An owner-led customer-centric approach to community audiology

31 August 2021

Darrel Magna, GM at Specsavers Audiology talks about what he has learned over 28 years with Specsavers and why having satisfied customers and satisfied audiology professionals are of equal importance to him…

One of the big things you learn early on at Specsavers is that a great ‘Partnership’ is at the heart of everything we aim for. Our partners keep us honest and even though our job is sometimes harder because we have business partners as stakeholders, Specsavers is successful because we have them. Alongside a great partnership, just as important is providing ‘exceptional customer service’. How these two elements work together is to understand fundamentally what Specsavers all is about. As the GM of Specsavers Audiology for Australia and New Zealand, my job is to wake up every morning worrying equally that we are doing everything we can to deliver both.

Simply put, our business is set up to support our partners with a host of services from marketing to finance, to products, clinical support, development and more. The purpose of that support is to give time back to our partners – so that they can focus all their energy on providing fantastic clinical support and a range of hearing devices that together drive record satisfaction among their customers, without having to worry about sales setting or KPI delivery. To ensure we are on track we constantly measure the satisfaction of both groups.

On the face of it, this is a pretty simple equation but as with most simple things, there is complexity behind the scenes. Working for some 24 years in the optics business before moving across to Specsavers Audiology has given me a real insight into how our support team can deliver for our partners in store. We know that if we get it right for them, then they have everything at their disposal to get it right for their customers.

Our starting point in all of this is to know that above all of this our purpose is to change people’s lives through better sight and hearing. That drives me and my optical and audiology colleagues to aim high in terms of what can be achieved – from the best possible products, clinicians, value and after care. We are always forward-looking to ensure all of those markers remain front of mind ensuring that all the decisions we make have an equal balance of being ‘great for customers’ and ‘great for partners’. Customers deserve to see a more transparent industry which means disrupting a long history of some providers putting profits before customers; and when customers demand transparency more and more, I’m confident that we’ll continue providing better and better value.

And of course, another great thing for me and my team personally is that we have colleagues in other Specsavers markets working to achieve the same outcomes for partners and customers. We all regularly assess each other’s approaches and projects to identify proven and successful ways of, say, launching a new product or initiative. It is a fantastic collaboration and lots of fun too because we’re essentially competing with each other to provide the very best to our partners and their customers.

Having now reached the fourth anniversary of Specsavers Audiology’s first stores opening in Australia, and having seen such extraordinary growth over our first four years, there is so much to celebrate.

Apart from my constant surprise of the level of misconceptions with our model, one of the biggest compliments I’ve seen is how competitors reacted when Specsavers launched into the audiology market. Our market entry was on the agenda at their national conference; that’s when you know you’re making waves and changing the industry for the better,

I invite audiology professionals across Australia and New Zealand to reach out directly via LinkedIn to have an informal chat. Click on contact links below or call Julia Hewagama on 0409 015 519.

Darrel Magna – LinkedIn
Nick Taylor – LinkedIn