Combining two generations of ophthalmic optics expertise and strategically supporting the ZEISS VISION CENTER – currently with the introduction of the "My Vision Experience by ZEISS": Heinrich Raub and Christoph Wenzel are both opticians and support ZEISS in training colleagues and eye care professionals all over the world. In the interview, both explain why the ZEISS Vision Analysis is being replaced by this optimized systematic consulting process and what other exclusive offers are available for the ZEISS VISION CENTER stores. Thanks to their decades of experience, they know exactly how in-store and digital experiences align, plus what eye care professionals (short ECPs) and consumers expect from eyeglass products.
When asked why the new consulting process is being introduced, Wenzel replies, "Nowadays, if you want a pair of new glasses or if you're experiencing problems with your eyesight, you often go online to find out more before making a purchase. Plus, you'd also like to receive information afterwards as well. There are numerous digital touchpoints we need to link to what's happening in the store itself. One way we've achieved this is with the "My Vision Experience by ZEISS". Wenzel is responsible for all the aspects exclusively involved in the new digitization process at the ZEISS VISION CENTER.
It's really important to have fun and feel good when you buy something. It should be a shopping experience that answers all questions, makes everyone feel comfortable and, whether online or offline, everything flows seamlessly together.Christoph Wenzel
"We must bear in mind that the 'post-purchase experience' is also always the 'the pre-purchase experience'. ECPs need to ask themselves: What can I do to keep my customers ? How do I make sure they enjoy the whole process of buying glasses and come back again? And of course, all of this as a digitized process," declares Raub. He has been at ZEISS for over 30 years and is extremely familiar with the needs of ophthalmic experts. “It's really important to have fun and feel good when you buy something. It should be a shopping experience that answers all questions, makes everyone feel comfortable and, whether online or offline, everything flows seamlessly together," adds Wenzel.
The "ZEISS Vision Analysis" was designed to meet consumer needs. This process has already answered questions like: What does the ECP do? Why is my personal data so important? Can I do something wrong? With the "My Vision Experience by ZEISS", the focus has shifted back to the consumer. "To date, the process focused on: What is happening to me. But now the consumer thinks more along the lines of: What am I experiencing," explains Raub.
Step 1 Vision Needs Analysis: Even before the first tests and measurements are carried out, the ECP asks he r customer about hi s daily routines. The expert can then identify which glasses will best suit his lifestyle.
Step 2 Precise Eye Profile: The ZEISS i.Profiler creates a map of the eye using state-of-the-art wavefront technology. This helps, for example, in the search for eyeglasses that support night vision.
Step 3 Eye Health Check (optionally available): The ECP checks how healthy her customer's eyes are and documents the results with regard to eye pressure, quality of the ocular tear film or the condition of the cornea.
Step 4 Vision Performance Analysis: In the fourth step, the consumer undergoes a classic eye test and is assured that there are no wrong answers. The expert explains each test, whether it is for near and far vision, 3D vision or astigmatism.
Step 5 Frame Selection: The best part for many consumers. In addition to advising on what may suit her customer, the ECP should explain that not every frame is available for the various sight defects. That is why it is important to do the eye test before choosing the frame. The ECP with a ZEISS VISUFIT 1000 Platform make the frame selection phase a real experience by virtually placing frames on her customer's personal avatar. During this phase, the system suggests a selection of frames that already take into account the shape of the head, hair color, facial skin tone, and frame preferences previously entered.
Step 6 Fitting of Your Glasses: This is the step consumers most underestimate when buying glasses. Adjusting the eyeglasses so they align with the individual parameters, such as the pupillary distance, is crucial for good vision. The glossary in the booklet provides detailed explanations of all parameters for the proper fit of eyeglasses.
Step 7 Your Individual Lenses: The glasses are selected on the basis of individual needs as well as wishes. There are lots of different options. It is the ECP's job to find the right pair together with her customer: What features, coating, material and level of individualization does he want? All the relevant information can also be found in the booklet.
Step 8 Collect Your Glasses: Once the glasses have been made, the consumer collect them from his ECP – who adjusts them to properly fit his face. It is also an opportunity to clarify any queries and provide useful accessories.
Step 9 Service & Follow-up: Advice and support continues even after the purchase has been made. This can be in the form of newsletters or invitations, as well as simple offers to clean or adjust the glasses.
The ninth step is one of the most innovative features: Service and Follow-up. This also provides a platform for customer loyalty, support for any queries, and answers to simple questions, such as how to clean eyeglasses properly.
"Every consumer receives a new booklet that isn't too technical so it's easier to understand. We've also digitized a lot of the content. For example, interesting information and recommendations at the end of the booklet can be accessed online with a QR code," explains Raub. This booklet is customized to contain all the important information about the personal purchase of eyeglasses, measured data and evaluations in the form of a report from ZEISS VISUCONSULT 500. It also has a glossary and provides, among other things, detailed explanations of various sight defects and also which frames best suit certain face shapes. "If after buying the eyeglasses, the consumer is asked: What glasses are you wearing? The answer shouldn't be 'I don't know'. The booklet and "My Vision Experience by ZEISS" give consumers a better understanding of the whole process, so they ultimately know more about eyeglasses," says Wenzel. This way, consumers are well informed and can actively make decisions by themselves.
"Good advice from an ECP would typically involve giving a full explanation of the added benefits of more expensive eyeglasses – yet also informing of what may not be essential at that time or why there is not one perfect pair of glasses for all situations. Then, as a consumer, I know: 'What I really need.' 'What my options are.' With the help of the "My Vision Experience by ZEISS", we create maximum transparency," emphasizes Raub. "The consumer is fully informed, and as all the important information is in one place – namely in the booklet – we've made this as easy as possible."
Anyone who is shown the entire purchase process by Wenzel and Raub in detail might be surprised. Because it goes way beyond the nine steps of the "My Vision Experience by ZEISS". The so-called “ZEISS Consumer Journey” consists of more than 20 individual steps in total. Each step offers ECPs an opportunity to purposefully interact with their customers, support them and convey a consistent image. This is where ZEISS steps in. The first steps are completed at home, such as online research for new products or vision problems, making online appointments or online vision screenings. The next steps are completed in-store, which are then followed by: service, cleaning, resuming contact, and updating information. All of this from a single source delivered at a consistently high quality. This has been carefully checked again and all ZEISS VISION CENTER receive continuous training in this area.
"Our training sessions look at the numerous steps actually involved in the purchase of eyeglasses and where these can be optimized. They also look at how ECPs can make their customers aware of the final eyeglass at every step, and therefore appreciate the final price tag," says Wenzel.
Raub sees the big plus of this service: "The "My Vision Experience by ZEISS" is a quality feature for ZEISS VISION CENTER." Wenzel adds: "Consumers should understand what goes into making their glasses, and this service helps them do just that."
The "My Vision Experience by ZEISS" is a quality feature for ZEISS VISION CENTER.Heinrich Raub