Being in a seasonal business our number one challenge is hiring seasonal employees and trying to turn them into skilled opticians in the course of a few weeks. We typically hire before the busy season begins but attempting to train when we have zero customers is always our struggle. Once the season hits it's crazy busy and our one-on-one training opportunities aren't as easy to make happen. By the end of the season the newbies are full of experience and knowledge but the customers are gone. Year after year we see missed opportunities in training but we always strive to provide our clients with the best possible experience. This year we really wanted to focus on the importance of having highly trained opticians and decided to recruit some outside help.
Amy Brandsma is a veteran optician who is actually making a career move into another field but as us eyewear nerds know, it's very easy to get sucked back into optical. Her passion for opticianry is incredible and realizes that the craft of frame styling is becoming a lost art. She brings us a wealth of knowledge and a ton of patience as she transitions into a part time job as our new trainer. Watching Amy geek out with our sales associates as she explains how to visualize what a prescription will look like in a frame is inspiring. We realized we were not challenging our employees by continuing to train them. I have been very surprised to find out some of the things that I assumed our staff understood.
After only a few weeks Amy has been turning our sales people into mini opticians and evolving our experienced ones into elite opticians. We hope that investing in this new position will take the fear out of selling prescription for our new employees and encourage them to continue to educate themselves as they grow with our company. Our goal as a business is to make better, more profitable sales, and create life-long relationships with our great customers. With Amy as a new addition to our team I believe we will be the most prepared we have ever been to kick off the upcoming ski season. I think most opticians would admit they have a little bit of a know-it-all personality but sometimes you just have to suck it up and realize that there may be someone out there that can do a better job than you can do yourself. Not me, of course, but I'm sure there's someone out there that feels that way :)