While he started his career at an Adelaide radio station as a producer and engineer, Chris Denton always knew he really wanted a career where he could help people.
“I actually first became aware of audiology when listening to an audiologist being interviewed on the radio,” he says.
“I was fascinated by the idea of a career where I would be able to have a profound effect on people’s ability to connect socially with family and friends as well as the wider world. I went back to university to study linguistics and then went on to complete a master’s in audiology.”
But once he started his professional audiology career, Chris realised the reality was the industry wasn’t entirely about helping people, and his desire to help people was being overshadowed.
“I began to become disillusioned with the opaque practices of other hearing providers who would not openly disclose their pricing structure due to a desire to keep the prices of hearing devices high to protect extravagant profit margins,” he said.
“I was looking for a way to practice as ethically as possible. I knew of people who had become partners with Specsavers and were reporting greater transparency and increased opportunity. And after talking with the team and several partners I realised the Specsavers model would allow me to help more people at much, much better prices.”
Chris says at a grassroots level, Specsavers is truly focused on the customer.
“It is a customer-focused model. I am a firm believer that if you provide excellent service and quality outcomes for customers the business will come. The business is set up to leverage existing customer bases and to create volume which enables better value for customers. And I’ve been impressed with the way Specsavers is acting all throughout the sector. Not just with the customer facing aspects – such as clear and transparent pricing, but also advocating on behalf of customers to HSP with their best interests in mind.”
Chris says the other great aspect about becoming a Specsavers partner is the great business culture.
“It’s obvious that whilst partners are very busy, they also love what they do. This holds true for all the store staff and support staff too. It feels like you are working with ‘the good guys’,” he says.
“There is an active group of partners here in SA who all communicate regularly and support each other on a daily basis. This is on top of the support provided by the support team including the Audiology Relationship Managers, operations and other support teams.”
And he has big plans for his future.
“I would like to see Specsavers Marion continue to grow through the addition and expansion of audiology and the expansion of optometry. I relish the opportunity to be a market disrupter and want to see the business grow to not only help more and more of our own customers but to also put pressure on the rest of the industry to be more competitive and transparent so that all people who suffer from hearing loss get good care at good prices,” he says.
“This is exactly the opportunity I wanted, to focus on what I was trained for; helping people hear better rather than achieving sales targets.”