Specsavers Audiology is delighted to welcome Ben Scales as the new Head of Retail, bringing significant experience, and leadership capabilities to the role, to grow our reach, impact, and partner development. We caught up with Ben, to explore his new role and how his team support our partners every day.
Q: You have recently been appointed to the role as the Head of Retail at Specsavers Australia and New Zealand. Tell us about the new role.
I was previously the Head of Marketing for Audiology and recently I moved across to my new role, as the Head of Retail. For many, it might seem like a strange move – marketing to operations, but actually it makes perfect sense.
From focusing on driving customers into our audiology business, I now get to focus on what happens next, the customer journey and work more intimately with our audiology partners, providing support to set them up for success. I love what we do at Specsavers because we are really helping people to re-engage with life again, and I’m excited to be part of that.
Q: How does the Retail team support partners?
The team and I work very closely with our audiology partners to provide them with the support that they need, to make sure that we’re able to achieve what we want to achieve, together as partners in a business. You might describe the team as business coaches or mentors – who are there to share their knowledge and experience with the partners as well as represent Specsavers in the partnership. The customer journey is key to us achieving our collective ambitions – and so we work with our partners and identify opportunities to develop and strengthen that customer journey.
Q: What are some of the things that Partners might come to and talk to your team about?
The retail team consists predominantly of audiology relationship managers, there’s a clue in their title as to what their focus is on – relationships. As holders of the relationship with partners, the team are the first point of contact to provide partners with business support and guidance.
Partners will be in regular contact with their relationship manager, who will review annual plans, identify goals, and put a plan into place for each business to achieve. As part of this process, we explore what is and isn’t working in each business and take action by dialling up support to help our partners in their areas of need, it’s a bespoke approach.
For many, running a business is a new skillset, so our role is to support, to guide and to upskill so that they feel equipped in their transition from employees to business owners, and directors.
Q: What strategies are you currently working on to help partners grow their business?
When our business first launched in 2017, our audiology partners were the sole operators in their business – focused on clinical care, admin and wearing many hats to grow their business. At the start this works, but over time, as demand increases, and they start to hit annual review cycles with customers this is no longer sustainable.
So, our team has been working on solutions to free up time for our partners, so that they can manage the demand for their services as their businesses grow. Some of these solutions include automation, centralisation, introducing assistant roles and of course, bringing onboard employed professionals into their business.