Increase Perceived Value [Leanne Murabito]
I think I speak for a dwindling population of opticians, the self-employed optical boutique. We are a dying breed, at least here in New England and we will probably be going the way of land-lines, sooner rather than later. Having done this for 18 years with a modicum of success, I understand that our "old practice models" were built on the 3 pillars of good business - customer service, fair pricing and quality of product.
However, today's consumer are more interested in the cost of a complete pair glasses - rather then what's "in them". It's become clear that, since the advent of the Internet, everybody is now qualified to measure a PD. Today's consumer does not seem to understand, what all is required to correctly makes pair of glasses. A Painful - but true reality. We to a certain extent, have accommodated this belief by lowering our prices to compete with online retailers and continuing to service these online products. (It is no surprise that many online sites suggest take your glasses to a local optician and they will adjust them for free!)
Hence the quandary .......
We actually did this "servicing" to cultivated patients, because of that goodwill, we assumed that they appreciated the personal touch, the extra step, as well as the knowledge and expertise.... And, when the time came and they had a prescription to fill they would think fondly of you.
Ahhhh... Those were the days!!
I'm seeing people walk into my practice who have purchased the glasses elsewhere (insert large chain name here) but now find it inconvenient ( or impossible because they were purchased online ) to take that extra ride to go back to where they were purchased from, then stand in line to get an adjustment or new nose pads.
What do we do with that? I have discussed this with other opticians/ professionals and we've come up with an idea. Make a sign on a poster board and list each item, whether it be a screw replacement-restring a lens - drill and tap-nose pads adjustments troubleshooting visual complaints with prescriptions. We then create a "suggested price" out for each of these services in one column and then in a column to the right of that put next - FREE in big letters, for eyewear purchased on site. Once the client pays that you give them a voucher/ coupon for the same value inviting them to come back and use it with in the next six months to purchase a complete pair of glasses. I don't know .. I guess I'm looking for a politically correct way to not feel like good opticians are a dime a dozen and my services aren't worth anything. Has anybody else tried this or had success with another way to weed out those that are just willing to come to your business and use your expertise but expect to pay nothing for it... Or is this just the way the world and we have now entered the zombie apocalypse?