Optical Retail Success 91


Formerly Optician Success but still the same tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your optical retail business/career.


The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
–B.F. Skinner


Death of An [Optical] Salesman

The days of the retail clerk are over. Part of what’s driving this change is the quickly growing gap between customer service expectations and reality. A recent survey indicated that a full 48 percent of shoppers today believe that they know more about the product they’re looking for than the sales associate helping them, and chances are they’re right. It’s never been easier to rapidly gather knowledge about specific products.

More startling, though, is that 67 percent of those surveyed have doubts about whether the sales associate helping them is even telling the truth. I suspect this has less to do with consumer paranoia and more to do with living in a world where the correct answer to any question is two clicks away. We trust Google infinitely more than we trust salespeople.

Following on the heels of two years of testing robots, Lowe’s is introducing a “fleet” of robots in its San Francisco-area stores. The robots are programmed to greet customers at the door, respond in multiple languages, field product inquiries and direct customers to the items they’re looking for. In addition, they are able to analyze data and detect patterns that might influence business decisions in real time. And all without ever taking a lunch break, a sick day or even a paycheck!

The only way out of this for optical retail is to find a way to deliver something your customers want that they just can’t get online



I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords

We now have computers that can play chess, read x-rays, drive down the highway at 55 miles an hour, understand our voice, scan documents for errors, do all traditional banking chores, plot a route on foot or by plane, find the cheapest airfares, pick a face out of a crowd, and perhaps scariest of all, choose to communicate in a language humans can’t understand.  

Day by day, human-only tasks quietly disappear. Our job now isn't to do our job. It's to find new tasks, human tasks—tasks that require empathy, compassion, and creativity—faster than the computer takes the old ones away.

Unless you remain aware, like boiling a frog, you’re not likely to notice as the AI’s slowly take over. 



Why Practical Skills Will Matter More Than A Degree In The New Economy

“‘Getting a job at today’s IBM does not always require a college degree,’ the company’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, has asserted. ‘What matters most is relevant skills.’ Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, has been pushing the same message at his company. And David Blake, co-founder of the learning platform Degreed, has put it like this: ‘It shouldn’t matter how you picked up your skills, just that you did.’”

To be clear, no one who is advocating for a skills-centered system is suggesting that learning isn’t essential. In fact, the idea is that ever more of us must engage in lifelong learning as automation and other technological advances render our skills obsolete.



What’s Old Is New

Are you having difficulty finding qualified or motivated employees? Maybe the answer lies in an older demographic.

AARP’s research shows that more than 80% of workers ages 45 to 64 say that the opportunity to learn something new is an essential element of their ideal job. Against their expectations, they found that 65 to 80-year-old workers’ performance was more stable and less variable from day to day than that of the younger group. In addition, their motivation was higher than the younger workers’, and they were less erratic. https://www.fastcompany.com/40547376/why-you-should-recruit-older-workers


Video of The Week:  Name That Condition!


Join the host of America’s hottest new game show to learn seven of the eight refractive errors of the human eye. 


Through the OpticianWorks free video lessons, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible education for opticians everywhere, but we’re only able to do it with your support.


You can help keep it going in two ways:


Become a paid member of OpticianWorks.com for access to the best in online optician training (The videos are only a small portion).


Or, even better, open a Laramy-K Optical lab account for the very best in independent uncut work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!


I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Retail Success.  

Here’s to your success in this year and beyond.

Thanks for reading and sharing!