By Johnna Dukes, ABOC

Having just returned from Vision Expo West with all the excitement that these conferences can bring, I find myself looking at my practice with fresh eyes (pardon the pun) and it is rather amazing some of the small changes that can be made in order to make a big impact. 

Appearances Matter
Upon my return, I looked at my displays to see how my frames were presented and I made a few changes to declutter my display shelves, as I had noticed that when visiting with the vendors at Expo who designed dispensaries, I was most drawn to the designs that appeared to be clean, sleek, and modern.

I also looked around the front desk and noticed that we were accumulating piles of paperwork that could easily be scanned and destroyed. Which led me to the waiting area (or as we call it, the lounge) where I looked through the magazines and noticed we were accumulating too many, so I pared those down, too. I looked through our informational brochures and found some of them to be outdated, and so several of those went away as well. After this exercise I found myself energized and, to be honest, a little proud of how good the space looked.

The funny thing was that I didn’t leave my office prior to Expo thinking anything was wrong with my space at all. In fact, I generally pride myself on how stylish my office is, and I certainly didn’t expect to come back feeling at all critical of it. I suppose this is actually a win when you think that a trip to Expo would allow me to see my space with new eyes.

Products Matter
Of course, part of the fun of Expo is seeing all of the new and exciting frames on the market, but I should tell you that one of the things I enjoyed most was visiting with all of the lens manufacturers to see what their newest products were. I think so many people get caught up in the fun of the frames, we sometimes forget how much fun it can be to solve people’s visual needs with exciting lens options. I like getting to talk to my patients about the newest technologies and to reassure them that I’m keeping on top of what is new in our industry. So I took a look at the lenses I had been offering and I added a few new products to our roster. I find that many of my patients come in after they know I’ve been at one of these conferences to ask about what is new, and I love when I have a lot to discuss with them.

Attitudes Matter
Excitement is contagious, and so is having fun. Which is where I found myself upon my return, refreshed and ready to return to patient care. I can’t understate how important it is to have some fun when working with your patients. Not only for your patient’s sake, but for yours as well. When you have fun, it translates to better patient interactions which allows your patient to remember their visit in your office fondly, which makes it easier for them to comply with your recall wishes and makes them more likely to refer their family and friends to you, too. And while all of those reasons I listed are great, it does even more for you. Having fun and connecting with your patient gives you a deeper feeling of satisfaction when you make them a product that works perfectly for them, and fits them perfectly. They’re excited about it and you’re excited that you did a great job for them, which can help give you a little optical swagger, and what could be better than that?

To learn more about the type of service that keeps patients coming back, check out our CE, Engineering an Experience, at