The skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs for medication places a stiff financial burden on consumers. Not surprisingly, high deductibles and exorbitant costs have given rise to the trend of “pharmacy hopping,” in which one consumer fills their prescriptions at multiple pharmacies. How can retail pharmacies earn customer loyalty? According to a study conducted by Change Healthcare, the key is to appeal to a patient's emotions.
When customers feel connected to their pharmacy, they’re much more likely to return. Bethany Cannon-Meadows, a technician at a community pharmacy in Longview, Texas puts this concept into practice every day.
“Every pharmacy’s goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers,” she said. “The trick is to treat your customers like family because each customer is trusting you with their health. They are putting their lives in your hands.”Recognizing that customers have many options, savvy retail pharmacies prioritize customer retention. Here are three ways independent pharmacies use FLAVORx and Fillmaster to earn customer loyalty:
Pharmacies Use Medicine Flavoring to Earn Customer Trust
Offering flavored medicine creates the opportunity for pharmacy staff to engage customers on a personal level and earn their trust.
“Our staff bonds with customers by working with them to customize the taste of their medicine,” Ms. Cannon-Meadows said. “Customers get excited because we’ve surprised them with exciting, unexpected flavor recommendations and showed them we really care about their wellbeing.”
To that point, pharmacies who make medicine time less stressful will stay top-of-mind for consumers. Consider a family during flu season. Worn down parents don’t have the energy to fight with their sick kid who refuses to take a nasty tasting prescription. Ms. Cannon-Meadows solved that exact problem using FLAVORx.
“Our pharmacy improves the flavor of bad tasting flu medicines and parents remember that. Plus we already know the specific flavors their kids' love,” she said. “We’ve earned their trust. Why would they want to go somewhere else in that situation?”
Pharmacies Use FLAVORx to Help Patients Feel Better
Increasing prescription refill rates is a win-win for patients and pharmacies: patients can expect improved health when they take their medications as prescribed and pharmacies enjoy recurring revenue. But as Ms. Cannon-Meadows can attest, ensuring prescription refills is a challenge for pharmacies. “When it comes time to refill a prescription, customers will visit whatever pharmacy is closest or most convenient to them,” she said. “But now, when it’s time for a refill, our customers come back to us because we took the time to figure out their favorite flavor.”
Change Healthcare’s research demonstrated that patients who have difficulty taking their medicine are less likely to complete their prescription as prescribed. Accordingly, offering flavored medicine may help patients achieve their desired health outcomes. “Customers who flavor their medicine are much more likely to take their medication as prescribed,” she said.
As such, pharmacies that educate customers about their medications establish strong bonds that contribute to greater adherence and retention.
“I’ve had patients come to our pharmacy over others in the area because those other stores either didn’t offer FLAVORx or didn’t take the time to figure out the customer's preferred flavoring combination for a given medicine,” Ms. Cannon-Meadows said.
Pharmacies use FLAVORx to broaden customer reach and retention
In a world of choice, with too many options, how do consumers decide which pharmacy to patronize? The default decision is based on convenience and cost, but Ms. Cannon-Meadows believes customers remain loyal to the pharmacies that forge personal bonds.
“Our customers matter to us, they’re not just dollar signs at the cash register,” Ms. Cannon-Meadows said. “Our staff is committed to working with patients for life. We don’t just fill their prescriptions; we’re there to share in the special moments.”
Therefore, creating a culture of customer care is the key to earning lifelong customers.
“FLAVORx broadened our customer reach,” she said. “Patients come back to us again and again not only because we offer flavored medicine, but because medicine flavoring demonstrates how much we care.”