I work in a community eye care practice. I’ve noticed that many of my patients seem nervous about choosing new glasses. I’d like to make it a fun experience for them. Do you have any tips?

Good question. None of us want our patients to be anxious when they are in our practice. We can make sure that they are as stress-free as possible in the examination room and in the dispensing area.

We can start by making sure we have good, caring, and considerate dispensing staff who are friendly and understand that some people find choosing new glasses stressful.

Some people may be worried about the cost. If they are eligible for insurance or government financial support let them know at the start of the dispensing process. Let them know the exact reduction in cost they are entitled to. Start at the budget end of your range and explain the benefits of more expensive frames and the durability of lenses and additional coatings.

When choosing the frame people are worried about choosing a frame that doesn’t suit them or that is too big or too small or that is the wrong colour. Asking the person lots of questions about shape/style, colour, material, and brand will cause the patient to be overwhelmed. Give them advice about the shape of the frame according to the shape of their face. Help the person choose a color that balances their natural skin tone, eye colour, or hair shade.

Some people want to have advice from a friend or relative so let them. If a friend or relative is in the practice encourage them to help. Leave them to it for a few minutes and then offer to help with the choice. If the friend or relative isn’t there then suggest that the patient comes back on another day with the friend or relative to help with the choice.

Don’t rush and don’t push. Anxious people will make an excuse and leave. Create a relaxed environment in which the person’s interests are your main focus.

The dispensing staff should NEVER be viewed as salespeople. They are educators that provide excellent customer service. Salespeople can only sell. You need more than that to build a prosperous practice.


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