Managing expectations

It’s the time of year where you take more notice of what kind of customer service you receive

High Street

If you’ve made a start on Christmas shopping, or have been out for dinner and drinks recently, you will have been among larger crowds and spotted the quickened pace of shop assistants and waiting staff.

Our demands and expectations of these busy people become more apparent in the run up to Christmas and we increasingly correlate the service we receive to how much of a good time we’re having.

But what about the demands on the optical practice team?

A practitioner’s actions and the service they deliver makes a difference to a patient’s eye health, as well as their wellbeing.

In OT’s November issue, which will be coming through your letter boxes this weekend, we take a look how practitioners manage and exceed the expectations of patients.

The introduction of a Minor Eye Care Service (MECS) in Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Darlington CCG in 2015 has enabled optometrists to see patients closer to home.

Around 20% of patients who would otherwise have been seen through hospital ophthalmology departments diverted to MECS following the introduction of a referral management scheme.

OT also explored what initiatives have been introduced by practices on the High Street to ensure customer satisfaction and promote loyalty.

Highlighting the importance of the customer experience, head of operations at David Clulow, David Hartley, shared: “By being customer focused, we can not only share our successes, but make sure we are diligent in meeting our customers’ high expectations for service and quality, and ensuring that when we don’t exceed those expectations, we adapt accordingly.”

At Welsh independent, Barnet Pepper Opticians, a loyalty plan was introduced six years ago follow analysis of the business.

Optometrist Iwan Parry told OT: “The loyalty plan and its associated 30% off spectacles was specifically developed as a way of encouraging patients to be loyal and look for their spectacles with us.”

How does your practice ensure patient satisfaction and manage their expectations? Get in touch with me by email.

Image credit: Getty