Secrets to survival and success of a New Forest high street business
Hassan Hicks optometrist and dispensing optician Lymington
Hassan Hicks is a long established private business. It’s a family owned, traditional ophthalmic and dispensing optician and contact lens specialist which also markets fabulous top quality spectacles, and has always been based in Lymington. NHS sight tests and private eye examinations are carried out by fully qualified staff using the most modern equipment and a warm welcome is always extended to new patients.
Business role model for success
Unusually, this isn't intended as a promotional article! In fact because they are so excellent Hassan Hicks have almost more patients than they can cope with. However you will not be turned away if you feel inspired to walk in the door and make an appointment.
This is more about the contributing factors to which the Hassan Hicks business longevity and success can be attributed.
It’s about providing consistently high service
The overriding factor is that the business has been quietly, patiently and resolutely built over 30 years by clever and committed husband and wife team Mr and Mrs (as they prefer to be addressed) Turgay and Anne Hassan Hicks who have always invested in top quality equipment and dealt only with quality suppliers they trust, in order to provide a service to their patients - note, not “customers”: health care professional is the primary role of Hassan Hicks.
Living on the Isle of Wight and dependent daily on Wightlink who recently have had issues resulting in many ferry cancellations, the family has been presented with difficult challenges. But determined not to allow their patients to suffer they stayed in hotels when necessary and as a result changed very few appointments.
Mr Hassan Hicks and daughter Lora are both highly skilled optometrists of many years training whilst Mrs Hassan Hicks together with long serving staff member Mr Timothy Bridge is a dispensing optician.
Human, real, friendly as well as immensely knowledgeable and well informed, they all really love to serve because as Anne says, they love people! And they’re there to help.
Additional factors: skill and dedication
Lora joined the business following a marine biology and oceanography degree and the completion of a masters of research in ocean science, and after then deciding that she wanted to be an optometrist after all! She arrived with her new qualifications, a fresh attitude and a determination to bring something extra to the business. and quickly made a difference. All optometrists are expected to keep up continuous education and training - but not all have her brilliance and patience.
The role of the dispensing optician is also a differentiator in terms of customer service at Hassan Hicks. Three years qualification followed by continuing professional development is just the start. It’s a highly skilled job to get the lens design and format into the correct frames and exactly the correct place for the pupil centre - as Anne says where the bridge of the nose starts is critical – and to guide the patient to the best choice for his or her face.
Grown up children come back as patients with their own families
New patients sometimes walk in with their prescription. They’ve come from somewhere else and they’re looking for something good, they receive marvellous customer service from reception and the dispensing team and go away feeling great, wearing spectacles which really suit them and fulfil their vision requirements. Next time they need an eye examination they come to Hassan Hicks.
The majority of Hassan Hicks patients tend to be aged 40 or older, often with their families. The children when grown may move away, but often gravtitate back and with their own children! This is something the Hassan Hicks family find particularly rewarding.
And the business continues to grow!
Planning for the future
Anne explains how they decided to make Hassan Hicks a limited company to help with a smooth transition for the business when she and Mr Hassan Hicks finally step away even though that time is still a long way off. How investment in the latest equipment will always continue and they will continue to deal with top end suppliers. That they will build on what they’ve always aspired to, putting customer service first,to make their business ever stronger.
And we shall continue to have our eyes tested and buy our glasses and lenses at Hassan Hicks!