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Posted by Erik van Dijk

Erik has previously worked for 10 years at Philips in various parts of the business and in different roles, most recently at Philips Healthcare in R&D management. Since his start at EasyScan in 2015 he headed the operations (supply chain/technical support) and R&D team. In 2017, Erik became the CEO. Erik has a PhD in Physics from the University of Twente.

If you own an independent optical store, you’re more than likely concerned with offering the highest quality care so your customers return and, hopefully, recommend friends and family. In this article, we’ll review five ways you can offer an experience that promotes customer loyalty and drives sales.

1. Create an Unforgettable Experience

Creating an unforgettable customer experience means exceeding customer expectations. This may sound overwhelming, but even just returning phone calls quickly can surprise customers. Personalizing the customer’s experience is a great way to surprise them. You can write notes about each customer in their file and review them before they come into your office — that way you can ask them about things you talked about during their last visit. Not only will customers feel good about their purchase, but they’ll also feel great about their experience with your staff and will likely share their experience with others.

2. Focus on the Little Things

Small actions make a huge impact when it comes to customer experience. Some examples of things you can do to create a memorable moment for your customers can include:

  • Sending a text message or calling to wish them a happy birthday
  • Offering a special deal for a future purchase to customers who bought lenses during the past year
  • Mailing coupons for special offers during the holidays

Paying special attention to these small acts takes a little more time and effort, but it will pay off in the long-run.

3. Show Appreciation for Referrals

When customers refer friends or family members to your optical store, why not take the time to show your appreciation? These days, word-of-mouth marketing is a big income driver for any business, and customers will remember if you thank them for the referral. Some ideas you can use for thanking customers for referrals include:

  • Handwriting a note and mailing it to them
  • Offering a discount on their next lens purchase
  • Sending a small gift basket

However you choose to say ‘thank you,’ show customers that you notice when they recommend your optical store and that you appreciate their positive feedback in the form of referrals.

4. Treat Low-Dollar and High-Dollar Customers Equally

If you suspect, or even know, that a customer will buy their lenses or glasses somewhere else, take the time to explain their specific needs and the details of their prescription — don’t just hand them the prescription and let them walk out the door. When you sit down with each customer and educate them about their prescription, you set the bar for the standard of service that they’ll look for from other eye care providers and increase the likelihood that they’ll return to your store to purchase from you. Although you may end up spending more time than necessary on customers with less complicated needs, you’ll retain more customers in the long run

5. Create an Appealing Atmosphere

When customers walk into your optical store, their first impression will be based on how they feel according to the atmosphere. This is your space and your opportunity to really make customers feel welcome and understand your personality and what you have to offer. Think outside the box. Get creative. Warm colors can make your store feel more inviting, and special touches, like a coffee counter, can add a more casual feel that creates a space for conversation between customers and your opticians.

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