The novelty of a phone and text friendly company.

Posted by Rebecca Petris on

What is a phone-friendly company?

A phone friendly company makes their phone number readily visible on every page of their website. They do not bury it and they do not make you work for it. It's just there. Right where it should be.

A phone friendly company does not have an elaborate phone tree designed to encourage you to give up before you arrive at the coveted human voice.

A phone friendly company does not use a pooled call center where you may always get a human on the line quickly but then find that the human has no earthly idea how to help you, other than re-reading an apology for your inconvenience from their script.

A phone friendly company, if they let you reach voicemail, does not leave you in doubt about whether or when they are likely to call back.

A phone friendly company is a friendly company that wants you to get on the phone. 

A phone friendly company might even notice that you called three times, didn't leave a voicemail, got frustrated and gave up... and calls you back.

A phone friendly company WANTS to talk to you. Not to sell you stuff. You can buy stuff anywhere. But just to find out what you need and how we can help.

E-commerce is all well and good...

After all, it's great to be able to shop anytime, anywhere, browse at your leisure and order at your convenience without having to go places or having any annoying humans overcomplicate your life. It also means lots of things are cheaper than they would be otherwise.

But it's all about eliminating human contact.

Which, honestly, is probably a good thing, because trying to talk to a company that doesn't want to talk to you is an unpleasant experience across the board.

Sometimes a little human contact is a good thing.

I don't mean for everything, all the time. Absolutely not. If I'm buying office supplies, I don't want human contact. I go online, I click re-order on half a dozen items, check out and I'm done. It actually annoys the heck out of me that a rep from [office supply chain name omitted to protect the guilty] calls me regularly. I mean, he's nice, but I really don't need or want to interact with a human to order toner cartridges and toilet paper. It's routine.

But there are other things where a human touch is good.

Dry eye and scleral lenses both good examples. 

For one thing, most of you don't have anyone else in your life who actually understands the language of these things, or what any of the issues or the products mean for your life. It's very isolating. We like to be a place where you can feel at home - where you can talk about your night dry eye issues or the practical difficulties you face with your specialty lenses, to someone who actually knows what you're talking about and can sympathize.

For another, most people have questions. I find that even people calling to re-order something they've ordered for years often think of things they want to ask about. We love the opportunities to keep current with you - it helps us keep current with the practical issues affecting the kinds of patients we exist for.

And one more - if you're new to us, the website is just plain overwhelming. Too much information and too difficult to navigate. It's just easier and makes more sense to call and talk to someone who can put it in context and direct you to the things that may be most appropriate for you. So please, take advantage of it and call us!

A glimpse into our world

We field 25 to 45 calls a day. They may last anywhere from a minute or two (someone just checking on an order status) to an hour (for a lengthy consultation). 

We're a small company, so voicemail is a reality. Right now, there's two of us - myself and Becky. I am hoping that it won't be too long before we can afford an ophthalmic technician again - I loved when we had Ally. But meantime, if Becky's doing customer service and I'm on a consultation or dealing with other business matters, you'll get voicemail. Then what? Our current average turnaround time on voicemails is about 1.75 hours. Many people get called back immediately, but some, if they have a complicated issue that we want to research before calling, wait a bit longer. We work very hard to ensure everyone gets called back before the end of the business day, though, and if there is anything that sounds the least bit time sensitive, we prioritize it.

Oh, and about texting:

We love having the ability to text. It's great for quick questions... has my order shipped? Can you re-activate my account? Can you put me on the list for Refresh PM notifications? Can I get a shipping cost estimate? etc. 

Text is a GREAT option if you called and didn't reach us - as a minimum, we can text about the best time to call you back!

So... call us. We love to hear from you.


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