Although the job descriptions for each role might vary significantly from office to office, there are some general commonalities that are typically (not always) shared. You should always read job descriptions carefully to understand how an office defines a particular role. Smaller offices tend to combine roles while larger offices have strict separation of responsibilities for efficiency reasons.
Front Desk or Reception
Here at Huffman Eyecare:
You are the expectation setter! You will be the one to set the tone for someone’s entire experience in our office. Charm, warmth and personality is a must. You will be the first face they see, and often the first voice they hear. They will decide whether or not they like everyone else based on their experience with you. (No pressure!) It’s a big job.
Your responsibilities would include:
- Getting all the paperwork in order for the patient’s visit including verification of their medical and vision insurance and communicating with the patient to ensure that their expectations are set appropriately
- Answering the phone and scheduling appointments
- Helping patients purchase contact lenses using their insurance benefits
- Getting patients checked in upon their arrival at the office
The skills that will make you successful:
- Multitasking. Everyone says they can multitask, but most of us aren’t as good at it as we think we are. This position gets interrupted often, so you have to be able to juggle a lot of things at once and remember to go back to it once the interruption is over.
- Computer skills. No, you don’t have to write code, but everything is done on the computer. From our computer software for the office (OfficeMate), to the myriad of web pages you’ll learn to navigate for a plethora of insurances, and the the text communication we use, you must be comfortable on the computer.
- People skills. Oh yes. You will come to your interview gushing about your “customer service” skills, but can you remember names? Do you genuinely enjoy connecting with people? Hearing their stories? Do you have a talent for remembering faces and names?
The values that will make you last:
- Excellence. Every person on this team strives to be the very best at what they do. Nothing less will be expected from those who want to join this team.
- Countability. Your teammates must be able to count on you when it counts. Do you do what you say you will do? Do you do everything possible to ensure that your teammate is successful?
- Optimistic. Every job has hard days. Every team has losses. But, it’s a whole lot easier to weather the storm, and shoulder the load with a teammate with a good attitude than a rotten one. Seeing the negative in any situation isn’t extraordinarily difficult. Even the laziest among us can spot the bad. Are you someone who can see beyond the immediate circumstances to find the best in the bigger picture?
Here at Huffman Eyecare:
You are the Watson to the doctors Sherlock! The Robin to the doctor’s Batman! Every great hero needs a trusty sidekick, and as every good hero knows, they can’t BE the hero, without an awesome support team! Every time a patient comes in, they see you before the “Great White Coat.” You are the one that takes their complaints, asks them the questions, collects all the information to set the doctor up for that alley-oop and slam dunk!
The three main traits of this position are efficiency, effective communication, and attention to details!
Efficiency: Time matters! No one wants to spend all day in a doctors office, and we really hate to make patients wait on us. Their time is important to them, so we want to make it important to us too. Now, efficiency isn’t all about speed. Mistakes in this role can have serious consequences, so it’s imperative to get it right, but fast.
We hold a fairly quick pace, so this isn’t your typical “office job.” There’s not much sitting, you’re on your feet, and there’s always something from the moment you clock in, to the minute you clock out.
Effective Communication: “The greatest misconception about communication, is that it happened.” You are the intermediary between the doctor, the patient, and even to the rest of the team. You must be able to communicate with all of these groups, and each one requires a unique vocabulary and knowledge base. A background in any kind of the biological sciences, anatomy, or physics will help you.
Attention to Details: The devil is in the details! Change one number of a prescription, and suddenly a patient goes from crystal clear vision, to being very upset because they “can’t see anything!” Mistakes in this role can have big consequences. If you like the pressure, then bring your A game. If this kind of pressure isn’t for you, then you might want to look at another position on the team.
Here at Huffman Eyecare:
Do you have a strong sense of justice? Do you like to protect the people you care about? Good! Cause you’re going to need it. Along with a healthy dose of persistence, follow through, and tenacity.
You are the one making sure that the ship stays afloat. Your mantra, your battle cry will be, “No one works for free!” Each of our people work incredibly hard, and you are the last line of defense to make sure that their efforts weren’t in vain. When patients and insurance companies say, “We won’t pay!” You’re the one that stands on the line and does what it takes to make sure justice is done.
For this war, the weapons you will require:
1. A rock solid understanding of insurance billing and coding. CPT, & ICD-10 2. I hope you have a close working relationship with Excel 3. A strong sense of moral, and ethical direction 4. Self motivation. Your success or failure is measured by the $$ you manage to collect, and we’re not big into micromanagement, so you should have a strong sense of self-governance and a clear picture of what needs to be done. 5. Gonna have to have some genuine computer skills. Most of the billing is done with various software, and a host of websites. Go keyboard warrior!
Here at Huffman Eye Care:
Ahh! The sales floor! Living the high life and making it rain! ….Yeah, ok… Maybe not. The sales floor is where it all comes together. Only the best of the best make it here.
Your knowledge of optics will be imperative to make the most appropriate recommendations for frame, lens, and coatings for each patient and their prescription. You will call on your training and creative thinking to troubleshoot when patients have problems.
You are expected to stay current on fashion both in the way you represent yourself to the patient, as well as the recommendations you make for frame selection. Frames are as much fashion as function. A style choice that is worn on the face for all to see is the ultimate form of self expression.
You must have extensive knowledge of a plethora of insurances as you will have to calculate the out of pocket expenses for each patient.
You must be familiar and comfortable with computers and all of the websites and software used to complete your sales.
Finally, the thing that makes the “great ones” so great… People skills!!!
Your listening skills and communication must be second-to-none as you discern a patient’s TRUE need beneath their words and decipher the message behind the babble. Solve a patient’s problem. Meet their needs. Take care of the patient. Compassion for the stories and frustration that each patient will bring you is imperative.
You must do all of this while juggling an ever changing and fast-paced dispensary with grace and dignity. We believe the mark of a true professional is that they can make something extraordinarily difficult LOOK easy.
But wait! What about sales?! Every optician knows about commissions! Here at Huffman Family Eye Care we believe in teamwork. Commissions inherently pit people against one another. Opticians on the sales floor are expected to work together seamlessly to ensure that every patient is cared for, and every team member is supported. Failure to champion this core value, each and every day is grounds for dismissal.
Every team member is expected to bring their best every day and the higher you climb, the more is expected. This is one of the highest positions in the office behind doctors and managers. You will be expected to be both a role model and responsible for maintaining and preserving our company culture.