Welcome to Dietz McLean Optical!
Dietz McLean Optical was founded in 1938. Throughout the years, the optical industry has seen many changes in terms of style, competition, and technology. For Drake and Cliff McLean, brothers and owners of the company, the fundamental goal remains the same: taking care of the customer. Our core values of problem solving, creativity, maintaining relationships, and above all, making sure the customer is satisfied with both product and service, have allowed Dietz McLean Optical to prosper and grow for nearly eighty years.
Founded by Drake and Cliff’s grandfather, Raymond “Mac” McLean, and E.A Dietz, the original location was The Medical Arts Building (which is now The Emily Morgan Hotel) in downtown San Antonio, TX. Mac got his start in the optical business in 1918 at age 13, working as a delivery boy for The American Optical Company, and his older brother worked in lens grinding. “So, really,” Drake reflects, “our family’s involvement [in the industry goes back] about 100 years!”
And what a century it’s been. For the first several years, the company operated both retail and wholesale divisions. Over 35 years ago, when the McLean family took sole ownership of the business, they began concentrating their efforts on the retail market. According to Drake, retail “offered a little more excitement.” Being exposed to the industry at a very young age, both Drake and Cliff gained an innate familiarity and increasing interest in the business. And not just with the fascinating science and design of lens making, but with the individuals, too—the company’s devoted employees and technicians, the ophthalmologists from whom they got referrals, and of course, the faithful customer base. "The experience of working summers in the office as teenagers was not something they simply had to do, but something they got to do", Cliff says.
The multifaceted nature of the eyeglasses themselves is something that’s at the heart of Dietz McLean Optical’s mission to provide top-notch customer service. Drake explains the unique and complex quality of the product: “Eyeglasses are a medical device, a highly technical device, and a fashion statement. Marrying all three components reminds us that each person is an absolute individual, and that’s exactly how we treat our customers.”
In addition to company-wide attention to individuality, Dietz McLean Optical also offers continued service after sale, and an unrivaled product warranty built upon a “no fault exchange” policy. This includes coverage for damage, prescription change, or a simple change of mind. “If you’re not happy for whatever the reason, we’ll refit you until you are!” Drake says. The loyal team at Dietz McLean Optical is extremely well trained to make adjustments and decisions to keep their customers happy, returning, and most importantly, seeing.
“Here’s what’s weird,” Drake explains, “you can have a pair of glasses and lenses made correctly, but after a few days use, you might realize you cannot see correctly. Often a minor adjustment will solve the problem.” Cliff adds “Having an employee [who] can turn around a poorly fit pair into a perfectly fit pair is very important. Our employees know how to do that.”
Drake equates the company’s stellar customer service to the dedication and intelligence of the employees, most of which have been with Dietz McLean Optical for over twenty years. We have a vision of what products we want to dispense and how we want our customers to be treated. Our employees are the ones that make that happen. They know our expectations and have the authority and knowledge to see that these expectations are met. Every customer is an individual with specific wants, needs and visual requirements; our employees build relationships with our customers and meet these needs.“It’s all about relationships,” Drake says. The focus on relationships extends far beyond the customers and employees, and reaches to doctors, industry partners, laboratories, suppliers, and last but certainly not least, one another. The family dynamic is strong within Dietz McLean Optical, as their business is now in its 3rd and 4th generation and they serve the same generations of what Drake and Cliff call their “customer family.”
“Because it’s a family business, on any given day [you can find] two brothers, a grandson, and a grandmother all in the same room [working together]. As the family grows and matures, so does the business.” Cliff says as he celebrates the cohesion of family life and work life.
The company’s longevity depends on their nuanced combination of customer care, optical expertise, and innovation. With impeccable product design, skill and high quality inventory, Dietz McLean Optical’s standard is everyone else’s premium.