Specsmakers: Where Employee Development and Customer Satisfaction Go Hand in Hand
Over the last ten years, we have witnessed unprecedented growth in our lifestyle, living standards and fashion sense. With the transition, we have adopted a fashion sense that blends style with elegance and comfort. This particularly stands true when we talk about eyewear industry. Gone are the days when those with weak eyesight were compelled to wear bulky and old-fashioned spectacles. Not only spectacles but contact lenses have also seen a lot of advancements in recent years that we can’t ignore the change the eyewear industry has gone through.
This unparalleled advancement in the eyewear industry has been brought by several new-age firms. Today, we are going to talk about one such retail eyewear firm that has been achieving new milestones every passing year– Specsmakers Opticians Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Pratik Shah is the Founder and CEO of Specsmakers. Holding an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, he is an expert in negotiation, customer service, coaching, sales, and retail.
Coming from a retail background, Pratik identified many opportunities that needed to be organized. He observed that the eyewear industry had become accustomed to a very discrete model, in which customers had no uniform quality or pricing, and everything depended on the customer-retailer relationship.
The influx of luxurious and premium brands was increasing, while unorganized eyewear stores had their own set of prices. Pratik sought to change the scenario by offering transparent transactions and authentic quality with a focus on functionality at an affordable rate. This revolutionary idea and a clear concept by Pratik led to the ideation of Specsmakers Opticians in 2007.His expertise in retail marketing made sure the company had an upper hand in terms of positioning.
As a retail expert, he started with the retail distribution channel, but instead of large-format stores, he envisioned a compact place that caters to all the needs. This helped the firm save money on resources, staff, and additional expenditures.
He meticulously planned his venture, including typical daily consumers, time spent in stores, and a transparent transaction mechanism. He opened his first 350-square-foot store, and after its success, he expanded his network by combining 350 sq. ft. and 500 sq. ft. stores. The brand has over 285 stores in 60+ cities and 6 states. Along with quality and affordability, it offers supporting benefits like 14-day return, 1-year unconditional warranty, and free eye test that add to its functionalities.
Impetus to all-round development of employees
The company has remained committed to its fundamental business principles since its establishment. What sets them apart is the equal impetus given to the all-round development of their employees. Specsmakers is one of the most employee centric companies in the retail segment. Their employee first approach has helped them implement industry-first practices in incentives and health insurance for all the employees. “By empowering our employees to reach their full potential, we are helping our teams achieve success and drive the growth of the organization as a whole”, says Pratik Shah.
“In the retail industry, the employees are the face of the organization and play a vital role in its success. Therefore, at our company, we place a significant emphasis on policies that promote employee satisfaction, efficiently rewarding employees with incentives and benefits. Ultimately, a happy employee with a smile on their face can keep the customers happy, making employee satisfaction a crucial parameter in retail,” he explains.
While they have received various awards and recognitions, they believe sustaining and growing their organization while promoting the holistic growth of their workforce is the true measure of success. Pratik Shah emphasizes that adding numbers is just another landmark for him, and what he truly considers a milestone is the ability to sustain and grow while prioritizing the development of their employees.
Maintaining a positive work environment
When it comes to creating a successful workplace environment, Specsmakers excels in all the key departments – Communication, Accountability, Recognition & Appreciation. Their clear & open communication comes handy in building trust and improving collaboration among team members. Talking about accountability, everyone in the company takes responsibility for their actions and decisions creating a sense of ownership and pride at Specsmakers. Besides, they have always believed in recognizing and appreciating employees for their hard work and contributions, boosting their morale and motivation. “We do a series of formal and informal recognition programs, as well as regular feedback and support from managers and colleagues.”
In their endeavour to provide a competitive employee benefit, they pay special attention to their employee recognition program, which comprises a variety of recognition methods such as awards, certificates, and public acknowledgement of achievements. This paves way to recognizing outstanding performance, teamwork, and innovation.
Serving customers with a memorable experience
Emphasising on their customer-centricity, Pratik says, “We ensure that NPS of our stores, Google Feedback, customer satisfaction survey, etc. are given the top priority in our overall business operations. The whole idea is to allow our customers to feel comfortable as well as trustworthy with us. Our mantra asserts no unhappy customer due to product issue or service quality, ergo, we maintain high standards of our offerings at any cost. Also, we are intensely converged on improving the in-store experience for our valued customers. This is in line with the fact that if we serve a customer with a memorable experience, he will associate with you for a lifetime alongside ensuring word of mouth marketing across his personal networks”.
This customer-oriented ideology is quite commendable and has been a predominant factor in the exponential growth of Specsmakers till present date. Pratik is customer-centric to the extent that the email for customer complaints is also personally checked by him to ensure every ticket raised is closed with a high level of satisfaction.
The company is also a torchbearer of adopting latest technology for the advancement of its services. Premium precision lenses in collaboration with Kodak is one of their newest offerings that has got their customers interested. They launched computer-light protection glasses for children during the COVID-19 crisis and created “Charms”, a customizable eyewear line for kids. They also offer innovative sports eyewear that is slip-proof, waterproof and scratch-resistant.
Driven by data-first approach, their decision-making and problem-solving processes use data to answer questions and test hypotheses which has been enabling them with informed decisions and improved outcomes. Their geographically dispersed store teams are successfully collaborating in a virtual workspace to provide a more consistent and standardized experience to their customers.
Pratik plays an important role in terms of goal setting, business strategy and resource allocation. His annual goal setting provides a clear sense of purpose and direction to the organisation and enables his team aligning around a common goal.
“Our primary focus is to emerge as the strongest retail chain in the Indian eyewear market. We use technology to acquire, retain and engage customers, including 3D viewing of eyeglasses online and providing a 360-degree experience of our stores and collections online. However, we encourage customers to visit our nearest store for a better experience of our product, employees, and services.”
The company is built on a people-centric approach. Their obsession with employees has translated to obsession with customers at the stores. “From promotions to a simple thank you note, we have factored every opportunity to recognize good work. Take care of employees so that they take care of your customers”, concludes Pratik Shah.