What ever happened to customer service?
I happened to find a “lab form” from an Optometry shop while looking for a local eye doctor. The picture below is from a form provided by said shop stating what services they “will NOT provide” if the customer has a frame bought elsewhere (more specifically, online)
I am not going to “out” this shop but I believe the sentiments shared in this form and by the staff that works at this optometrist are unfortunately very common.
Truth be told, I sold a pair of Sea2See (1) optical frames to a customer who was over 2 hours away from my location. As a licensed optician, I realize the importance of specific measurements so that eyewear works properly. Since this customer was interested in progressive lenses, I suggested he visit his eye doctor (more specifically the optician), to get help fitting his glasses with lenses. His comment was “his local doctor frowned upon helping patients who purchased glasses online.” The form excerpt above was from another office near his home town (not his eye doctor).
Here is the deal. You are either in the business to help people or not. Customers frequent places where they feel welcome, respected and where they are treated honestly. I am a full-service shop. I sell eyeglasses and sunglasses. I repair eyeglasses. I help patients with low vision issues. I could survive just on the lens business I do from clients who come to see me after they are given a hard time by other eye shops because they simply want new lenses but want to use their existing frames to save a few bucks. And let's be honest, the mark up on these frames in many shops is a lot more than a few bucks!
This is a service oriented business. If you are not generating enough business, then get better, get active, get social! There are plenty of people who wear glasses. The reason online retailers exist is that people are tired of spending a nice car payment to get a pair of glasses. If you do what you do well, people will pay for your service and expertise, and you will never run out of customers!
(1) Sea2See eyewear uses 100% recycled sea plastics to make their frames. You can look stylish and help the environment at the same time. Even their case are biodegradable (cork)