Friday, 30 March 2012

Short-sighted service

I have a beef with Specsavers.

I’ve been a user of its Lensmail scheme since 1999, getting my contact lenses sent to me through the post. Everything about the customer service I’ve received over the past 13 years has been exemplary, from my regular contact lens checks in addition to sight tests, to calling the Lensmail people with any enquiries.

Convenience and value?
Recently the service got better with more bonuses added to the scheme. I now get completely free sight tests, as well as free annual check-ups at the contact lens clinic and money off glasses.

I should be a satisfied customer, right? I really want to be. But there are two issues that bother me:

1. The Lensmail parcel arrives with only my lenses in it and a despatch note. There are no special offers included. I don’t remember ever ticking a box that told Specsavers never to send me marketing material. When I went for my last sight test, I had no idea it was free. A nice surprise at the time, but it could have told me sooner by including some of the lesser-known benefits of the Lensmail scheme in my parcel. Surely learning about those added extras may persuade someone considering leaving Specsavers for a cheaper provider to stay? It’s also prime position for third-party inserts. Some extra revenue for Specsavers just waiting to happen.

2. My other gripe is the way replacement lenses are handled. I recently tore one of my lenses and called customer services to arrange a free replacement—another benefit of the scheme. The person I spoke to was very helpful and said a replacement would be waiting for me in the store. But it’s a 28-mile round trip to my nearest store, I explained. Why couldn’t one be posted? It seems silly that a Lensmail service is unable to mail me a lens. If you ordered something online and needed a replacement, would a retailer only offer an in-store option? Of course not. That’s supposed to be the key benefit of “home shopping”.

It’s not a big deal, but it does seem inefficient—especially considering all the hype about “omnichannel”. Seems the concept still has some way to go before becoming reality. --MT

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