This last week I had my students go out into the real world and look at the service and products being offered in the optical community. Part of their assignment was to ascertain the basics of the practice. Do they do exams? If so, how much? What types of frames do they carry? How much do they cost? What about lenses? And the Big one how was the service? How long did it take someone to greet you? The results were horrifying. Students had to visit three different offices and in all cases they had little to no service in 2/3 of the offices they visited. Most offices were not very busy with times ranging from 10-30 minutes before they were approached. It was hard to get simple information such as what lens materials were available and at what prices. Most office even went as far as to say we only tell you our prices if you’re going to buy something. My question is, Where has the service gone? What happened to greeting someone the moment they walked into your office? What happened to showing off your products and being proud of what you carry? I understand that we all face challenges from other retailers, and offices, but this is our ONE chance to make a good first impression. If we blow it how do we expect this person to come back and give us their business? Here are some of my recommendations for excellent service.
- Greet people as soon as they walk in. (Been to Starbucks lately?)
- Be patient with the person who has questions with no commitment. They might be trying to figure out where to go.
- Be open as to your pricing. Let your expertise do the talking not the price tags.
- Take the opportunity to educate them as if they were already your patient. If they want to comparison shop make sure they are comparing an apple to an apple. (This may require you to know your local competition)
- Thank them for coming in to your office.
Remember people really don’t “window” shop. They need what we have, they just don’t know where to get it yet.
Let’s get back to the basics of service and watch our business grow.