The Tools You Need to Grow an Optical Business - Smart Vision Labs

Tools to Grow an Optical Business

You’re open for business but are you looking for more customers to open the door of your optical store? And more importantly, when they do enter, are they going to be just browsing or actually buying?

The good news is that there are proven ways to grow your retail optical business.

Customer Service

Of course, this tops the list because it’s all about customers. Successful businesses, however, look beyond the metrics and focus on the meaning. A retail optical store is already differentiated from other types of stores that sell standard merchandise since they offer vision exams, which contributes to eye health. You are in a market that can impact the wellbeing of every customer. That in itself is powerful.

Now take the idea one step further and make every customer experience a four-star rating. Besides the must-dos of having a knowledgeable and friendly staff, consider rewarding each purchase. And this does not have to be a monetary reward.

How about sending a postcard or email to each customer following up on the sale? (When was the last time someone did that for you?) Or maybe give a gift (a coupon or something eye-related) to customers who refer family or friends? Everyone likes to be recognized; people want to feel they are more than a number.

Positive word-of-mouth is still the best marketing strategy.

TM, our Director of Customer Success for Smart Vision Labs
TM, our Director of Customer Success

Social Media 

The sister of word-of-mouth is social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are free to use but can give you big rewards. Posting regularly (at least twice a week, more may be better) and managing the content on these sites gives you a solid way to stay connected with current and future customers.

This medium also gives your business a personality. Start a conversation, promote a contest, or tell everyone about the latest new products. You could even ask your customers to pose with their new eyewear. Everyone loves a photo op!

Concentrate on building relationships. People will return to your optical store, (and bring friends and family) if they like you and your staff. This business is not about buying a product in a store where the only evidence of their purchase is a receipt. Purchasing eyewear is far more personal and affects their day-to-day life for a long time.

Community Involvement

The success of your optical store depends on how customers see you. (No, that is not a bad pun, just good marketing sense.) Besides the in-person customer service and the online presence with social media, what are people in your community saying about you?

Consider creating an outreach program for a target customer base. Ask to speak at senior centers or retirement homes about age-related eye issues like cataracts or glaucoma. Not only will you be helping a segment of your community but you will be creating brand awareness.

Reaching out to youth sports programs is another option. You could discuss eyewear that is safe and appropriate for certain activities. The ideas for influencing your community are all around you; ask your customers for more local ideas.

One of Smart Vision Labs' mission trips with VOSH as part of our community outreach efforts
One of our mission trips with VOSH

Did You Notice the Trend?

If this was a vision exam, I would now ask what you saw in this article.

I hope you saw the common theme of people. The very best way to grow an optical business is to connect with people, in-store, online, and in the community. Eye heath, vision testing, and eyewear are important to everyone.

When you turn off the lights and lock the door of your optical store at the end of the day, know that your business is making an improvement in the lives of your customers.

learn more about telemedicine and how it can increase your optical store's business - Smart Vision Labs

Learn more about how to grow an optical business with these related posts:

Is a Telemedicine Solution Right for Your Optical Store?
Can Telemedicine Replace Your Eye Doctor
Telemedicine Myths and the Truths Behind Them
What is Telemedicine? What Effect Will It Have on the Care of Your Eyes?

Download your free e-book, How Optical Stores Can Profit from the Telemedicine Revolution.”


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