October 7, 2016
When was the last time you did something special for your patients to show you appreciate them?
Demonstrating that you appreciate your patients is key to building patient loyalty, which should be a top priority for independent community pharmacies.
But with everything going on in a busy pharmacy, patient appreciation efforts can sometimes fall by the wayside.
Here are 10 ways to show patients your pharmacy’s appreciation and help build patient loyalty.
Making patients feel special is a great way to show them you appreciate their business.
Select one lucky “patient of the day,” and offer him or her a special reward. (You could also choose a “patient of the week” or a “patient of the month” instead.)
For example, offer a discount to the tenth person who purchases an over-the-counter (OTC) item that day. Or, give out a gift card to a local coffee shop to a patient who looks like they could use a pick-me-up.
Post about the lucky “patient of the day” on your social media sites to spread the word and help drive more traffic to your pharmacy.
Though it may require a bit more effort, it pays to offer patients a personalized experience at your pharmacy.
Take note of the front-end products your loyal patients purchase regularly. Offer a discount on one of the items the next time that patient visits your pharmacy.
Or, simply use the information to start a personalized conversation that will make patients feel special. For example, ask a patient if the knee brace she bought last week is helping.
Use your point-of-sale (POS) system to help you track this information, and create a profile for repeat patients, so adding a personal touch is easy.
Most people enjoy having their birthdays celebrated, or at least acknowledged.
Send patients a birthday card on their special day, and go the extra mile by offering a reward, such as a discount on their next OTC purchase.
Everyone needs a little TLC once and a while, including your patients!
Let patients know how much you appreciate their business by slipping thank you cards into their prescription bags. Or, send them to patients who visited your pharmacy that month.
People love to shop local, and they love it even more when their favorite local businesses work together.
Partner with a local coffee shop or boutique that people in your community enjoy, and work out a mutually beneficial promotion.
For example, attach a coupon for discounted coffee to your patients’ receipts, and ask the coffee shop to do the same for your front end.
Customer appreciation doesn’t always have to come in the form of discounts and promotions.
Make your patients’ day by offering them something sweet, like a piece of candy, when they visit your pharmacy.
A simple gesture like this can go a long way, especially when patients are shopping with their kids.
Loyalty rewards programs make patients feel valued, which increases the likelihood they’ll become repeat visitors and refer family and friends to your pharmacy.
Find ways to differentiate your program from your competitors, and make sure you provide a real value to patients, so they’ll keep coming back.
Make patients feel good about using your pharmacy by donating a percentage of sales to a charity.
You can choose different charities depending on the month, such as donating to a breast cancer awareness charity during the month of October. Or, ask your patients for their input on a charity that’s meaningful to them.
What better way to show patients you appreciate them than having a sale in their honor?
Host the sale during your slower months when you need to move front-end products. Inform patients about the details of the sale by sending out emails, postcards and posting on your social media sites.
As an independent community pharmacist, you get to know your patients on a personal level, which means they’re more inclined to share special news with you.
When patients are celebrating a special occasion in their lives, celebrate with them!
For example, maybe a patient is expecting her first child or grandchild. Or, maybe a patient completed his first half-marathon. Send patients an email or card congratulating them on their milestone, and reward them with a special discount or gift.
Another way to build patient loyalty is to provide excellent customer service. Check out this guide to improving your pharmacy’s customer service.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is an independently owned pharmacy services organization based in Kansas City, Mo., that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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