James Stephany

James Stephany is the Director of Sales here at IcareLabs with an in-depth knowledge of all things optical that can only be gained by decades in the industry in both the lab and retail. He loves educating everyone on the latest and greatest technologies in the optical industry as well as helping practices big and small increase their bottom lines without sacrificing anything for their patients.

Recent Posts

The Power Of Value PALs

Posted by James Stephany on Aug 24, 2020 4:08:47 PM

Selling is simply about having a conversation with a person and helping them improve their lives. What other industry offers a better life improvement than ours? A recent study showed that people prioritized their vision over any other part of their bodies. We would rather lose limbs than vision.

We get to help create better vision for our fellow human beings every day. There are not many better callings than what we get to do. It should be rewarding, easy, and stress-free but we all know it often isn’t. So what can we do to try and keep it simple and not lose the sale?

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Topics: Optical Sales Coach

The Varilux Comfort Max Progressive Lens Launch

Posted by James Stephany on Aug 10, 2020 2:55:01 PM

A few years back Essilor shook things up a bit when they released the Comfort 2. There was a bit of panic that they might have made changes to the #1 selling PAL in history that might have not worked. Years later we all know that the changes made to the Comfort not only worked but worked well.


Back then Essilor looked into the "visual needs" changes that had occurred over the previous 10-15 years. Through this research, Essilor was able to update to venerable Comfort design to meet the needs of our modern patients.


Well, they have done it again with the launch of the Varilux Comfort Max. As our lifestyles continue to change so do the needs of our presbyopic patients.

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Topics: Lens Designs

Customer Experience – What It Is And Why It Matters!

Posted by James Stephany on Jul 7, 2020 3:59:40 PM

Customer experience has become a hot term in the retail world. There are many folks out there making a very good living helping businesses improve their overall customer experience for their customers.

 

With all of this, there are many who still confuse customer experience with customer service. In reality, customer service is just one part of the actual customer experience. There are 6 elements to creating a great customer experience.

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Topics: Optical Sales Coach

What Is Your Optical Capture Rate And Why Is It Important?

Posted by James Stephany on Jun 25, 2020 9:00:00 AM

In January of this year, I posted a blog hoping to draw your attention to 3 important drivers of your business to focus on in 2020. These were capture rate, retention, and increase your average sales price (ASP) per sale.

Who could have foreseen the events that have transpired in our world over the last 5 months? The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken all of us to the core. Most non-essentialbusinesses were closed down for some period of time; many for months.

The optical industry was hit as hard as any. Most offices closed to all but emergency services. Opticals were shuttered or left to just do repairs and adjustments. Overall the industry saw up to an 85% reduction in sales. We are coming back strong but still learning to live in the new normal. While we could debate whether all of this caution was warranted or not, the facts remain, we all lost sales. Increasing your optical capture rate has never been more important than now.

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Topics: Optical Sales Coach

Kodak Lens Custom Prints For Your Optical Dispensary Now Available!

Posted by James Stephany on Jun 18, 2020 1:25:17 PM

Kodak Lens now has several fantastic custom printed options that your optical dispensary can take advantage of. These tailored options allow you to remind patients about your practice and the multiple options provided by Kodak Lens. Let's take a look at a few of these choices to get a better idea of how they can help your optical business.

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Topics: ECP Marketing

Focusing On Your Optical Dispensary And It's Success

Posted by James Stephany on May 27, 2020 3:15:31 PM

Thankfully, many of you have reopened and have started doing business in this new normal Covid-19 world we find ourselves in now. We are strong and resilient and will recover from this, but things have changed. As 2019 closed out our economy was booming. We were seeing some of the lowest unemployment levels in history, consumer confidence was high, and all was good. Then along came this virus and everything has changed.

 

Unemployment is at 15% and many believe it is closer to 20% with those on temporary furlough included. The consumer confidence index crashed in April to its lowest point in 6 years. We are starting to hear from a sizable group of economists that we have already entered a recession. In this politically polarized world we live in I am not sure just what to believe. I do think we all can agree that our consumers have to be shaken. Even those not affected by lay-offs or decreases in business will be a bit more conservative with their money.

 

How can you keep your focus on the success of your optical dispensary?

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Topics: Optical Sales Coach

How To Re-Open Your Optical Business After Covid-19

Posted by James Stephany on Apr 29, 2020 2:45:06 PM

Many practices shut down due to state and federal guidelines that helped us flatten the curve for the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, some practices are still closed but look to be opening soon. Many have recently opened back up. Here are the American Optometric Associations suggestions for re-opening your practice while still practicing safety and social distancing guidelines.

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Topics: ECP Marketing, Optical Sales Coach

How To Understand Compensated Prescriptions For Patient's Lenses

Posted by James Stephany on Apr 9, 2020 10:45:00 AM

 

Lens technology continues to grow along with the needs and wants of our patients.  More of them are seeking the best vision possible out of their lenses. While high end, compensated lenses more than fill their needs. They have also become viewed by many as a necessary evil. I believe with better understanding, almost all will see them as a necessary good with a few minor drawbacks.

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Topics: Lens Designs

How To Get Less Remakes From Your Wholesale Optical Lab

Posted by James Stephany on Mar 30, 2020 3:49:21 PM



In the relationship between the lab and the optician, nothing is more agreed on than the aggravation of redoes and remakes. No one wins when a job has to go back to the lab to be redone.


Above all else, the patient has to experience a delay in receiving their new glasses. Often these delays can harm your reputation as an eye care professional. When the delay goes on long enough it could cost you return business and even force a refund and lost sale.

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Topics: Optical Sales Coach

8 Best Practices For Improving Optical Customer Retention

Posted by James Stephany on Mar 27, 2020 1:53:11 PM

The hard part has been done. Your marketing efforts paid off and you have a new patient. Now comes the next step, what do you to keep them coming back year after year?

 

Retaining your patient base might be the most important job you have. Your goal should always be to turn a first-time buyer into a stark raving mad fan of you and your business. The good news with this is that it will not cost much. You will not need an expensive marketing program to accomplish this.

 

It all starts with you and your staff. Make a few changes and focus on a few tasks and you will see your retention numbers grow.

 

Here are 8 keys to improving your customer retention.

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Topics: ECP Marketing

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