WALK INTO any ophthalmic office and what do you see? In most cases, there are no big surprises because they all basically have the same things. There’s a front window with a display, a waiting area with chairs and magazines, a receptionist, dispensing tables, hundreds of circles of plastic or metal on the walls in racks (frames of course), a refracting lane or two, an onsite finishing lab, and a storage area. Did I pretty much describe your optical office? Sure I did.
If ECPs can buy the same products and have offices that are essentially the same, what makes one office stand out from others? The differentiating factor, in any business, is the people who work in it.
Think back to an experience where you purchased a product that was really satisfying. I bet one of the main reasons for this was because the person working with you created a memorable customer experience. My wife and I just had one when we bought a new combination printer/copier/ fax/scanner for our home office. The store employee really knew his printer stuff. He asked how we were going to use it, what was important in a printer for us, and he explained the features most valuable to us. He then showed us the printers that met our needs.
Interestingly enough, there is another big-box store right next to the one where we bought the printer that has even more printers on display. We went there first but walked out. What was the difference between the two stores? The person who helped us. This is no trivial concept; it’s the foundation of organizational success. No business will enjoy superior financial success if it doesn’t have the right people doing the right things at the right times. This means that everyone in the offices needs to be carefully chosen for their position. It also means everyone needs to be properly trained so they create a super customer experience for every single patient.
Am I going to be loyal to the big- box store that provided the memorable customer experience? You bet, as long as it continues to do that. Has the other big-box store lost my business? Yup.
Successful offices have learned that in order to make their office stand out in a positive way, they have to ensure that everyone in the office has been properly trained and is providing a memorable experience for everyone who visits. Obtaining this kind of employee performance takes a lot of work, but once the training is done and people start to implement it, it’s contagious.
Remember, when you strip away the furniture and the optical products, what remains is the people—and they are what really make your office successful.
e-mail me at email@example.com