Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff breaks down how to tackle this important month in vision
Our patients look to us as eyecare providers to welcome them into a visually pleasing optical shop that showcases the newest frame styles. Patients want us to provide them with recommendations to meet their individual visual needs and use our expertise in lens fitting and measurements.
As eyecare professionals, we need to focus on exceeding our patients’ experience. Whether it’s introducing a new frame collection or a friendly reorder reminder that takes away some pressure, the patient will greatly benefit from our showing the same level of commitment that we are shown by their continued patronage.
WEEK 1: Rejuvenate Your Selection.
With Vision Expo East taking place later this month, there will be an abundance of new frame styles to refresh your frame boards and excite your staff and customers.
WEEK 1 CHECKLIST
1. Vision Expo occurs this month! To make the most of your trip, ensure you have perused the vendor listings, registered for your CE courses, and set up appointments with the vendors you want to see.
2. Not going to Vision Expo? Don’t miss out on the action. Make sure that you are following @VisionExpo, @EyecareBusinessMagazine, and your favorite EyeStyle influencers on Instagram and Facebook for all of the exciting updates from the show.
3. Now is the time to plan the specifics of your spring trunk show. Start advertising early. Add signage to frame boards that display the brand you will be featuring at the trunk show with the date and time of the event.
WEEK 2: Tidy Up.
Keeping your filing cabinets and paperwork clean and tidy is equally as important as having a clean customer space.
WEEK 2 CHECKLIST
1. Vendor invoice auditing is best done at the beginning of each month when invoices are issued from the previous month. Ensure each invoice is accounted for, charged amounts match statement amounts, and credits are correctly applied. Address discrepancies ASAP, preferably by email for record keeping.
2. Many invoices are now sent electronically. Organize email files with easy-to-search labels for the new year. Periodically back up information on a cloud-based storage server.
3. Email your vendors and confirm there have been no changes to warranty procedures for 2020. Some vendors are changing policies to make the process easier, such as allowing a photo submission of the breakage and not having to send back the broken parts.
WEEK 3: Keep in Contact.
Show your patients the value of seeing an ECP for their contact lenses by keeping an eye on their supply needs.
WEEK 3 CHECKLIST
1. Contact lens suppliers are continuously evolving their portfolio. Schedule training with your reps about the newest styles. Have everyone participate. Often the front-end team is the first point of contact; an informed staff allows for an increased capture rate.
2. Request a list of CL styles that are being phased out from suppliers. Contact patients wearing these lenses and schedule a refit before they run out and can’t reorder what they are accustomed to.
3. With extended ranges and new CL styles arriving, you may have better options: dailies for monthly wearers, toric lens options for patients wearing spherical equivalents, or multifocals for new presbyopes. Create an incentive for patients to come in and switch, like a free fitting or a discount on new styles.
WEEK 4: Spread the Word.
Patients are your best (and least expensive) form of advertising. Give them the forum to share their positive experience.
WEEK 4 CHECKLIST
1. Set up a selfie spot in your optical area. Ensure the space has a uniform backdrop and good lighting. Add your business logo and encourage patients to post photos in their new glasses. *If you post on your social media, be sure to ask for patients’ permission.
2. Ask patients to share their five-star experience on your preferred site for reviews. Add an incentive like a complimentary bottle of cleaning solution for taking the time to review your business.
3. Contact vendors for new product images and social media content. Create your posting calendar, scheduling auto posts to save time in apps like Planoly or Later. Consider matching info about your CL services with posts featuring plano sunglasses or blue light protective glasses, as the two go hand in hand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sheena Taff is a second-generation licensed optician at Roberts & Brown Opticians in Vancouver, Canada. Since becoming the optical boutique boss, she has evolved and grown the business and taken it to new heights. Taff is familiar with the many roles an independent practice owner and employees must undertake and wants to share tips for growing a successful practice.