In the last month or so, I have had two loyal clients contact me giving me feedback on things they have heard about the practice on the grapevine. Not only am I humbled by their desire to help me and my business, but incredibly grateful for bringing this to my attention.
I thought I would copy and paste the email conversation with Debbie so that you can consider the issues that she has raised, and whether we are taking appropriate action. This email was in response to a request to clients to leave us a Google Review. I sent the email to her husband, but Debbie picked it up.
This is his wife answering. Debbie you know me. I will ask him to leave a review.
You didn't answer my last suggestion? I hear time and time again that you are too expensive, and people just can't afford to come to you. Have you thought about cheaper frames and advertising a budget price? Even try it so people would flock in? Seriously trying to help cos we think you're great and can fortunately afford to come. That's my observation and hearing folk in town anyway. Sure, you'd do a roaring trade. Competition from spec savers I'm afraid. Best wishes. Keep up the good work Debbie
Thank you, Debbie, for taking the time to write to me, and I really appreciate your support.
We are thinking of having a no obligation ‘Open Day’ in the Spring, when people can come in and see what we are able to offer, without feeling embarrassed or under an obligation to buy.
Unfortunately, the High Street Multiple Practices will always, or rather will always appear to be cheaper (clever marketing and purchasing). But the number of their frames that we are asked to repair is astonishing. That is why we would prefer to sell better quality products and see our clients less (in the nicest possible way!).
We also offer all sorts of satisfaction guaranteed warranties, and we will go out of our way to help a client get the best for their situation. We cannot offer this if we provide products at the “High Street Multiples’ price”. Having said that, our budget range of frames start at £79.
We also like to offer exciting products that are not available either online or in the High Street multiples, and we have become a destination practice for disaffected spectacle wearers bored with the main High Street offerings.
I had our lens prices reviewed recently by an independent market-ing person who supports independent practices across the UK, and he told me that our lenses were 20% too cheap! (I haven't increased them since, in case you are wondering). So, a lot of it is down to how people see us; and because we are independent ‘therefore expensive’.
Unfortunately, we cannot please everyone. There are always those who want the cheapest possible deal, and we have made a decision not to cater for them as they are hard to satisfy.
But I agree with you, it will be helpful if local people were more aware that we have a range of products at the cheaper end of the market, and this is why we are thinking of the Open Day. I am not sure how else to get the message across as we cannot compete with TV advertising, so it will be pushed heavily on Facebook and we will hand out leaflets and have a special offer on the day. We shall see if that changes impressions, however I have heard people saying that we are too expensive ever since we opened 32 years ago.
I look forward to your continued support and please keep in touch.
And Debbie’s reply:
Thanks for answering Chris but you shouldn't be working today! The sun's out!!
The open day sounds a good idea and I do read all you've written. Just trying to help. With clever marketing and nibbles and advertising you hopefully would get people through the door. People expect something for nothing and of course we know you get what you pay for. By the way very pleased with my transition glasses. Couldn't understand why it was so dark when as you told me I put on my glasses when I got in the car. Then realised I'd put sunglasses on and it was dark?? Cases are similar!!
You're doing a grand job. Just know that.
Can't please all the people. It's just that's what everyone says and it's worth thinking about it which is what you're doing. Well done. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Debbie D
So, do you want fashionable eyewear that reflects your personality and makes you feel great when you wear it? Or do you just want something to hold the lenses that help you to see?
Please let me know at Chris@cyoungopticians.co.uk
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