Meet the Director: David Ashton
David Ashton is a retail director at Specsavers in Huyton. He has been living in the local area since 1960 and very much enjoys working at the store based on Huyton Hey Road next door to the new Huyton Post Office.
As Huyton is the area David was raised, he is a well-known member of the community there and has been close to many people in the area since he was at school. David’s job means he is able to help provide an important health care service to local residents.
After a successful 12 year career at Granada Television he gained a business qualification at St Helen’s College and went on to join a company called Keeler who manufacture and supply ophthalmic products for the optical industry.
Whilst working at Keeler, David developed an interest in optics and it wasn’t long before he realised he would like his career to move in the direction of high street optics.
Ten years working at an opticians
David opened his first high street optical practice in 1989. During the ten years he spent working at the independent practice, he further developed the skills and knowledge he needed to build a successful business.
In 2000, David was specially selected by Specsavers to open a new store in Huyton, taking on the role of retail director, alongside a newly appointed optical director, Heather Ogden. It wasn’t long before the store started to excel, growing from two to 11 members of staff in its 14 year history, thanks to the winning team David heads up.
A typical day at Specsavers Huyton is very busy. In the morning it’s all go and David spends time checking that the store’s appointment and booking systems are operating effectively as well as ensuring staff are sufficiently prepared for the day ahead and the store’s three testing rooms are properly set up and ready to welcome customers.
The next job is to ensure that glasses and contact lenses awaiting collection are fully checked and ready for collecting or dispensing.
With 40-50 eye examinations per day to accommodate, organisation is vital, and the store’s computer systems play an essential role in this, as does staff team work. David’s priorities are to ensure that the store is run efficiently while providing all of its customers the best care and attention possible.
David is proud of the excellent customer service his staff deliver, something that is regularly communicated through the store’s customer feedback. He is not one to hide behind the scenes and is generally very visible in store - enjoying being hands on to assist his staff or answer any customer enquiries.
It’s fair to say that David’s approach is working very well. David says that the reason the store has grown and local people keep coming back is because they know they will always get a warm and personable reception, whatever their needs.
The main challenges facing the store come from competition, however, David combats this by maintaining consistently high standards of service and care thanks to his team of highly qualified staff. who undergo continual training.
David, 58, has been a spectacle wearer for the last five years, only wearing glasses for reading. He wears half-eye spectacles and particularly likes Specsavers own designer branded Osiris frames, preferably in silver.
David says that an eye examination is a vital health check for everyone to have regularly. The eye is the only organ in body which allows you to see what is going on inside you – eye examinations can reveal serious issues such as tumours and potentially serious eye diseases.
Free hearing tests
The store also provides hearing tests and services. These run on Mondays, Wednesdays and occasional Sundays at the store and can be booked online or by phone.
Anyone over 55 should consider a hearing test. People aged over 55 are most likely to start noticing problems with their hearing, and this is also the time when hearing tests become free on the NHS. It’s important that anyone who thinks they have problems should get checked out.