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FLAVORx Blog

Great Customer Experience Starts With Great Employee Experience

Posted by Chad Baker

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Mar 5, 2015 7:17:00 PM

   

FLAVORx customer experienceSeems like everyone in pharmacy retail is on a mission to provide their customers with the best shopping experience possible. As it should be. You don’t earn loyalty these days simply by satisfying your customers. Taking it to the next level with one-to-one engagement, surprise, delight, and a unique experience are where today’s shoppers are won (and lost). With innovative products, unique store layouts, expansive in-stock selection, personalized deals, in-store clinics, etc., retail pharmacy is clearly taking the customer experience seriously.

 

What we don’t often hear about though is the employee experience and just how important that can be to the long-term viability of your customer focused strategy. The best laid plans to surprise and delight customers will be quickly laid to waste by unmotivated, disengaged, and possibly even, vindictive staff. Equally, people who love their job and the company they work for can’t help but show it. These folks can cover up more than a few blemishes as you perfect other aspects of your customer experience strategy.


 The market clearly agrees. According to a recent report from Forbes, publicly traded companies on their 100 Best Companies to Work For list had an annual rate of shareholder return of 12.7% vs. 6.5% for the S&P 500. That bears repeating. Companies where people really love to work outperform the rest of the market by a 2 to 1 ratio. Wow.

 

So where to begin? As a manager, pharmacy shopper, and retail enthusiast, here’s where I’d be focused:


1) Hire the Best – Never, ever compromise on this. They don’t have to be the best right away. But the potential needs to absolutely be there. When it comes to customer-facing roles, you’re looking for people who have a positive attitude and are willing to serve others, more than anything.


2) Fire the Worst – These people will destroy you, your team, and your customer’s experience. Get rid of them…fast.


3) Pay Fairly – You don’t have to pay the most, but you can’t pay the least either.

 

4) Have a Mission – Most folks take pride in their work, or at least they want to. The mission you lay out for your team, provided it’s real and not just corporate-speak, will fuel the persistent motivation to do a great job.

 

5) Set Goals –Why do some companies make the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list year in and year out? One reason is their employees say they are constantly challenged. Set goals for your team, explain how they impact the company’s mission, and check in regularly.

 

6) Communicate –For the most part, this means listening to your people and acting on what they say. It also means keeping them in the loop so rumors and innuendo don’t set the tone in your stores.

 

7) Show Some Faith – Empowerment & trust go a long way to engaging your team and building their confidence. Confident, engaged employees are a reflection of a confident, engaged company. Your customers will notice.

 

8) Recognize & Reward – You expect the world of your people, so show them some love when they deliver. Employee delight is just as important as customer delight.

 

9) Support & Protect – Retail can be tough. Some customers can be total jerks and they are NOT always right. Defend your people. They’ll love you, and your business, for it. And don’t get caught up in what bad-seed customers could say online. These folks don’t have enough time in the day to write all their negative reviews, and when they do, people usually see them for the constant complainers they are.

 

Seems like everyone in pharmacy retail is on a mission to provide their customers with the best shopping experience possible. As it should be. You don’t earn loyalty these days simply by satisfying your customers. Taking it to the next level with one-to-one engagement, surprise, delight, and a unique experience are where today’s shoppers are won (and lost). With innovative products, unique store layouts, expansive in-stock selection, personalized deals, in-store clinics, etc., retail pharmacy is clearly taking the customer experience seriously.

 

Topics: Customer Experience & Delight

 
   
 

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