For independent pharmacies, it is important to find a differentiator from your competition. Most larger pharmacies often have more resources to dedicate towards marketing their services, finding convenient locations and building larger teams. However, smaller, independent pharmacies have one area in which they can definitely win: providing a better, more personalized customer experience that can be flexible based on their customers.
By offering an exceptional customer experience, your pharmacy can build a loyal following. So, one goal should be to provide a positive and personalized shopping experience that will keep customers coming back. Here are three suggestions:
Engage with your customers
Offering a personalized service means taking time to get to know your customers and making an effort to provide a welcoming retail environment. Learning names, getting to know your customers on a personal level, offering ‘hello’ or ‘how are you doing today’ at the door; or a ‘thank you, have a nice day," goes a long way to building lasting relationships with your customers.
Keep in mind that customer engagement starts and ends at the entrance of your shop. First impressions can dictate how the rest of their pharmacy experience will go.
Make your pharmacy family friendly
Digital Democracy reports that children have immense spending power and influence when it comes to making purchases. In fact, the influence that kids have on family purchases reached $1.2 trillion annually in 2012.
Including a corner with coloring books, crayons and some toys to entertain children while parents shop or wait for prescriptions is an easy way to enhance the retail experience for both parents and children.
You can address both parents and kids needs by offering personalized medicine. FLAVORx addresses the struggles parents have when it comes to giving kids medicine by offering children a choice in how their medicine tastes. Flavoring coupled with automated reconstitution can not only make medicine time less stressful, but also make life a little easier for your team by reducing wait times and enhancing workflow.
Listen to your customers
It’s important that you encourage customers to provide feedback about your business to learn how to serve them better.
One of our suggestions to our customers is "Favor for a Flavor" to encourage online reviews by offering a free medicine flavoring. It’s simple and is a great way to build your online reputation while generating some goodwill among parents. Including a call to action on receipts to leave a review, whether on Yelp, Facebook or Google is an easy, passive way to gather online feedback as well.
By asking customers to provide feedback, you can gain valuable feedback about how to improve the pharmacy experience. Understanding and learning about your customers' preferences allows you to tailor the pharmacy experience to your specific community and customer base.
Independent pharmacies are consistently recognized as best-in-class in regards to customer service. Offering unique services that personalize the pharmacy experience goes a long way to setting yourself apart from the competition and building a loyal following in your neighborhood.