When the pandemic started in 2020, Safilo USA (https://www.mysafilo.com/US) realized that their customers still needed education even though they could not hold in-person events. “The needs and expectations of customers are at the center of our organization and are always at the heart of what we do,” stated Victoria Hallberg, executive vice president, industry relations. “Our ability to create value for our customers is profoundly interconnected with our capability to build long-lasting partnerships and maintain an active dialogue with them. Understanding and meeting their expectations is crucial.”

In response to this new business environment, the company launched Safilo Academy webinars, which have become popular with Safilo USA’s customers. Courses include “Secrets to Visual Merchandising,” “Stay Shady” and “Optical 411.” Training and education manager Robin Brush recently led the “Advanced Eyewear Technology” webinar which covers the anatomy of a pair of eyewear and the materials used to create eyewear. “It’s critical that opticians are using the proper names of the materials and parts of a piece of eyewear. Today’s consumer is more knowledgeable than ever, so it’s incredibly important that opticians are extremely knowledgeable, too,” Brush explained.

“We’ve had a wonderful turnout for these webinars,” Hallberg said. “We’ve received positive feedback from many participants who have implemented the strategies they’ve learned from Robin in their practices with excellent results.”

Safilo USA also is developing a course focusing on why ECPs tend to miss opportunities to sell multiple pairs of glasses, such as computer glasses, sunglasses and readers, to meet all their patients’ lifestyle needs. “Our training programs revolve around engaging the entire staff to deliver the best patient experience to help capture the sale, always remembering that patients are also consumers.”

The company will present three in-person educational courses during Vision Expo West for one hour of ABO credit each. These courses include “It’s Not About You,” “Return Rate Rescue” and “When Life Gives You Lemons.”

Looking ahead, Hallberg said that the company will offer more Safilo Academy webinars covering a variety of topics designed to help customers be successful. “Without giving too much away, we are focusing on helping ECPs increase profitability and sustainability and build stronger connections by learning to mirror the communication styles of one’s team and patients. This expertise and dedication to our customers help show that we’re committed to and are passionate about providing the kind of education and support that creates and nurtures win-win business relationships.”