Specsavers Bellshill are renowned for delivering outstanding customer service, which has resulted in them winning awards across the country. We’ve chatted with Kirsteen Newman and Douglas Waugh, optometrists and owners of this shop situated in one of the most iconic buildings in Main St.

What do you think Specsavers Bellshill offer to the local community? What makes you special and different from other businesses here?

Kirsteen. I think the team here is second to none. They’re all really lovely people and it’s customer first every time. We really try our best to give every customer a personalised experience, and a lot of the comments that we get back in our satisfaction survey is the feel that we’re talking to people we’ve known for years, or friends. The team here really just offers such a friendly, unique service. In the last twelve months we’ve won two awards for exactly that a personalised service and the team going above and beyond for people. This is something we encourage in them all the time.

Douglas. I think as well when you combine the level of service the team is providing with the environment which we’ve got and the range of frames, it really is an excellent place to come and get your eyes attended to, as well as the fact that we have the absolute best technology available to ensure that eye health is served just as well as the style needs and the service needs of every customer.

How does Specsavers work along and support the local community?

K. I think as a new business, it was really important to us to get embedded in the community. I think what a lot of the public don’t realise is that Specsavers is a franchise, so they are all self-owned. Myself and Douglas own this particular branch, so it’s run very much like an independent business with the backing of a brand above the door. We do try to recruit locally and support the local community as much as possible. We’ve done a lot of sponsorships with local sports teams we sponsor two of the bowling clubs locally, and we also sponsor Bellshill Athletic, the football team. And as you would have seen, the Christmas lights switch-ons. So it’s just about getting out and about in the community, and we visit quite a lot of local schools as well. Our job and our profession is to promote eye health, and the best way to do that is to be seen in the community and to try to support the local community as much as possible.

D. I think as well we were really fortunate to be able to occupy by what it is an iconic unit within Bellshill high street. With so many high streets across the country struggling to keep units occupied, the opportunity to come here and keep a unit open, and add to the overall presence in the high street, it’s something that was very important to us to do justice and I think we’ve done that with the way the building has been restored sympathetically.

Why do you think North Lanarkshire is the place to work?

K. I am from North Lanarkshire actually, I’m from Kilsyth, so I’ve been in the community, in the council my whole life. I’ve never seen another council as proactive with that kind of things, especially In Bellshill. We were really blown away when we came into this town and were approached by the team from In Bellshill, and now that we’re part of that Facebook page I think it shows how much the council supports all the local businesses. We actually had one of the MPs doing a round a few weeks ago and he was trying to find a way how we all could work together, bringing more people into the high street. Again, that’s indicative of what’s going on in North Lanarkshire and the fact that the councillors are completely aware of the situation with the high street and they are trying to do something to promote it. I’ve worked in Aberdeenshire before, and I don’t know if it’s because is more of a city centre feel, but I’ve never know any council as proactive in trying to bring communities and local business owners together as what North Lanarkshire appears to be.

Is there anything you would like to highlight about the services you offer?

K. Everyone in Scotland gets a free eye test on the NHS and that’s every two years (or every year if there is a need for it). Specsavers are absolutely renowned for the 2 for 1 offer, so any frames over £69 you get exactly that, you get 2 for 1. That includes bifocal lenses or whatever your vision needs to add is included there. If that’s not something you’re after, then there are also multiple single pair offers. But one thing the team is great at is finding out your needs and what would work best for you, and coming up with the absolute best prices

D. I think as well because it’s in the name of the company, Specsavers, it’s easy to think that all we’re dealing with is eyes. In addition to the services we provide for our optical customers through contact lenses, in addition to the glasses, we have regular hearing clinics where people could come for a free hearing test, and get a diagnostic, results help people make the right choice for the purchase if they need devices to assist them with that.