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Learn how the IDOC Select membership helped Dr. Eva Lamendola solve familiar optometry practice management challenges.


Dispensing with flair in independent optometry practices

How should eyeglasses be presented for dispensing?

Picking up a new pair of glasses is exciting for the patient, the anticipation of new, clear lenses and updated beautiful frames. Celebrate with them, make a special event out of it. Prepare goodie bags, with lens care kits, candies, chocolates, surprises, use your imagination and creativity!! Display them on an elegant jewelry tray. Allow them to see the joy you have in your craft.

Imagine the patient’s disappointment, if the glasses come out rolled up in a lab slip, attached with a rubber band and the lenses not free of lab markings, fingerprints or other debris. To your customer, this is not an everyday purchase and should be presented as a high-quality finished product, not something that just came off an assembly line.

Make this a celebration of a great choice, validating their decision to trust your practice with this eyewear purchase.

Here are a few suggestions to add flair to your dispensing method:

  • Plan the presentation theme you want
  • Decide on a budget and shop the craft and/or fabric stores for gift bags and presentation trays
  • Order the travel size cleaning kits to add to the bags
  • Once you have put together the packets, model the new method at your next staff meeting

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The give-away items pictured all cost between $.33 and $1.00. The gift bags were $.62 each, but can be bought in bulk. The trays cost approximately $8.00-$12. You may be able to put them together even less expensively with time to shop around. The adult tray is a jewelry tray from Michael’s Crafts Stores. The kid’s tray is a wood tray with fabric inserts, I wrapped the fabric around a cardboard cut to size.

Additional thought should be put into the following:

* Frames should always be preadjusted and perfectly clean. Leaving markings on the lenses distracts the patient and detracts from the appearance. Markings can always be reapplied if needed.

* Give the patient detailed instructions on care and cleaning of the new eyeglasses. Explain any warrantee they have through you and/or the manufacturer.

* Take this opportunity to ask:

** “Have you thought any more about the sunglasses (computer, hobby, etc.) that we spoke about when you selected these?” (You can even add a sunglass frame to the presentation tray for them to consider.)

** “If you have an FSA, come and see us for that extra pair or the other frames you loved.”

*** “Would you like us to call or email you a reminder?”

** “Would you like to receive notification when a manufacturer comes in to show us the new lines at a trunk show?”

** “We welcome referrals to your family and friends. We can fill any prescription, even those written by other eye doctors.”

** “Please be sure to see us for adjustments or cleaning products.”


Taking this time to make them feel special is a great kindness and leaves them with the best possible final experience in your practice. As important as first impressions are, the feeling they leave with on this visit will be what they remember for a long time. These are the actions that set us apart from the competition.

Your patients will love it!

IDOC's membership plans are designed to help you meet consumer expectations and grow your business. For further information to their benefits, see below. For more content like this, head back to our blog. 

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Patricia Basile

Patricia Basile

Pat Basile has extensive experience in customer service, management and laboratory operations in the optical field. Licensed in Connecticut and certified by the ABO and NCLE, she has worked in both the large chain stores and in private practices. This gives her a unique perspective in knowing the competition and how best to survive the competitive era that we find ourselves in. She firmly believes that the consumer is much better served at the small, independent and caring optical practice, where they deliver more personal attention to the details that are so important to ensure that a great eye exam is followed by providing excellent eyewear. Pat will listen to your concerns, help you identify those things that can be done to bring your practice to the next level. Some of these things may include setting goals, training optical staff, inventory control and product mix.