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HAVE YOU EVER SAID SOMETHING you immediately regret? Maybe you congratulated a woman on her pregnancy only to find out she isn’t expecting. Or commented to a middle-aged gentleman that he must be very proud of his daughter just to be told the attractive young lady by his side is his girlfriend. Embarrassing surely, but not necessarily bad for your bottom line.

But there are words and phrases that have become all too common in your practice that you need to stop saying. Confused, potentially offended customers with high and misguided expectations are the opposite of the ones we all hope to “wow” in our opticals. We asked eyecare providers to tell the things they wished they could stop saying in their businesses. Do any of these sound familiar?


17 Things You Really Should Stop Saying In Your Eyecare Business

“When did the whole world get so cheap?” — Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Eye Works, Southeastern Pennsylvania

“Giving them an option to pay for their glasses in payments. Always ends in trouble.” — Kristy Smith, Eyeglass Wearhouse, Reynoldsburg, OH

“Saying ‘Sweetie.’ I’m Southern, whaddya want from me? Seriously, do y’all need anything? Sweet tea, some country ham …” — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY

“Your insurance covers $_____ amount.” — Holly Cheong, Eyeoptics Optometry Center, Elk Grove, CA

“When someone comes in and speaks little or no English and I find myself talking louder. They usually don’t understand loud English either!” — Martha Davenport, SafeVision, St. Louis, MO

“‘Don’t do that.’ It doesn’t get results and it can be insulting. Instead by simply rephrasing it into a subtle suggestion of doing something differently it gets more results. This way of thinking has helped me form a bond with our junior optician and has increased her willingness to listen but more importantly learn.” — Sherry Berry, Pascarella Eye Care and Contact Lenses, Newtown, PA

“We are not Costco.” — Sabina Krasnov, i2ioptique, Scottsdale, AZ

“Coating. It should be called a lens treatment.” — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY

“I emphasize how many years I have been in this industry a lot. I feel sometimes it comes across as pretentious, but on the other hand sometimes a patient likes knowing that there is a well-skilled person sitting across the desk from them.” — Julia Castillo, Gregory A. Stainer, M.D., Bakersfield, CA

“Your ‘vision insurance will pay for…” I’m trying to use the term ‘vision benefit plan’ instead, because when a patient hears ‘insurance’ they think it should be free. Uggh!” — Shane Clark, OD, Infinity EyeCare, Rapid City, SD

“I didn’t get these glasses here.” — Ashlie Dorminey, Optical Associates, Valdosta, GA

“‘We don’t care if you can see out of your glasses as long as they look good.’ It always gets a laugh though.” — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA

“AR coating. I should call it non-glare.” — Brenda Smoke, Smoke Vision Care, Buchanan, MI

“Sure, we can rush that order for you … (even though you’ve been toting your Rx around for nine months.)” — Kate Giroux, MacPherson Opticians, Arlington, VA

“We’ve been working on this … ‘vision insurance’ and ‘allowable.’ There is no ‘vision insurance.’ They are discount plans with some benefits, but they don’t insure against anything. ‘Insurance’ gives the patient false expectations about what they are allowed to do and can or can’t get. They have a contribution (not allowance) from their vision discount plan (not insurance). This change in verbiage has helped us a lot.” — John Dovie, Blacksburg Eye Associates, Blacksburg, VA

17 Things You Really Should Stop Saying In Your Eyecare Business

17 Things You Really Should Stop Saying In Your Eyecare Business
Dave Goodrich
Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
17 Things You Really Should Stop Saying In Your Eyecare Business
Kristy Smith
Eyeglass Wearhouse, Reynoldsburg, OH
17 Things You Really Should Stop Saying In Your Eyecare Business
Shane Clark, OD
Infinity EyeCare, Rapid City, SD
17 Things You Really Should Stop Saying In Your Eyecare Business
Brenda Smoke
Smoke Vision Care, Buchanan, MI



Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at [email protected]


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