Get in quick and don’t miss out could be Claire Stacey’s new motto.
“One of the main motivating factors of joining Specsavers so early into its New Zealand roll out was that there were limited partnerships available and I wanted to get in on the action early so to speak!” she says.
Claire Stacey brings a wealth of experience to her Specsavers partnership. Having studied a Bachelor of Science at Auckland University and a Master of Audiology at Canterbury University, she has worked in the field for almost 15 years and, with most of the major players. She’s also run her own business in the past and knows exactly what being a business owner entails.
“Audiology is the ultimate clinical role. I really enjoy working with people and help them to improve their quality of life, meeting all sorts of people, and getting to know them is a real highlight of my job! And of course, there is the technical aspect of hearing aids which keeps the job interesting,” she says.
As a busy mum of two little girls, and a highly experienced clinician and business owner, she wasn’t sold on the Specsavers model initially but quickly changed her mind.
“To be honest I was a little skeptical about Specsavers and what they had to offer in New Zealand at the beginning. But the more I talked to other partners and optical employees about their experience the more I realised that this was something that I wanted to embark upon.”
“Being a partner allows me to make the day-to-day decisions that help me to provide an excellent customer experience while having the backup and support behind the scenes leaving me to focus on the customer as much as possible. And of course, when the NZ price list was released, I just knew I had to jump onboard so I could be part of helping more people access affordable hearing care!”
However, starting a new business venture in the middle of a global pandemic was not quite what she envisioned. “I had to meet my store partners over Zoom, which was an interesting experience – to be honest, it almost felt like internet dating and I was quite nervous about it! But we got along really well which was a big bonus,” she says.
But her positive attitude and her commitment to her customers is making the challenge look easy.
“The main highlight so far has been seeing my customer’s reactions when I have given them a quote for hearing aids. They just can’t believe that the hearing aids are so affordable and that they are not compromising any technology by choosing Specsavers. They are comforted by the fact that they are being looked after by a fully qualified MNZAS audiologist who will not compromise on care due to the cost of hearing aids being less. In fact, it is the exact opposite, I am fully invested in making my business a success and the only way you can do that is by looking after your clients and making sure they have a positive experience right from the beginning, and if not then I am in a position to make it right.”
Claire, who operates Specsavers Audiology in Rangiora and Hornby says the teams and customers at both stores have fully embraced audiology services.
The fact that you can offer hearing aids at such affordable prices, means that people who were not previously even considering hearing aids due to the price can now get help with their hearing. It is such a good feeling when a customer says to me, “I can buy my hearing aids and have money left over to pay for my daughter’s course next year – she will be thrilled!” In previous jobs I had to justify to customers why the hearing aids were the price that they were, now I don’t ever have that awkward conversation,” she says.
And she has big plans for the future.
“The goal for my store is for audiology to be integral to the business and that every team member is thinking about a customer’s ears as well as their eyes. I want the team to feel comfortable with having conversations with customers even when some are resistant to the idea, this will mean that the team realise the importance of hearing and acting on hearing loss.
“My goal for me as an individual is for Specsavers Audiology to be the number one choice for affordable hearing care in my areas. I believe word of mouth is so important and in a place like Rangiora it is the key to success. I want people to be talking about us and recommending me to their family and friends because they know that they will be looked after!”