How to train Millennials to deliver high-quality customer service to baby boomers

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Truth: The Millennials on your staff make or break each patient’s experience and ultimately, your practice’s profibitability. And if you’re like many eye care practices, you rely heavily on staff in the 18-32 age group on your front lines—check-in desk, techs, opticians especially.

First the bad news: Your Millennial staff may not intuitively know how all they need to know about serving your patients who are Baby Boomers and older. They may make mistakes they don’t even understand.

Now the good news: Millennials are eager to sell, make connections, and make processes easier. Most have the personality to provide stellar customer service and increase your practice’s profits. Here’s how to train Millennials high-quality customer service to older patients and how to convert them into optical shop customers.

  • Make ey­­­e contact with customers and greet them with a smile. Greet returning customers by name. This makes customers feel special.
  • Approach customers first. Baby boomers prefer to be approached rather than coming up to you to ask for help. Introduce yourself and ask for their name after you’ve been talking for a while.
  • Keep your work space/customer area clean. Walk into your store the way customers walk in. Remove clutter/trash/anything unsightly.
  • Give customers plenty of opportunities to hold and try on frames. Baby boomers don’t just want to hear about your products or look at them on a tablet/computer; they want to try them out for themselves.
  • Provide fast service. If you have more than one patient waiting, be alert. Who needs to check out? Who is waiting to pick up an order? Who just walked in?
  • Limit your use of “like” and slang terms. Say “yes” instead of “yeah.”
  • Keep small talk with coworkers light and professional. Pleasant exchanges between coworkers demonstrate that your shop is an enjoyable place to work. But venting to coworkers about personal or work-related issues makes customers feel uncomfortable and annoyed.
  • Pay attention to patients’ comfort level. If they can’t stand up for long (or are with someone who can’t stand for long), make sure there’s seating nearby. Bring eyewear options to them. Have water available, too.
  • Mirror your customers’ behavior. If they talk slowly, you talk slowly. If they’re distressed due to an eyewear emergency, empathize with them.

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