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Service with a smile

How do you keep your customers coming back for more? For me, a small seaside café has the right idea

23 Jun 2016 by Emily McCormick

As OT  closes its retail excellence-themed July edition – due through letter boxes on 2 July – my thoughts turn to what I consider great customer service to be.

As I rack my brains trying to think of the last time I was really impressed on leaving a store, I struggle.

However, when I do recall an experience that left me feeling considered and valued, it’s of a little independent café on the seafront where I grew up that I think of fondly. And while it may be nothing to write home about from the outside, on the inside its good food and service with a smile always leaves me keen to return – in fact it’s been a family favourite for breakfast and ice cream outings since I was about four years old.

Thinking about how the key elements of this experience can translate to optical practices, the café’s success lies simply on good products, happy, helpful staff and an efficient customer journey. And yes, the view of the sea probably helps too. But there is little in this mix that practices can’t recreate and reap the benefits of.

As I spoke to the chair of the newly-formed Eye Health UK, David Cartwright, this week, he pointed out that public initiatives such as National Eye Health Week provide practices with something new and unique to talk to patients/customers about.

“Patients are normally surprised and informed by the information they are given,” he explained, “while practitioners genuinely like it as it gives them something different and interesting to talk to patients about, outside of frame and lens choices.”

So why not use this year’s National Eye Health Week to help you stand out from the High Street crowd? Visit for more information.

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