4 Easy Tips to Humanize Your Practice to Foster High-End, Repeat, Loyal Customers

Posted by Villa Eyewear on Jan 26th 2023

4 Easy Tips to Humanize Your Practice to Foster High-End, Repeat, Loyal Customers

Humanizing your interactions is essential for your business. When you sell high-end frames, every part of a customer’s experience should reflect the value of your offering. Your clients are paying for an elevated shopping experience along with a quality offering. Therefore, there are a few details you should keep in mind to stand out as a high-end practice.

1. Handwritten notes

Reminder cards, thank-you cards, appointment notes, and direct mail flyers are all typically printed in bulk to save on ink, time, and money. But the faceless and unemotional bulk postcard look is ignored upon receipt and blends in with a mass of other direct mail flyers. Set your practice apart with handwritten notes. This is such a small but significant way of “humanizing” your practice and letting clients feel taken care of after spending money on luxury frames. In fact, according to Small Business Trends, emails and impersonal notes get an average open rate of around 20%, whereas a handwritten and more personalized note typically gets closer to a 99% open rate. If you want your message, offer (yes, we suggest you throw an offer in these notes as well), or good wishes to be actually received - consider going handwritten! We suggest utilizing these handwritten cards as much as possible, like when a customer picks up their frames, during the holiday seasons, or for their birthdays as a few examples.

Some services to utilize to make sending handwritten notes even easier include Simply Noted, Handwrytten, Felt, and Thankster among many others. 

2. Personalized communications

People like to be referred to by their name and feel that they are more than a number on a spreadsheet. And the truth is, they are! Without your clients, your business would not be a success. Remind them why you earned their business in the first place.

The best way to personalize your communication is to keep an up-to-date database list or customer relationship management system that can be pulled into your email marketing system. Additionally, keeping track of the brands, colors, styles that your customers prefer can help you further segment your customer lists and take your email personalization one step further than just Hi {First Name}.

If you are in need of a good CRM that can help you keep track of your customers, their purchases, and more, you can reach out to us and we’ll chat directly with you to help you navigate the endless choices (we’ve seen it all!) and understand what fits best in our industry.

3. Elevate your in-store experience

Beyond having helpful and knowledgeable employees, have you considered the customer’s shopping and walk-through experience? Does your practice look inviting to someone willing to spend time and money to find the frames they want? Consider your “neutral zone”, the area focused just around your entryway, and keep strategically placed mirrors with a selection of frames just beyond this zone to entice customers. Space out your furniture to allow for casual browsing and keep flattering light near mirrors and product set-ups.

Your practice is probably familiar to the crowd of walk-ins who look around without actually making a purchase. Could you be doing more to encourage them to deeply explore your inventory? Rather than meeting new walk-ins at the door, consider allowing them to progress past the “neutral zone” before walking by and letting them know they can feel free to look around.

Let them know you’ll be back if they have any questions, and focus on another task while you let them come to you. The interaction leaves more room for positive interaction and space for potential new customers to find something they’re interested in.

Additionally, you can try to incorporate other experiences like:

  • Adding signage letting them know that frames are cleaned often.
  • Recommending customers to take photos of themselves in frames they like and compare the photos to see which look the best. If your sales staff feels comfortable enough with the customer, they can even offer to take the photos for them.
  • Adding signage in the store to highlight new frames such as “Come ask us about XYZ”

4. Rethink the purchase experience, packaging, and thank you notes

Clients want to feel like they are paying for quality frames and invariably have high expectations for how you present their purchase. Beyond the frames and case, your packaging should be branded, even if it is only a small bag. This should be branded with your practice if the brand of frames does not have accompanying branded packaging. Consider branded lens wipes and add-on purchases like lens cleaners and fog reducers near the register and on tables.

Go the extra mile and put a thank you note card inside their bag, accompanying their purchase. In that preferably handwritten note, remind them of when their next “follow-up” appointment should be to check their vision, along with some helpful information around how long a prescription frame might last before needing to be updated. If the purchased frame is for a child, sharing this information will be even more appreciated as children outgrow frames more quickly.

High-end clients want to feel that their information and history with you is valued.

By humanizing your interactions with your customers, you nurture a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship. Take this opportunity to review every point of interaction with your current clients to make sure that those interactions are meaningful. Handwritten notes, personalized communications, elevated in-store experiences, and purchase experiences are key to reminding your clients that this business still relies on individuals and relationships rather than spreadsheets and automation. Today, consumers want more human interaction - not less. As companies grow, their customer interactions and customer service have been replaced with robocalls and chatbots. Your clients will notice the difference when you step up your investment in humanizing your interactions.

Take your experience to the next level by offering your customers high-quality independent products from Villa Eyewear. Contact us today to learn more.