Michael Feetham is Specsavers Audiology’s 19th partner and our first South Australian partner. Michael operates out of Specsavers Thebarton and West Lakes stores and we visited him there to talk through why he joined Specsavers, find a little out about his background and listen to his views on professionalism and the likely impact Specsavers will have in the audiology profession.
1. Tell us a bit about your background.
I got into audiology because I like the idea of being able to help people. I also come from a musical background so working with sound and technology has long been an interest of mine. I studied at Flinders University and completed the Masters of Audiology course at the end of 2008. From there, I went straight into work at Australian Hearing where I was based until March 2012. Following that I went to Bloom Hearing until I joined Specsavers.
2. Thinking about previous roles and years in the industry as a backdrop, what prompted you to join Specsavers?
What attracted me to Specsavers firstly was their vision and plan around delivering audiology services at affordable prices. That, combined with the idea of owning my own business and building a customer base through an established optical business, just made sense.
3. Having joined, can you describe your thoughts about Specsavers Audiology and the role the group will play in the industry?
Firstly, I have been really impressed with Specsavers’ approach to business; they approach it in a very ethical manner.
In terms of their pricing and ethics, I believe this will have quite an impact on the audiology industry, particularly around customers.
4. What is Specsavers Audiology’s approach to professionalism and clinical practice?
For me, it’s a gold standard. I’m using better quality equipment and more advanced testing procedures than I have previously. That, added with the focus on putting the customer first all contributes to that gold standard.
Not having product-related KPIs is also an absolute breath of fresh air for the industry and I’m really enjoying it.
5. What would you say to audiology professionals considering a JVP with Specsavers?
I’d advise them to seriously consider it. Partnership with Specsavers presents a really great opportunity to be a part of the change in the audiology industry whilst having a business to call your own.
6. Why is a JVP with Specsavers a good model for audiology?
The Specsavers JVP model is going to provide a lot of opportunities for audiologists with a sense of drive.
I think the company has the scale to make audiology affordable again, and hopefully instigate change across the board if other providers want to play their part.
While it’s early days in my Specsavers career I’ve felt nothing but supported and had a lot of time spent on getting me ready to open my business and setting me up for success. It’s really important to feel like you’re being looked after and cared about in those early stages.