Brick and mortar eyecare practices have fierce competition against online retailers. At VisionWeb, we often talk about how your staff can compete with online retailers by explaining the benefits of purchasing frames from physical practices. However, sometimes, this might not be enough.
1.) Outside Signage: Signage must be visible and clearly marked as an eye doctor office. Doctors names, hours of operation and website should be visible and legible. The outside must look inviting: no faded signs, no dead plants, and good lighting.
2.) Inside Signage/Merchandise: There must be a clear designation of products and services. It must be easy to navigate the selection and options available. Mirrors, lens centers, accessories sections, and brands are important distinctions.
3.) Clean: The inside must be spotlessly clean. No dust, no cobwebs, no faded posters, no stained ceilings, and no yellow lighting.
4.) Full Staff: Must have enough staff working that can answer all questions. Today no-one wants to wait for an answer. There should be enough staff, so people do not have to wait to check in or pick up their glasses, the phone should be picked up within three rings.
5.) Friendly and Engaging Staff: The biggest asset a brick and mortar has is the human connection. Staff must smile and greet patients. Nothing off puts a patient more than a cranky staff member.
6.) Respect For The Customer: The customer obviously respected you as they came to buy from you. Extend the courtesy back, as they are the reason you are in existence. Remember that, and thank and appreciate them.
7.) Offer Payment Options: The variety of payment options should be posted. We are entering into a cashless society. It is no longer just about Visa and Master Card. Consider options such as PayPal or Apple Pay.
8.) Be Unique: Standout somewhere. Whether your merchandising is show-stopping, or whether you have eye-catching products showcased, make your office a destination choice. What tactile sensory experience will your patients encounter coming in the door?
9.) Stay in Touch: Use social media, written newsletters, recall cards, targeted markets, birthday and holiday greetings, recalls, and trunk shows. Follow up with a personal thank you and. If something goes wrong with their order let them know right away by being up-front and honest. . Be proactive and respect the customer.
10.) Invest in Your Office and Staff: Keep abreast of trends in brick and mortar retailing. Update equipment, software, and decor. Invest in a great new and mobile friendly website, or look at omnichannel marketing.
Bottom line; utilize digital technology to make a seamless and exception customer service experience. Train and retrain staff to deal with digital technology and the new customer service experience.