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Isn`t It Time You Got Engaged

By on April 21, 2015

In our personal lives, at work or in business, creating the right first impression is a key part of building a relationship.

Many retailers allocate the role of “meeting and greeting” their customers to one or more members of staff and those that fully embrace the importance of this function invariably have a culture throughout their organisation based upon the belief that “first impressions last”.

The question I would ask however is whether the role of “meeting and greeting” in it’s simplest form is enough. Creating an environment where customers are warmly welcomed in to your business is clearly a very positive thing. But is it enough? Is it enough to convince customer to make their next spectacle purchase with you? Enough to guarantee their loyalty?

In such a highly competitive market, optical customers are faced with a variety of offers, deals and product offerings that can be confusing. With such a plethora of information, making an informed decision can be very difficult and as Opticians we should not be surprised when a customer base his/her purchasing decision on price alone or simply decides to “make do”.

Educating and informing with clarity, accuracy and integrity is key to how your customers perceive you and ultimately whether or not they buy from you. So while “meeting and greeting” of the customer may take place and the management of customer flow be achieved by a Maitre’d , real consistent business growth from the “shop floor” is only really achieved through engagement with a customer on a much more intimate level. Real engagement with a customer creates a relationship based on trust and respect, on gratitude that expert and honest advice has been offered, that help is always at hand and in many instances in friendship.

Customer engagement requires an experienced, highly trained, motivated and engaging person. A member of staff who is respected, even revered for their ability to combine considerable people and communication skills with an in depth knowledge of prescription interpretation, frame styling, lens options etc. etc. etc. There are a lot of etceteras because the rule of engagement are comprehensive and the tool box extensive and to understand the rules and create the tool box is beyond the scope of this article.

If however you believe, like I do, that great Optical businesses can be developed and grown by making the “first impression last: and by converting the casual browser into a customer for life then maybe you should be asking yourself the question, Isn’t it time I got engaged?

 

Nicholas Abercrombie FBDO

About Nicholas Abercrombie

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