I was recently shopping around for eyeglasses/sunglasses and I found myself at a Lenscrafters in New Jersey and wanted to check out their big sale and what they had for frames. The associate greeted me as soon as i entered, made some casual small talk about what brought me in (he was very casual and friendly at this point)and then seemed to switch into robot check mark mode, mentioning promotions, insurance companies they work with, new 90 day guarantees, a Lenscrafters credit card, Doctor on site, some protection plan, etc.... Im shocked he could get that all out in one breath, probably rehearses it a lot for the boss i would assume. He asked if i needed some help selecting frames and i declined telling him Im going to poke around. He handed me a tray, gave me a quick tour of the massive selection of frames, and told me hed check in with me shortly.
I found a couple frames i liked and tracked down the guy I was working with (who by this time seemed to be change roles and was now working with a laboratory associate on orders) and asked if he would do some pricing for me. He excused himself and came right over. I told him I just was price shopping now so I was not buying and he actually seemed ok with it and said, "I love any excuse to use post it notes." It was nice to see he still had that humor from when i walked in. I wear hi-index progressives and was quite shocked on the varying price ranges, but he worked the pricing and actually found a frame/lens combination that worked out to be less then what i pay at my private Doctor and also using my insurance, get a good price for some RX sunglasses. He must have spent 20 minutes with me going over pricing and didn't seem to mind at all. I had a few more questions and the phone was ringing (which this place is like a switchboard with the amount of times the phone rang during my visit, which oddly he always seemed to answer.) and he had grabbed the phone since everyone else was occupied and out came the robot again with an overly rehearsed speech.
The associate seemed to become uncomfortable with the phone call (i think it was his boss or someones boss) because he had to start pulling all sorts of sales figures, actual physical eyeglasses sold, random jargon only a Lenscrafters person would know, how many exams the Doctor had for the next couple days, verbally commit to all sorts of hoops and fiery rings to jump through and a final barrage questions and it seemed he never had the right answer because he looked more deflated each time he answered (id be thrilled if my IT firm could recall this much info that readily!)
He hung up, shrugged off the call and apologized profusely for the interruption. I checked to see if he was ok and he said with a smile "Yup, its like this every day and you just kinda used to it. No big deal." It is a big deal and that is terrible to hear. This is medicine, this is healthcare, and this is my vision and I want the person talking to me to be real, honest, and happy. You should never feel deflated after a phone call. I am shocked this guy did not just walk off the job if this was the "daily treatment." (I sure would have) Lenscrafters needs to just let these people do their jobs. This guy was really fun, he had a dry sarcastic humor, and was extremely professional and proficient....except when he was "pulling the company line." Then he became just another guy that works at the mall eyeglass place. I can see why there are so many complaints on Lenscrafters, these people probably have their day ruined before the doors even open for business. (Not to say they dont screw things up themselves, im sure given several of the other associates I witnessed seemed like a wet paper bag would challenge them)
Is business so bad that bosses have to call stores and grind the associates daily while they are open!? I will probably go back after I check a few other shops and buy from this location, not because of Lenscrafters but because of the poor soul that seems trapped there and how HE was with me. Those robotic motions and overly rehearsed phrases really do not make customers happy or the shopping experience better. (end rant....whew....)
Product or Service Mentioned: Lenscrafters Eyeglasses.