Paul, P & A Morgan Opticians
How to Thrive When Your Business Doesn’t Live on an ‘Island of Affluence’
Face for Business gained some valuable insight from Paul Morgan, of P & A Morgan Ltd, into the daily workings of a small independent Opticians based in the North of England. We wanted to discover how small practice owners creatively stand out from the crowd...
“A feature of an independent in less affluent areas,” says Paul, ” is that of course people want a consultative service but they don’t necessarily have the resources to pay for that kind of service. It’s why independent businesses in less well-to-do areas often struggle compared to other “footballer’s wives” areas. In the North of England there are islands of affluence but you don’t have to travel very far to see that people are struggling.”
With people cutting their cloth accordingly, what can opticians like Paul’s do for their businesses to not just survive but to thrive?
A Gold Medal Winning Mindset
We’re talking marginal gains here, the cumulative benefits of multiple small improvements. It’s the philosophy that proved so incredibly successful for British Cycling. A meticulous attention to detail.
“You have to be on top of your game. You duck and dive - you don’t go for very expensive shop fits - you don’t spend £150k on a fit, you find a local joiner to do it for you - coffee machine, the flowers, the best magazines, and by keeping everything spotlessly clean.”
Free car parking in the centre of Runcorn helps too, as do things like text reminders to lapsed clients. Not particularly expensive for Paul, but very valuable for his business.
A Focus on Customer Care
At the heart of Paul’s efforts is his relentless focus on customer care, the ‘customer experience’. In particular, over the years Paul and his team have extended the time they spend with customers - partly due to the onerous expectations of eye care clinicians and the regulatory framework they work in, but largely because people expect and enjoy a more consultative service.
“Knowing the customer personally is the difference between a multiple outlet and an independent. I’ve been seeing people for more than 25 years - and members of their family.”
As part of Paul’s efforts to make customers feel special and appreciate the independent approach, he’s freed up staff call handling time by using the Face for Business call answering service.
Free to Concentrate on Clients
“Face For Business were recommended by Jones and Co - at that particular time we were short staffed and we still have pinch points around lunchtime. Or a Saturday afternoon when we’re not here.”
There are two sides to it. Up until recently if the phone had rung and Paul’s staff were with a client then they had to dash away to answer it. The end result? An unhappy client. He’s changed that so that if they’re with somebody already and the phone rings then they are confident that Face For Business will pick up the call. That leaves them free to concentrate on our clients. Some that staff and customers both appreciate.
“We’re already got two lines and it’s nice to know that if the phone rings and you’re with someone then you don’t need to break off the customer conversation, that the phone will be answered, and that the team at Face for Business is extremely capable of dealing with our clients.”
You Don’t Have to be a Millionaire to be Treated Like One
It’s a lesson for us all. Much as we’d all like a steady stream of well-heeled clients, Paul and his team have shown that with a little organisation and a lot of commitment to sharing the very best possible experience you don’t actually have to be a millionaire to be treated like one.
We offer our clients in the Opticians sector an outsourced reception service, meaning:-
- No more interrupting phone calls in your reception area, freeing your staff to focus on your customers and, in turn, making their life less stressful.
- Your calls will divert to our experienced Optical PA Team who will answer in your company name as if they work in your practice.
- You’ll give both existing customers and new enquiries a fantastic customer experience!
Call us today to enquire about our service and consider our offer of a 7-Day FREE trial! Non-obligatory!
Tel: 0333 323 1007
We look forward to hearing from you!