Funding received: £40,109.65 (40% of total project cost)
Priority area*: Supporting micro and small businesses
Project outline: Improved accessibility for customers, additional consultation areas and modern display units and new systems for enhanced customer experience.
- July 2017 – full application submitted
- February 2018 – funding awarded
- March 2019 – project completed
Achieving their vision for excellence in customer service
Simmons Optometrists has been in Oakham since 1974. The award-winning team prides itself on their excellent customer service and breadth of support they can give their clients.
Simmons is one of only 50 optometrists in the country that stock lenses for children that can reduce the rate short sightedness develops and helps diagnose sight issues such as dyslexia.
The LEADER funding has gone towards more private consultation areas, improved accessibility with an indoor ramp, expanded the reception area and modernised display units and customer care facilities. All topped off with a brand new, modern shop front and signage.
James Alexander, one of the practice’s directors said, “The improvements done through the LEADER programme have really enhanced our level of customer care and allows us the space to develop the business over the coming years.
“Thanks to the funding we’ve extended our premises so that we can see more patients, but still give them the time, space and care they’ve come to expect from us – we can already see the difference it will make to us going forward!
“Being able to use ipads and electronic displays also helps us provide demonstrations of things like glare, and we can even show customers what they’d look like in the latest new glasses designs if we don’t have them in store.
“The whole place feels much more bright and contemporary, and gives us a much more practicable and inviting environment for our staff to work in and our customers to visit. Already we’ve received a fantastic reaction from our patients, who really seem to appreciate the hard work put in.”
This LEADER programme is overseen by a Local Action Group (LAG) made up of 13 local volunteers from a variety of sectors and professions.
Dennis Stanley, chair of the LAG said, “Simmons Optometrists provide a truly vital service to the residents of Oakham and Rutland. With a refreshed front and enhanced facilities, the store really empowers the team to maintain, and surpass, the fantastic levels of customer care that they’ve become so well known for.”
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