Stephanie Saxon knows how to earn customer loyalty. Over her 20+ year career in retail pharmacy, she earned a 90% prescription refill rate.
“My patients would bring their business to me as I progressed from pharmacy-to-pharmacy throughout my career,” she explained.
Her secret? “I earned my customers’ trust through FLAVORx,” she said.
Ms. Saxon used the resources provided by FLAVORx to make useful flavoring recommendations. Ms. Saxon would enter her patient’s medication into the FLAVORx system and automatically receive a list of flavors most compatible with that medicine.
“Any pharmacist or technician can earn the type of customer loyalty I experienced,” she said. “Interact with your customers, take an interest in their well-being, treat them with respect and show them you have their best interest at heart.”
Here are seven successful strategies Ms. Saxon used to do just that:
Educate your customers.
Beyond making the customer aware of the benefits of medicine flavoring, you should let them know that FLAVORx is alcohol-free, dye-free, and sugar-free. FLAVORx won’t cause allergic reactions because nothing interferes with the medication or creates an adverse effect. For example, blood sugar levels remain unaffected by flavored medicine. Most importantly, it helps to be transparent about the purpose of medicine flavoring. “Let your customer know that flavoring is a tool to help them take their medication and stay healthy,” Ms. Saxon said. “ I often told my customers: If medicine tastes good, you’re more willing to take it.”
Let your customers experience flavored medicine for themselves.
One successful tactic Ms. Saxon used was to let her customers sample their favorite flavor by adding FLAVORx to one of two bottles of liquid medication. “I’d give the patient the flavored medicine to take home, and keep the non-flavored bottle in a secure location within the pharmacy,” Ms. Saxon explained. “I held the non-flavored bottle in the pharmacy for two reasons: first, and most importantly, I didn’t want my customers attempting to flavor the non-flavored bottle on their own. Second, it ensured my patients would return to the pharmacy so we could discuss their experience with the flavored medicine and tweak our flavoring approach to fit their needs.”
Offer choices and discounts.
Giving customers options and the ability to choose their medicine flavoring leads to a delightful in-store experience. Ms. Saxon encouraged her customers to try one flavor in a given month, and another flavor the next month, so that if they ever grew tired of a particular taste, they could always try another. “You need to care about your customers and do right by them,” she said. “ You have to show your patients that you’re not there to take their money with medicine flavoring.” Ms. Saxon said discount campaigns work well to earn customer loyalty and trust. “I’ve seen pharmacies offer discounts like one dollar off the ‘Flavor of the Month,’ which improved sales of underperforming flavors. Another promotion that worked well was ‘flavor four prescriptions, get the fifth free.’”
Make consultative selling a part of your pharmacy’s culture.
Each pharmacist or technician must take the initiative to offer FLAVORx, but management needs to help their staff “One of my past pharmacy managers would give out a gift card to the pharmacist or technician who sold the most flavoring every month,” Ms. Saxon said. “The friendly competition between the staff made it fun to help out our customers but also increased sales.” Let your patients know they have options. Just because their doctor prescribed hard-to-swallow oral tablets, doesn't mean you can't change that medicine to a liquid and add flavor.
Do your homework.
To successfully sell medicine flavoring, Ms. Saxon said pharmacists and technicians need to educate themselves on their customer’s prescriptions and the flavoring options which make that medication most appealing. “I would use the FLAVORx system to research the most compatible flavoring combinations for my patient’s specific medicine, which allowed me to upsell flavoring right at the point-of-sale,” she said. “When I took the customer to the register, I could say to them: This medicine doesn’t taste the best, but it’s important for you to take it. Did you know we can make [the medicine] taste better? Here’s a list of flavors that work well with your medicine.” Handing patients a customized flavoring sheet, generated by the FLAVORx system, helps customers confidently purchase medicine flavoring.
Be prepared for the customer to say “no.”
When patients didn’t wish to flavor their medication, Ms. Saxon would say: “I understand you don’t want to add flavoring this time, but is there a flavor you like?” She would then hand the customer a lollipop of their favorite flavor, to reinforce the trust and remind them that flavored medicine was an option. “I prepared for any situation,” Ms. Saxon said. “I knew what flavors would work best with different medications and I knew I needed to take a hands-on approach. I told myself: I want to be prepared, I want to sell this, I want the patient to complete their prescription as intended.”
Encourage your customers’ good behavior.
Ms. Saxon would put little messages on her customers’ medication to encourage compliance, such as a “way to go!” sticker if her patients took their medicine as prescribed. Those small gestures provide an opportunity to open a dialogue with your customers. “FLAVORx improves community health,” Ms. Saxon said. “Customers who flavor their medicine, utilize their medication appropriately and are healthier and happier.”