Harsh, Eyewise Opticians
Your competition? It isn’t always who you think it is. Certainly not if you’re as switched on as Harsh of Eyewise opticians in Hillingdon. Because Harsh doesn't just see competition as many of us do, as direct industry lookalikes, as other businesses occupying the same product space or even the same location as us - he sees competition everywhere. From the hairdresser down the road, to the internet to, well, anywhere a customer might spend their money that isn’t with him.
“Everything we do is trying to differentiate ourselves from the competition.” says Harsh. “Even the competition that aren’t local opticians but in our local shopping parade. They could be anything - there are three hairdressers nearby for example. “What I’m trying to get at is that people choose how they spend their monthly income and may forgo a visit to the opticians because that’s not their priority.”
Products of Distinction. Products of Differentiation.
An independent optician in Hillingdon, what are these differentials that Eyewise put in place for their largely young and retired client base? What do they do to stand out in the local optician network at the higher end? Well for a start, it’s much easier to differentiate if the products you stock are exclusive or difficult to get hold of elsewhere.
Says Harsh, “A lot of our collections are not necessarily sold online. They’re not big brands you’d normally come across. They’re hidden secrets brands such as Anne & Valentin, Swiss brand Gotti and Nine from Denmark.”
This selective style is something that’s particularly appreciated by a largely older client base that’s happy to pay for quality and isn’t necessarily too price-conscious. For them it’s all about trust, reliability and the experience. Younger internet savvy clients may take risks buying online but exclusive ranges keep Eyewise relevant and keep this portion of their customer base coming back.
A Community Practice
Community involvement Is also something that matters a great deal to Harsh and his team who do a lot of community work with children who have learning difficulties. There’s also an annual open afternoon that sees learning support teachers from local schools come and find out how they can help children struggling with their studies.
Service as Differentiation
Beyond product differentiation and local commitment, everything the Eyewise team does is focused on service. Service as differentiation. From teas and coffees to fresh flowers. From a professional window dresser to six monthly client appreciation events used as an opportunity to get to know customers and introduce new products, or talk about a specific clinical aspect of eyewear. Eyewise even sends post-visit client emails and letters thanking people for their custom.
“It’s all about making them feel that someone is looking after them,” explains Harsh, “The journey doesn’t stop when you complete the transaction. It’s what our clients like, I want to make the environment as comfortable and appealing as possible and there’s an emphasis on trying to spend as much time with every client as they need.”
It’s a commitment to service that extends to staff training, one of the biggest projects, with the practice closed for an hour a week every Tuesday and half a day every quarter.
Face for Business - 240 calls in a Month
Additional resources in the form of the Face for Business call answering service have also allowed Eyewise to be more attentive and also pick up out of hours calls that might have been missed. While people are often reluctant to leave answerphone messages, they seem much more comfortable speaking to a real person. In this case a FFB member of staff - an extension of Eyewise’s business providing genuine human contact.
“We’re only a small team and you want to give people your full attention. Before we had an answer phone message that would kick in after a few rings. It was stressful. Now we have peace of mind - someone on the other line, who represents our business. And it means we can look at our emails when we arrive in the morning and get straight back in touch to respond to the queries.”
Stats from month one already show more than 240 calls taken. That’s 240 calls that might have been missed!
“I’m looking at recruiting another member of staff as we’re short on the shop floor some days and it’s a cost effective way of running the business while I’m looking for someone. Rather than being a cost, FFB is actually saving me money and the extra money I’m making will contribute to that person’s pay.”
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!