Specsavers show customer focus with £300,000 Birkenhead investment

A BIRKENHEAD opticians has brought its customer service into sharp focus by investing £300,000 in a massive refurbishment including state-of-the-art equipment.

Specsavers in Birkenhead has remodelled at a cost of £200,000 which comes on top of the £100,000 spent recently on a state of the art robotic lens grinding machine.

According to Ken Roberts who has been its director for the past 23 years, the huge modernisation programme is already paying dividends as the shop has just experienced its busiest week ever.

The major changes have seen them become one of the most advanced Specsavers stores in the country.

Ken said: “We decided to undertake the refit because we needed to expand the premises to cope with increasing demand for our services and provide better access for disabled patients.

“Overall, we were keen to improve the customer experience even further, and I think we have now done that.”

Ken explained the six-week facelift operation, which was completed while the store remained trading, involved an extensive package of improvements.

“Our shop is on three floors and the refit effectively extended the sight-testing capacity on the ground floor by 100 per cent and the first floor by 20 per cent,” he said.

“One of the key features is that we now have one more test room on the ground floor to increase access for our disabled customers, which is very important to us.

“We have also added two more eye test rooms, taking us to a total of nine to help us handle the extra demand we are experiencing.

“Another improvement is that we now have a dedicated room for our two diabetic retinal screening cameras, each of which cost £20,000.

“We have long prided ourselves on the work we do in this vital area which involves the early detection of diabetic retinopathy.

“This is one of the most common causes of sight loss in people of working age and happens when diabetes affects the small blood vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that acts like a film in a camera.

“The pictures taken by one our specialist cameras will be sent to the Wirral NHS with which we have worked in partnership with for years. If a problem is suspected then arrangements can be made for the patient to go to hospital for further checks.”

Ken added: “The refit has also enabled us to have three more dedicated glasses dispensing booths, taking us to a total of 12 private dispensing desks.

“It’s worth noting that all our sight testing equipment is computer assisted, with no old-fashioned trail frames and lenses involved in the process.

“Apart from the work we do with diabetic screening, we also have retinal photography digital imaging available, free of charge to most patients, in every room.

“Basically, this means that when a person first comes in for a sight test we can use our equipment to take a picture of the back of their eyes and then compare it with pictures we take on their later visits to see of anything has changed in the meantime.

“We are gradually introducing a system where all the measurements for dispensing glasses are being done by tablets, which means that everything can be done with an incredible degree of accuracy.

“When it comes to ordering their new glasses, customers can choose from new and improved frame displays, which showcase the entire Specsavers range of frames plus a host of designer options.

“A further improvement to our shop has been a dedicated hearcare room with soundproof booth and digital hearing testing for improved accuracy of the audiograms.

“Customer comfort was firmly in mind when we designed in a new waiting room with seating for up to 30 people.”

On hand to deliver this increased range of services to customers are a team which includes seven fully qualified registered optometrists, five registered dispensing opticians, two contact lens opticians and four hearing aid audiologists plus full supporting staff.

The £300,000 investment in the building follows the £100,000 recently spent on a state of the art computerised robotic lens grinding machine.

Ken said: “This allows us to improve the quality and accuracy of the finished product. In fact, we call it the Terminator because, just like the film character, it’s relentless and never makes a mistake.

“There’s only a tiny handful of these machines in use in the UK by high street opticians.

“All the improvements add up to make us one of the most advanced Specsavers in the country, which we are all very proud of.

“And the benefits of the investment are already showing through because we recently had our busiest ever week – which I am delighted to say brought a letter of congratulation from our managing director.”

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