Craig Steel is Specsavers Audiology’s 44th partner operating out of Specsavers’ Greensborough and Heidelberg stores, located about 20km north-east of Melbourne’s CBD. Craig tells us how he has fared in his first year as a partner, how his customers have reacted to the Specsavers products and services and why he first wanted to join the business.
1. A year into your Specsavers journey, how are you finding the customer response to your business?
Very positive and enthusiastic. Most customers have already received great service for many years for their vision and are pleased they are now getting the same for their hearing. Customers feel confident that all their appointments are with me, allowing us to build a long-term relationship.
2. What have been some of the biggest highlights?
For me, it has been seeing customers who have either been unable to afford hearing aids or have had a poor experience trying hearing aids and seeing them realise the full potential they can bring to their lives. With great open pricing, customers have been able to access hearing aid features they may have otherwise missed out on due to cost.
3. What, if any, have been some key challenges you’ve faced?
Being my own boss means I have had to learn to manage my time differently and sometimes I find it challenging to balance clinical time in a busy store while managing the business.
4. What are the most noticeable differences you’ve seen in the past year with Specsavers compared to previous years in the industry?
Running my own business gives me the autonomy to make both professional and business decisions, which allows me to always put my customers first.
5. Why did you initially join Specsavers? Have your feelings changed a year into your journey?
I joined to have more control in the decisions that I made to best meet the client’s needs and have the resources and products to be able to do this. My feelings have not changed with a great product range that is continually being updated. I am amazed at Specsavers’ high quality, great value range and the options I can offer my customers every day.
6. What would you say to audiology professionals considering a joint venture partnership (JVP) with Specsavers?
Start the discussion with Specsavers to see if it aligns with how you see yourself as an audiology professional. Being a JVP with Specsavers will give you more professional independence and access to great products at Specsavers prices. If you are willing to put the hard work into developing and growing the business with Specsavers’ support, then the rewards are there for both you and your customers.