ‘Morpheus’ glasses
anymore but for that short window
of time when it seemed like nothing
would work …we found a solution.”
Lapointe doesn’t know whether the
good deed brought any extra benefit
to his business, “but my job as an optician
is pretty simple…help people
see better. And that is what I did.”

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7

FRIENDS IN NEED
Dr. Blake Hutto of Family
Vision Care in Alma, GA, remembers,
“I was referred a young
male patient to fit in a specialty contact
lens due to corneal disease.
When calling to schedule his followup
appointment, he hinted his day
wasn’t going so well.” His staff discovered
his family lost their home to
fire the previous evening. “They
were left without clothes, shoes and
bare necessities. Our office staff and
I went to work immediately contacting
friends and churches and pooling
resources. Within 30 minutes, we
had $700 and five boxes of clothes
for the family of four (who had another
baby on the way). It was a testament
to the service we’re destined
to provide our patients beyond their
visual needs.”

8

HOUSE CALL
Tracy Roberts of Family Eye
Care & Mavor Optical, Caribou,
ME, says, “A few years ago, a
young lady who has been a patient in
our office for many years was in a
tragic car accident in which she lost
her daughter. Her glasses were lost in
the accident, and she was not physically
or mentally able to come in to
choose a new pair of glasses. I scheduled
a time to go to their house, and
brought about 20 pairs of glasses for
her to look at. She chose a pair, and
we rushed the order for her through
the lab and was able to get her the
new glasses within a few days. We
also covered the cost on her new
glasses, and a supply of contact lenses.
We figured the last thing she had
to worry about was how she was
going to pay for her glasses or contact
lenses.”

9

BIG PAYOFF
The customers who drive you
the most crazy can turn out to
be the very ones you most want to
wow. Wendy Salle of Salle Opticians
in Atlanta, GA, tells of a time someone
from South Africa came in to get
some contact lenses. An hour (and
several calls to South Africa) later,
she was able to find lenses for theman, who was leaving town in the
morning, all for $70 worth of contacts
“and we all know how much
profit is in that! He left, came back
later that day with two of his friends,
they started looking at sunglasses, he
told them how nice I had been to
help him. Three Maybachs and two
Shamballa later … $7,000! Sometimes
it pays to do the little stuff.”

10

BE PATIENT
Diana Sims of Buena Vista
Optical in Chicago tells of a
time that a young couple came in 30
minutes before closing. They were
picky and demanding and they had a
hyper 3-year-old in tow. After 20
minutes of leisurely browsing, they
had five pairs of high-end sunglasses
and no decision. Meanwhile, their
little girl was getting feisty and the
couple were ignoring her, so a staff
member sat down to play with her
and share a leftover snack. Another
half hour later, the couple asked Sims
which of three pairs of sunglasses
she’d buy — and she shared why she
liked each of them. In the end, the
couple bought all three pairs … for
$1,680 in cash. Then they bought
Sims the sunglasses she liked most
and tipped her co-worker $100 for
taking care of the little girl.

11

WHATEVER IT TAKES
Josh Bladh of Dr. Taylor Bladh
in Diamond Bar, CA, reports,
“We do sports vision training and
one of our athletes was going
through a slump at the time. So I
texted him and asked if he wanted
me to come out for a couple of days
and do some training with him.
We’re based in SoCal, and the next
series was being played in Philly so I
flew out and met him at the hotel to
do training with him. We didn’t
charge him, just something we did to
help him out. He then batted .350 for
the rest of the season.”

 

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