I’m just about to open my first community eye care practice. I have good technology, a varied selection of good quality frames, a pleasant environment and well-trained staff. Do you have any tips?
My tip is (and I’ve written about this many times) focus on customer service. Customer service is king and queen. Without good customer service the chance of you practice becoming sustainable and prosperous is very much reduced and probably even impossible.
I recently had a problem with an order I placed with the online retailer Amazon. Once I’d contacted their customer services my problem was dealt with in a quick, efficient and polite way. I can remember the great customer service but can barely remember the actual problem. I tell people about the great customer service and don’t mention the problem in any detail.
These are the advantages of good customer service.
When the customer is happy with your service, they are much more likely to give you repeat business and much less likely to and give their business to one of your competitors. Not only does this provide you with income but it reduces you marketing and promotion costs as retaining an existing customer is much cheaper than acquiring a new customer.
When a customer is happy with your service, especially if they have experienced several episodes of good customer service they may tell their friends, relatives, social media followers and work colleagues about their experience just like I’ve told you about positive experience with Amazon customer service. This positive word of mouth (or written word) could bring you new customers without any marketing and promotion costs.
When customer service is good and there is a positive word of mouth customers will be retained and new customers acquired at a fraction of the cost of acquiring new customers through marketing and promotion. Your existing customers are doing the marketing and promotion for you. You can reduce your spend on marketing and promotion and still get great returns.
When a customer praises your business, it may also boost your employees morale. Over a period of time, the confidence of your employees will increase and confident employees are more likely to provide good customer service which will result in further increases in confidence rises on your business and you now know that giving good customer service is the key to build confidence in your employees, who will be empowered enough to keep their customers happy. Confident and happy employees are also more likely to work well together.
Work hard and make good customer service your competitive advantage. Build good relationships with your customers and it will be difficult for your competitors to attract them away from you. Every financial transaction that takes place in your practice means less financial transactions taking place at your competitors.