Optician Awards 2018: Optical Assistant Team of the Year

Organisation, energy and dynamic social skills are some of the qualities that helped Specsavers Chelmsley Wood win Optical Assistant Team of the Year at the Optician Awards 2018. Joe Ayling reports

Forming an award-winning team of optical assistants hinges not just on competencies but also identifying a core ethos.

An extremely busy practice, Specsavers Chelmsley Wood is managed by a number of clinic each day, with 30 optical assistants on the payroll, and 15 working at any given moment.

Emergency appointments and people dropping in with conditions covered by enhanced optical services also have to be managed into the diary.

Specsavers Chelmsley Wood retail director Paul Cooper says: ‘It’s a constant requirement to serve the customers that have an appointment but also look after people who have got quite nasty conditions on some occasions.’

However, while organising the appointment book is a continual challenge, it was the character and personality of this optical assistant team that really stood out to judges of this year’s Optician Awards.

When recruiting for new optical assistants, management has a prototype of the type of personality needed.

Cooper says: ‘We look for people with great interpersonal skills and who display those customer service skills too. We do large group interviews and find it’s a brilliant way to see a lot of people efficiently. We can see 25 people in an hour and a half, and five people will always shine.’

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