For many optical practices, eyewear generates most of the business’ revenue. With eyewear fast becoming the must have accessory for 2020, there are opportunities ahead for optical practice owners.
By focusing on the fashion of eyewear, you can add to the clinical aspects of eye care and focus on meeting your clients’ optical and styling needs, adding huge value to the experience you offer, growing your business profits and boosting your customer satisfaction.
My small optical boutique practice, Mincher Lockett & Co. Opticians, is situated in a non-affluent rural market town in Shropshire. Yet we have grown our average dispense value to £1000 – more than x10 the industry average – and our multi pair dispense rate stands at 43 per cent whilst the industry average is less than 10 per cent. We attract people from all over the UK and abroad for our unique styling consultations. We have also won national and regional awards in customer service, eyewear styling and fashion and have recently been crowned fashion practice of the year at the UK Optical Industry Awards.
However, this didn’t happen overnight or by waving a magic wand.We have invested years of our time and energy into finding out what works best for our clients and applying the process of eyewear styling to our business practice.
So for 2020, why not begin your strategic planning by assessing how you can incorporate eyewear styling into your business strategy and boost business growth.
Training isn’t just important, it’s vital.
As optical professionals we are educated in the clinical techniques and optical processes, but so little time or money is invested into supporting our staff in navigating the eyewear selection process. I feel strongly that the lack of compulsory style training in our industry means we are not only letting our clients down but also ourselves, minimising our opportunities for growth. This gap is why I created the e-learning Eyewear Stylist Course.
Learning how to become a professional eyewear stylist is the catalyst for increasing both client satisfaction and your business growth.
At my practice, all staff are enrolled onto my certified eyewear styling programme, which provides a step-by-step guide into the world of eyewear styling. It also educates and informs how to develop the language of an eyewear stylist – ditching the jargon and releasing your inner Gok Wan – and provides tips on multiple pair dispensing. This can help you discover or realise stock and colours you may be missing from your practice.
The course also gives optical practice owners the opportunity to stand out from their competitors and build customer loyalty through the eyewear selection process.
Create a practice and an experience which appeals to your ideal clients. In a recent survey by Boots, of approximately 20,000 women surveyed, 67 per cent said they were more concerned with having the right style of eyewear than the perfect vision. At our practice we focus on attracting clients who are interested in hearing about and experiencing eyewear styling.
Through our eyewear styling consultation process, we get to know our clients and add tremendous value to the experience we offer by helping them discover eyewear which not only works for their lifestyle, facial features and colouring, but also reflects who they are. We aim to empower our clients to look in the mirror each morning, put on their eyewear and feel great – after all eyewear is our most visible accessory.
Make sure you stock the best eyewear to suit your ideal clients. I focused on becoming a niche, boutique, destination practice, sourcing beautiful, handcrafted, individual eyewear brands to appeal to the range of different style personalities created through my eyewear styling consultation process. Variety is key for us, so we stock a wide range of pieces and lines to appeal to these clients.
“The range of eye wear is A …. MAZE……ING!!! Stocking a wide variety of styles and colours and within different price ranges. If you are looking for different, colourful, not ordinary “run of the mill” eye wear, then this is the place. If you are looking for stylish and not “so out there” then this is also the place. But, be assured, whatever you are looking for, you will have a great experience and won’t ever want to go anywhere else again.” Debroah Broadhead – Mincher Lockett & Co. Opticians client.
There is a strong correlation between great client experience and loyalty. To create the elusive wow factor in your practice you must strive to create an emotional and moving experience which surprises and delights your clients. The wow factor is not created with a satisfactory service, ordinary products or even fair pricing- you must do more!
Practices that get this right are more likely to retain clients who will also become advocates for your practice, recommending your services to friends or family members. Therefore if you can deliver what you promised but also surprise your clients by going the extra mile, you can create fantastic customer experience which also creates loyalty.
A free eyewear styling consultation puts the client at the centre of the experience and is all about exploring their individuality and helping them reflect and be confident in who they are. It helps clients in choosing the right eyewear; eyewear that they love and that often boosts their self-esteem. This often leads to multiple pair dispenses and referrals. In essence, the focus of the styling consultation is to help my clients leave feeling good about themselves!
“Wow! What an amazing experience! I went in for new glasses and came away with a whole new outlook on life! My new glasses have made such a difference to my confidence!” Laura Harris – Mincher Lockett & Co Optician’s client.
If you want to be known for your great service – perhaps also your styling and exclusive and fashionable eyewear ranges – you will need to showcase both your services and eyewear in a way that appeals to your clients.
All too often, optical practices can feel clinical and stark and are not conducive for an optimum retail experience. I have discovered that creating a multi-sensory, progressive and luxurious setting in which my customers feel relaxed and attended to, is very much part of this wow experience. You don’t need to spend a fortune to do this. Just start thinking creatively and explore the ways in which your clients will be experiencing your practice setting through all their senses and not just their sight.
“The ambience and shop decor is very up market and very boutique like, which instantly lets you know this will be a different eye wear appointment. I can’t wait to go back and get my next pair, while enjoying a cuppa or a glass of fizz. Keep it up guys, you are a credit to your industry.” Debroah Broadhead – Mincher Lockett & Co Optician’s client.
I’m sure you have heard this many times, but it’s so true – people buy people. And yes, we need to invest in training, marketing, appealing stock and creating a wonderful environment, but none of this ultimately matters if you and your team don’t really embody your corporate branding or corporate ethos.
As individual styling is the touchstone for my optical practice, it is of vital importance that my team are also aligned with this process, one which determines that they are engaged with their own style personality.
My brand represents luxury/quality and individuality. We believe people should feel free to express who they are and not conform to the rules of society. I encourage my team to embrace who they are through their clothing and eyewear choices, whilst dressing mindfully of our corporate brand values.
My styling course will give you the language to speak like a stylist, top tips and tools to help you sell multiple pairs, increase your ADV, help you choose the right stocks and colours and help you and your team look the part and become brand ambassadors.
But don’t just take my word for it.
‘’Eva is the ultimate styling guru in the eye care industry. Her practical approach to eyewear styling, addressing consumer needs and identifying new growth opportunities for optometry practices is having a major impact to many businesses across the globe. Eva is an incredible leader in the eyecare industry as she has a refreshing take on how business can take their eyecare management to a whole new level and I highly recommend you register for her eyewear styling academy course.’’ OB Malope, business strategist and managing director of Vision Stryt South Africa.
Be the inspiration with Eyewear Styling!
My course is the UK’s first e-learning certified eyewear stylist course for the optical industry, equipping you to boost your average dispense value, enhance your practice credibility, make frame selection easier and create a stream of happy clients.
Key benefits of eyewear styling
By enrolling on the course, you will learn how to
In addition, you will also receive
The course is often described as transformational and we frequently hear about how we are transforming and empowering our clients’ lives.
“Your course has been so enjoyable and has really made me rethink how I dispense. I was both challenged and inspired at the same time. The increase in average order value resulting from my new approach to dispensing has already paid for the course!”
Sheryl Doe, MD Allegro Optical, Dispensing Optician of the Year 2019
“The course has instilled confidence and theory into my eyewear styling, with my first consultation being a multi pair purchase and going over my current average dispense value by more than £1000!”
Annica Clarke FBDO, Clark Family Eyecare
To find out more: eyewearstylingacademy.com
or contact Eva directly at email@example.com or call 07923 025650
Eva is often called upon for style advice in regional newspapers and magazines, gives talks at national optical and eyewear events and is an advocate for the transformative power of eyewear as an accessory.
Eva is highly respected as an eyewear styling trainer with Europe’s leading image consultancy Colour me Beautiful and helps train consultants across the globe.