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HomeminewsEye Trend Opens First ZEISS Vision Expert Practice

Eye Trend Opens First ZEISS Vision Expert Practice

Eye Trend – a group of five practices in Melbourne – will open its first ‘ZEISS Vision Expert’ practice at Eastland Shopping Centre in the suburb of Ringwood, next month.

Eye Trend owner, Helen Lee, said this was “the third chapter” in the evolution of the business that she took ownership of in 2007 having acquired it from family.

Since the acquisition, Ms Lee has created a sustainable business model with departments to handle warehousing, information technology, accounts, and marketing – the latter with her daughter Charlotte at the helm.

Now on strong foundations, she said the business was ready to take the next step, by partnering with Eye Trend’s long-standing supplier, ZEISS, to open its first ZEISS Vision Expert practice.

Independence Retained

The partnership means that while retaining independent ownership and branding, Eye Trend’s new practice has been purpose designed and fitted with ZEISS equipment and supplies the full range of the German company’s frames and lenses.

Ms Lee said her relationship with ZEISS goes back to her childhood when, growing up in Hong Kong, she was first prescribed glasses and has always remembered seeing the ZEISS logo in the optical shop.

In 2016, when Ms Lee visited ZEISS Adelaide on a behavioural optometry fact-finding mission, she visited ZEISS and met the team. In 2018, Eye Trend sourced its first ZEISS premium lenses.

… we have really thought about how ZEISS can support us and help us elevate the customer experience

Shared Values

“ZEISS has very similar values to us in that they are about quality over quantity, and they really value innovation,” Charlotte Ng explained. “So for us, it just seemed like a natural partnership.”

As a ZEISS Vision Expert store, Eye Trend aims “to enhance the patient in-store experience by setting up superior, digitalised and personalised touchpoints throughout the complete customer journey”.

“We’re offering a modern, contactless vision testing experience. We have the latest ZEISS equipment to do eye health testing, with diagnostic and imaging instruments that enables our optometrists to look deeper into the structures of the eye to accurately detect and monitor eye diseases and eye conditions.

“When patients step outside the consultation room, there is a ZEISS lens bar, where they can see the full lens range, including tinted lens samples. Our staff consults and recommends the best vision solution for their individual vision needs and lifestyle.”

Once the patient has chosen their frame, the ZEISS Visufit 1000 3D digital platform is used to capture individualised frame centration data measurements to define the frame and lens make-up.

“So we have really thought about how ZEISS can support us and help us elevate the customer experience, from the moment they step into our store until the moment they leave – and even beyond. Soon patients will be able to log into the Visufit 1000 system from home, and with the 3D image we’ve captured, virtually try on more frames in their own time.”

Family, Community First

Eye Trend chose to open its ZEISS Vision Expert store in Ringwood because of the community-minded, family-focussed atmosphere that has been created by the shopping centre owners, Queensland Investment Corporation.

“Eastland Shopping Centre is quite different to the other shopping centres in Melbourne… they’re not just focussed on what they can do within their shopping centre, but what they can do to bring the community together. And, of course, we are family-centric as well. Having grown up in the area, and spent much of my time in the store, many of our customers have grown up with me; I hope they feel they can come to this store for all of their eye care needs.”

With one consultation room for adults and the other specifically designed for children, as well as a children’s corner she said, the aim is for the new Eye Trend store to become the first point of contact for all ages.

“We can offer vision therapy assessment, exercises, and treatment. The children’s corner has a display of children’s eyewear, and we also have an area where they can play vision focussed games to train their hand-eye coordination. We also have an LED screen to further promote interaction and keep kids engaged with relevant, age-appropriate messages about eye health.”

Ms Ng paid credit to her mother who “has a great deal of passion for helping others, especially in eye care” despite not being an optometrist.

“Mum is the visionary of the business. We have a great team of optometrists who really value and respect my mum. She always gives them the opportunity to explore different career pathways within eye care, to continuously learn more, to educate themselves more, to be able to provide better outcomes for our patients.

“And thanks to our relationship with ZEISS, all of our staff are very knowledgeable about ZEISS products. Yes, there has been additional training for our optometrists and staff who work in the Eastland store, but I think this (training) will help us in our other stores as well –we don’t want to only provide an elevated experience in our ZEISS Vision Experts store, we believe in providing the best possible experience for our customers.”

Helen Lee agreed. “After all the struggling (experienced in developing the business), I have found that at the end of the day, if your heart’s open to your customer, you gain the energy, and the money will come. I never push anyone to sell, but when my staff see my genuine care for our customers, they’re willing to tell the customer about how good our services and products are. I really hope our new ZEISS Vision Expert store in Melbourne will have more people talking about how we treat our customers.”