Nick Taylor is Specsavers Audiology Head of Professional Services and Product. He’s a qualified audiologist and has worked extensively in clinical settings in the UK over a fifteen-year period.
“Having a background in audiology really gives you a picture into the way hearing loss affects people’s lives,” he says.
“As a practicing audiologist, I have been in the clinic many times with people in tears, because of the impact it has on them and their families. And I’ve seen first-hand the difference audiology professionals can make – you don’t always realise you are transforming people’s lives – but that’s exactly what we do.
When he joined Specsavers more than eight years ago, Nick was attracted to the approach of doing right by the customer every time.
“Specsavers is genuine when it says it puts the customer at the heart of every decision. And they demonstrate it every day. It was refreshing to join a business where healthcare was the primary focus,” he says.
“Now, when I talk to prospective partners, I always say to them that they’ll never see a sales or conversion rate target or have to meet a particular Average Order Value at Specsavers. As long as they live by the fundamental principle of doing right by their customers, they will have a successful audiology business.”
Nick says, when he took the role on, he was encouraged by the philosophy that hearing care should be accessible and affordable.
“So many of our customers don’t have the need for a really sophisticated hearing solutions – so why on earth would we sell them $10K hearing aids? Many of our customers just want to hear their family and friends more clearly and reduce the volume of the TV – which only requires a basic technology–level device. Why would you try to sell them higher technology which is unnecessary? It comes back to that ideal of behaving ethically and making a recommendation that’s best for the customer, not about what they are willing or able to pay.”
Nick says it’s an approach he hasn’t seen anywhere else throughout his career.
“I believe it’s a big part of why our referral rates are so high. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and if you’re doing the best for every customer every time, and being honest and upfront with them, why wouldn’t they tell other people about that experience?”
Nick says the other big difference he sees at Specsavers, is the company’s approach to the industry.
“In Australia, with one the most generously publicly funded audiology system in the world, people should not have to pay thousands of dollars on top of the government funding to get hearing aids that meet their needs.”
Nick says it’s his passion to have a long-lasting impact on the audiology industry in Australia and New Zealand.
“As a clinician, I had the opportunity to help change the lives of a few hundred customers. In this role with Specsavers, I now have the opportunity to change millions of lives by challenging the system, showing people there is a better and fairer way, and helping my fellow audiology professionals build a successful and fulfilling career.
“Our goal is to make hearing care as accessible and affordable as possible. To support our customers so they don’t have to experience the isolation and mental health issues associated with hearing loss that generations before them have experienced,” he says.
“So many of my colleagues go into audiology to help improve people’s lives but the reality of having to meet a sales target or conversion KPI that compromises their ethics often kills that passion. But we know, if we do the right thing by the customer, everything else will follow.
“I’d love to hear from audiology professionals who have that same passion for improving the lives of people with hearing loss and discuss how you could be part of our ambition to change the industry landscape.”