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AT YOUR SERVICE : Eye Care

Last month, Monica Hascher took optical equipment and customer Tony Raimondo’s glasses home with her to Camarillo so he could pick them up there and have adjustments made on the spot.

Last week, Hascher kept her optical store open after hours so another customer, florist Jacqulyn Hughes, could pick up new glasses after closing her shop for the day.

“She’s kind of like a breath of fresh air,” said Hughes, who knows exemplary customer service when she sees it, and rewarded Hascher with a bouquet of yellow roses for her trouble. “She’s so bubbly and very helpful. She really went out of her way.”

Service like that earned the 40-year-old Hascher, manager of Ward’s Optical at the Ventura Montgomery Ward store, more than just plaudits from grateful customers. Two years ago, she received a plaque naming her one of the nation’s top five managers in customer satisfaction. The award came from Cole Vision Corp., the Cleveland-based company that operates about 1,000 vision care shops in department stores nationwide.

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Hascher jokes that her middle name is service, because she is the ninth of 12 kids, and the last four didn’t get middle names.

Customer service “is so bad these days,” said the graduate of Royal High in Simi Valley. “So if you do good customer service you look like a queen. . . . I think I’m good at it because I really care.”

The irrepressible Hascher is a perpetually bustling one-woman sales force, combining candor with comic one-liners while putting in upward of 52 hours a week.

She makes it a point to remember names, an impressive feat, because people only buy new glasses every year or so. And she doesn’t hesitate to tell people that a pair of spectacles doesn’t suit them, reasoning that an unflattering look isn’t likely to benefit the wearer--or her business.

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Hascher has spent her entire working life in sales.

After a stint at a grocery store, she sold wine to retailers for a decade before switching to selling glasses five years ago.

“I’m still in sales, but now I’m helping to see,” she said. “Before, I was helping them not to see.”


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