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Thread: Glasses service center

  1. #1
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Glasses service center

    I was driving along in my car, noticing how important it is to me.

    Glasses are no different. We depend on those things.


    I have a service center for my auto. I take it to the dealer for routine maintenance and repair. I buy new cars there because I like what they carrry.


    There's a parallel, here, somewhere.

    My dealer doesn't let me go over 2000 miles without an oil change because I get the "indicator light". Are we letting our glasses patients get by without their "1 year checkup"? Are we giving them the "free tire rotation when they buy 4 sets of tires"? Are we giving them "road hazard" warranty?

  2. #2
    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Silver Supporter Optical Roy's Avatar
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    Interesting
    Roy W. Jackson, Sr. ABOC

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    Ghost in the OptiMachine Quince's Avatar
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    I try and set an expectation for this while dispensing. I mention free lifetime adjustments and actually have a number of patients that come in just for lens cleanings (mall zombies mostly.) When people are frazzled by the loss of a nosepad or a screw falling out, I find it a good time to use my car analogy. I compare the maintenance of glasses to that of a vehicle- that it is good to bring them in for screw tightening and adjustments regularly and that it is expected to need nosepad replacements over time- kind of like getting service for tires.

    I've heard of mobile glasses services for extremely rural areas, such as Alaska, where an optician will travel to those who need it for such services, but maybe there is a franchise opportunity in there somewhere?

    DRK, I feel like you are on a roll lately with innovative thought. Keep it going!
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quince View Post
    I try and set an expectation for this while dispensing. I mention free lifetime adjustments and actually have a number of patients that come in just for lens cleanings (mall zombies mostly.) When people are frazzled by the loss of a nosepad or a screw falling out, I find it a good time to use my car analogy. I compare the maintenance of glasses to that of a vehicle- that it is good to bring them in for screw tightening and adjustments regularly and that it is expected to need nosepad replacements over time- kind of like getting service for tires.

    I've heard of mobile glasses services for extremely rural areas, such as Alaska, where an optician will travel to those who need it for such services, but maybe there is a franchise opportunity in there somewhere?

    DRK, I feel like you are on a roll lately with innovative thought. Keep it going!
    I want to say don't encourage him, but I love the irreverent humor!

  5. #5
    OptiWizard
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    We have the blessing and curse to be in an area that doesn't have enough Optometrists. We are booking several months out so now when our patients are checking out we schedule them for their next appointment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledzinator View Post
    We have the blessing and curse to be in an area that doesn't have enough Optometrists. We are booking several months out so now when our patients are checking out we schedule them for their next appointment.
    Where is this magical place?

  7. #7
    OptiWizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAICITPO View Post
    Where is this magical place?
    The eastern side of New Mexico.

  8. #8
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    Your intent would, of course, be to help your patients, and maybe help yourself a little by catching little issues before they become bigger issues. But there are some patients who will think they smell sales opportunity creation. You can't blame them, we all get free offers that mask commercial intent. My car dealer's service department always does a "free inspection" that argues for more spending. There are cynics everywhere.

  9. #9
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I know. Ever go to Jiffy Lube or somesuch? You get a nice service, and they give you a nice list of things you may need.

    Same with a routine exam. You get a nice checkup, and you get the list of things you need.

    Why not the same with a "free glasses checkup"?

  10. #10
    Ghost in the OptiMachine Quince's Avatar
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    So, we don't market ourselves this way (because we do NO marketing) but I've come to realize my office is used as a Glasses Service Center. We are an independent optical with a good relationship with the doc next door (not at all locations.) People come in looking for service, parts, or repairs (sound familiar?) and often charged little, if at all (depends on the optician.)

    The profit margin for a service center only, would only work if all competitors, like myself, refused to service glasses not from my own optical. Otherwise, why would you pay someone to do something you can get done for free? As a service center, there would need to be another source of revenue or the charge for simple services would be to high to capture anyone...

    That being said- there are definitely things my office isn't equip to do that could be offered, such as, but not limited to:

    *soldering
    *spring hinge repair
    *engraving on frames
    *successful application of those stupid Ray Ban crimp nosepads
    *and much much more!

    There is potential in here somewhere...
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    In general, we all used to be "service centers" but the eyecare Mafia and the lack of talent killed that business model.

  12. #12
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Well, maybe that and "cheap glasses".

    Who gets their shoes re-soled, these days? (Maybe cowboy boots.)

    But I think the idea is still a good one. "You depend on your glasses--you need us to help."

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    <"You depend on your glasses--you need us to help.">

    May I suggest a slight tweek?

    You depend on your glasses--you can depend on us to service them

    There is a thread somewhere where the late Chris (OMG I have forgotten his last name, so sorry) were bating around the idea of setting up kiosks to service on line glasses, for a fee of course.

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    Chris Ryser

    Sorry about that

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I like it, Mike!

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    Do we expand on this? You depend on your eyes, you can depend on us to service them.

    Would this be more conducive to the public then 'get an eye exam or you will go blind'? I have always thought that mechanics do the same sort of thing we do. Take a history, run diagnostic testing, develop a plan to fix a problem or make sure a problem does not happen.

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    I was a board member of the OLA and latter a member of the Lab division of the VCA now named The Vision Council. I can remember three programs developed that fit DRK’s thoughts…
    “Check Yearly, See Clearly.”
    “Think about Your Eyes.”
    “The one-minute difference”
    The first two had millions of impressions in multiple media outlets albeit the Covid 19 put a dent into TAYE. I’m retired now but still think the Vision Council is way underutilized. Reach out to them and see the tools they offer.

  18. #18
    OptiBoard Professional KrystleClear's Avatar
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    I really like this approach.

    For the exam side of things, we schedule up to a year in advance for future appointments so that patients don't fall through the cracks. Anyone who refuses to schedule their next appointment is put on a recall list.

    We have a lot of patients who bring their glasses in for a "tune up," even though they need no adjustments or repair. I will change their nosepads, tighten screws, and give them a spa day in the ultra-sonic cleaner (the glasses, not the patients - it's not that big!). It's a good opportunity to build a relationship with your customers/patient base and forge patient loyalty. If they apologize for "bothering" me, I correct them - it's my job and I am happy to do it! (There are those neurotic patients, though...) This is our edge over buying glasses online or going to a big box optical. I have heard of some big box shops charging for nosepads or adjustments on glasses they made and sold.

    I would love to learn to solder because I get many requests and with a more geriatric patient base, we see a lot of long discontinued frames come through the optical. Of course, we want to sell frames but soldering could be potentially worthwhile too. Just have to convince the MD to buy me a kit and teach myself how to do it.

    I am going to start letting my patients know during the dispense that we do free lifetime adjustments.
    Krystle

  19. #19
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrystleClear View Post

    I am going to start letting my patients know during the dispense that we do free lifetime adjustments.
    What happens when a 5+ year old discontinued metal or zyl frame splits or breaks during one of your free lifetime adjustments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    What happens when a 5+ year old discontinued metal or zyl frame splits or breaks during one of your free lifetime adjustments?
    Probably the same thing that happens any time a frame breaks? How would this situation be any different?

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    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill212 View Post
    Probably the same thing that happens any time a frame breaks? How would this situation be any different?
    I think it's an implied warranty if you break it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    I think it's an implied warranty if you break it.
    Well I guess we will disagree there. I don't see how complimentary adjustments correlates to unlimited warranties. What do you do when someone brings you a 5 year old frame, refuse to adjust it?!?

  23. #23
    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    I think it's an implied warranty if you break it.
    I'll adjust anything anyone wants me to, but the patient gets warned that if they break I'm not responsible.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

  24. #24
    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    I like the service center idea as well. Servicing at a dealership is partially to make some incremental income off the service, but I imagine the real purpose is to maintain connection with the customer, increase number of interactions, and at each visit plant the seeds for additional or future sales. I've been kicking around ideas about this recently, haven't implemented anything but here are my thoughts.

    One could offer a complete eyewear maintenance or reconditioning package, which includes ultrasonic bath, inspect for any frames and or lens damage, replace/tighten screws, sealant over screw tops if they are chronically loosening, replace nose pads, oil hinges, and of course refitting. Complete package $49 for anyone anytime, but included complimentary within 1 year of complete pair purchase. I imaging a lot of people will make it a point to get in for that maintenance to get their "freebie". Send recall notices after 6 months reminding them and inviting them to make an appointment for the eyewear service. The visit is opportunity to review the customer's eye care needs and make sure they are getting what they need. At their exam perhaps they were prescribed progressives, sunglasses, and computer glasses, but at the time they were only prepared to do 2 of the 3. At their maintenance visit one could go over the needs and see if they would like to address the unfilled presciption.

    I think such a visit provides a straightforward benefit to the customer in the maintenance, improves customer loyalty by keeping us in their brains for more than one visit per year and demonstrating that the annual visit isn't purely transactional and we want to provide support and followup, and gives us an opportunity to review and remind them of their needs before they inevitably forget about everything a year later. Just gotta figure how to fit the potentially several hours a week of extra time and labor into an already full schedule...
    Last edited by DanLiv; 06-16-2021 at 02:14 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    I think it's an implied warranty if you break it.
    Interesting take. I'll tell a little story...

    I am one of, if not 'The' local miracle repair guy... Short of soldering (there's another guy who does that and does it well) I'm the guy many of the rest of the chain stores and/or fancy Dr's offices send people to to do the work they can't. Once upon a time not long ago I had someone come in with a truly disgusting old POS pair of glasses needing, well, everything. I explain that I'll do the best I can to twist them back into wearable shape but it's well past time to consider replacing them. While explaining such, I mention that I'm going to be as careful as possible to not do any damage while trying to help... The customer says "Well, you'd better be careful because if you break them, you owe me a brand new replacement!". I laughed a little, stopped working on them and handed the glasses back. I explained "If you think you can bring in a pair of glasses this old, and in this bad of shape for me to work on for FREE and then threaten me with replacing with new if something goes wrong, then I'm not interested in working on them."

    Now, with all that being said.... bad stuff happens. I have broken stuff while attempting a repair and I use a individual situation based solution.... Read the situation, read the customer. Do your level best to make it right and you'll almost never end up in a mess. And, if your communication is what it **should** be though the whole process, you rarely end up in that mess.

    And, while I'm rambling... I think the idea of glasses needing service is a no brainer. I explain to each customer as they're leaving... "Please don't hesitate to come back if you have any issues at all with your glasses"... and I MEAN it. You take care of your customers, they'll take care of you.

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