What do opticians need from their suppliers?

As an optician, your demands on your suppliers start with your customers’ demands on you. Good products and low prices are obvious but is it enough to build a successful practice? Are these the only things your customers ask for? Here is some food for thought.


Why does your customer pick you out of all opticians available?

Let’s look at how you differentiate yourself. Here are a few quick questions to consider in this area:


• How is your practice any different from your competitors’?
• How do you position yourself in your marketplace?
• Does your brand support your wanted position?
• Does your way of working and values support your brand?


You have some key elements here. Brand, position and way of working. When these are aligned, your customers will start to notice. And, they will spread the word. It is the benefit of today’s social networking. But, keep in mind that it works both ways. If you underperform, they will know.


Have you ever used these elements in your supplier selection process? You should relay the requirements from your customers onwards to your suppliers. Ask yourself how your supplier is helping you with branding, positioning and ways of working.

  • Ways of working
    You can divide this into efficiency and effectiveness. Your internal processes and tools have support your way of taking care of the customer. The customer should notice this. You will be effective in your customer care and retention if the tools are top of the line. It builds trust in you and your practice. Do not forget training. Do your suppliers provide this? Preferably with a smile?


  • Positioning
    Do you have a perfect match between your wanted position in the market and what support you get from the suppliers? High end, low end, full service, high price, low price, one-stop-shop, eyecare specialist, or fashion specialist? There are numerous positions in market. Where do you want to be, and can your suppliers match this? Ask what they can do for you.


  • Branding
    It is all about how your customers perceive you, your staff and your practice. The perception is built upon many touch points. If you fail in one, you will have a hard time recovering. What does the customer journey look like in your case? Where does your relationship start? Is it advertisements in the local paper? On your website? Do they just walk in to your practice? Think about the touch points and what support your supplier offers in each of these.


Your success is made easier with responsive suppliers that care about your business and understand how you care for your customers. You should never stop asking for support. Make sure you choose suppliers that want to build your success together and are prepared to walk that extra mile to support you.

Ready to take your practice to a new level?

Visit our products page and let Hoya support you on every step of the way by becoming a partner.