Designing an Optical Dispensary with work flow in mind is critical as it can significantly impact the overall patient experience.
We help Optometric business owners achieve positive workflow by making sure of several key points:
Location and look of check-in area
The Check-in area must be easy to approach. Clients don’t want to walk through a maze to get there
We often recommend either a secondary Adjustment station or area for quick pick up. Clients are often coming in to see the optician only or to pick up frames. By keeping a separate lane or area altogether, those clients know they can get in and out faster and they can be taken care of by the optician. And the Optician knows he or she can see their clients directly to make any changes, adjustments, etc.
Clients who are checking in are going to move to the waiting area next. Deciding on the size and layout of the waiting area is important. Again, clients need to feel comfortable. No one wants to be sitting on top of each other yet space needs to be used wisely.
Secondly, location of the waiting area is important. Not just for work flow but for sales. Clients should be able to view eyewear from the waiting area. They should be enticed to walk away from the waiting area and check out the frame selection. This not only increases sales, but gives the client more “me time” to look at the frame offerings and hopefully see ones they like and want to come back to.
Location of dispensing tables
Dispensing tables are the at the opposite end of the work flow. While check in and waiting are at the beginning of the client experience, the dispensing tables for the choice of frames and fittings come at the end. It’s important for the tables and chairs to be welcoming and comfortable.
Dispensing tables must be situated to give some feel of privacy to the client. As with the waiting room chairs, they should not be too close together and they should not cut off access to the frame displays. Clients want to feel as if they have the Optician’s full attention without others in their space.
The displays themselves
Displays should be inviting. Clients should want to look at the frames on them.
Displays should not be too crowded. Clients should not feel overwhelmed by the frame selection.
Displays should be easy for the Optician and office staff to maintain and clean – messy and dirty displays are not welcoming.
Displays should take into account the populations they are serving. We have light boxes and poster holders where we create the “art work” for them. It is important that pictures of people wearing the eyeglasses and sunglasses look like the customers who come in. This adds to the sense of ease and comfort for the clients.
Eyewear should be easy for Opticians and/or customers to get to. Most of the time clients have direct access to eyewear. However, for certain frames or in certain locations, the Optometric office may prefer to have locking displays or even displays that are behind the counter. These displays must be easy for the Optician to unlock so that they can service their customers quickly and efficiently.