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Thread: Optical state of care

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Optical state of care

    Is our industry really getting as poor as it seems? It hurts my heart to see and hear about some of the things "Opticians" are doing, or better yet not doing these days. Just had a lady that drove almost 2 hours because she was told her frames where broke and couldn't be fixed. She called several optical shops asking if they could be fixed, I gave her the standard answer, "Ma'am until I see them I can't say for certain."
    This poor lady, on a fixed income, that's another issue, went to several Optical's and was told, they could sell her new frames, as a last ditch effort she had her sister drive her the 2 hours, for me to spend 5 minutes adjusting and reshaping her frame, that was not broke, for her. She had fell and the screw pulled out of the temple, seen it a thousand times and fixed this issue 9,999 times. Do we not train anymore, is it just about the almighty dollar? Her and her 2 sisters made appointments to come back for exam and glasses. Great service = better patient returns.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  2. #2
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    Terrible. Glad you could fix them for her. Nope... not much training anymore. It really is a sad state. Another thing is a large amount of turn over lately. People aren't there long enough to get trained.

  3. #3
    Ghost in the OptiMachine Quince's Avatar
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    I recently had a gentleman who had been going to a competitor for years. A new puppy did a number on his Oakleys (Lizard? or similar thin metal semi-rim with Trivex Recharge) and they refused to even see him. Told him that because his Rx was expired he needed to start fresh- no option to get him temp glasses at all.

    I told him the same as Roy- I need to see them before I can make any promises. I straightened the metal, restrung both lenses, bent a hinge back, and added new nose pads and temple socks- then didn't charge him. He and his family now come to us exclusively and he spoke about my service to the optical manager at the previous office to tell them why he wasn't coming back.

    We are the few though...
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

  4. #4
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quince View Post
    I recently had a gentleman who had been going to a competitor for years. A new puppy did a number on his Oakleys (Lizard? or similar thin metal semi-rim with Trivex Recharge) and they refused to even see him. Told him that because his Rx was expired he needed to start fresh- no option to get him temp glasses at all.

    I told him the same as Roy- I need to see them before I can make any promises. I straightened the metal, restrung both lenses, bent a hinge back, and added new nose pads and temple socks- then didn't charge him. He and his family now come to us exclusively and he spoke about my service to the optical manager at the previous office to tell them why he wasn't coming back.

    We are the few though...
    The last office I managed has gotten that way and it kills me.

    We are the few, but the many make us look bad, all we can do is wait to prove that there are top notch Opticians among the minions.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    I put a lot of blame on manged care squeezing margins so great service is secondary to sales in order to pay the bills.

    Then there's the internet making glasses a commodity.

    Just try to make a decent profit on current branded frames these days. (Yes---I know non branded can be just as good and cheaper.)
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 03-26-2021 at 10:33 AM. Reason: tweak...

  6. #6
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    My plan is to stay in business by doing everything the exact opposite way as those places. My margins are smaller but I get lifelong clients out of our patients. It can't get much worse than it is. (Narrator: Little did he know it was)

  7. #7
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallboy View Post
    My plan is to stay in business by doing everything the exact opposite way as those places. My margins are smaller but I get lifelong clients out of our patients. It can't get much worse than it is. (Narrator: Little did he know it was)
    I agree.

    I have long time patients who have told me what it costs doesn't matter as long as I am helping them.

    Word of mouth is our only real advertising.

    My motto for the office:

    "We do the ridiculous.
    The impossible takes one more day!"

    Catch phrase:

    "Let us throw a fit on your face!"

  8. #8
    OptiBoard Professional IIxIPariahIxII's Avatar
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    It's really sad to see, but this is more and more commonplace. The squeeze from managed care absolutely impacts the business side for us. But at the same time, a lot of places are focusing more on sales and numbers than patient care. And it's....disappointing. It was one of the biggest reasons why I moved back to independent practice. Help practices focus on patient care and let me sweat the business side of it. It's hard to have the space and time to get someone in on the ground level and train them. Doctors always want someone with some experience so they don't have to worry. And then the big box guys are training them to sell, not to take care of the patients. I tried, and failed, to get a more adequate training regiment and department set up at my last corporate stop. They just didn't want to "waste" the money on it. So we just continue being the superheroes we are, and maybe, somewhere at some point it'll all come back around.

  9. #9
    Rising Star Cat-Eyes's Avatar
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    This thread makes me so happy. Opticians who truly care still exist! Ofcourse we have to make a profit but having a true passion to help people makes a complete difference in patient care. Had a walk-in asking if there was anything I could do to get her lashes away from her lenses. She said she went three places and was told that there was nothing they could do. (minor rx with a full metal frame)..my jaw dropped. Not only do we see her but we see her entire extended family from one simple free adjustment. I was taught that 5 dollars could cost you 500...
    "One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art" - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-Eyes View Post
    This thread makes me so happy. Opticians who truly care still exist! Ofcourse we have to make a profit but having a true passion to help people makes a complete difference in patient care. Had a walk-in asking if there was anything I could do to get her lashes away from her lenses. She said she went three places and was told that there was nothing they could do. (minor rx with a full metal frame)..my jaw dropped. Not only do we see her but we see her entire extended family from one simple free adjustment. I was taught that 5 dollars could cost you 500...
    I would rather sell a $300.00 pair of specs to a patient every year for 20 years than a $600.00 pair and never see them again because they felt pushed. Bonus or not, it's just the right way, and I don't allow any of my opticians to be pushy in sales.
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optical Roy View Post
    I would rather sell a $300.00 pair of specs to a patient every year for 20 years than a $600.00 pair and never see them again because they felt pushed. Bonus or not, it's just the right way, and I don't allow any of my opticians to be pushy in sales.
    +1 100% agree

  12. #12
    Rising Star Cat-Eyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optical Roy View Post
    I would rather sell a $300.00 pair of specs to a patient every year for 20 years than a $600.00 pair and never see them again because they felt pushed. Bonus or not, it's just the right way, and I don't allow any of my opticians to be pushy in sales.
    Absolutely!
    "One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art" - Oscar Wilde

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    People need glasses for a lifetime. You have to be selling a relationship with your patient first, product second.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

  14. #14
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Pay your staff crap wages - get crap staff.
    Don't train your staff on what's truly important to succeed - get crap staff.
    Don't support your staff by expecting unrealistic outcomes because you're a crap employer - get crap staff.
    Require meaningless benchmarks like licensure / ABO etc etc etc - get crap staff.
    Throw your staff under the bus at every opportunity - get crap staff AND crap turnover. Double whammy.

    Surely there's a pattern here....

  15. #15
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    Pay your staff crap wages - get crap staff.
    Don't train your staff on what's truly important to succeed - get crap staff.
    Don't support your staff by expecting unrealistic outcomes because you're a crap employer - get crap staff.
    Require meaningless benchmarks like licensure / ABO etc etc etc - get crap staff.
    Throw your staff under the bus at every opportunity - get crap staff AND crap turnover. Double whammy.



    Surely there's a pattern here....
    Well Crap....
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

  16. #16
    Rising Star OptiBoard Bronze Supporter
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    You have to answer a fundamental question: What kind of business you are in? If you are in a business of selling glasses, then there is Always someone, down the street or on line who will sell it $10 cheaper and you will have to compete against the whole world. If you are in the business of providing Eye Care and eye-care related Services, then you carve a unique niche in your town, in your community and it is a totally different game in terms of what needs to be done and how you carry yourself and what you do and how you treat you clients, etc, etc. You decide what you want to be....:)

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