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4 Reasons Patients Choose Independent Community Pharmacies

4 Reasons Patients Choose Independent Community Pharmacies by Elements magazine |

April 19, 2016

Patients today have many options to choose from when determining where they want to fill their prescriptions, buy over-the-counter (OTC) medications, or receive their patient care services, such as immunizations. But, what makes a patient choose an independent community pharmacy over larger national chains or big box pharmacies?

With any decision, a consumer will weigh the pros and the cons. It’s important to know what makes independent community pharmacies stand out, so you can focus on providing features patients are looking for to grow your patient base.

Here are four reasons why patients choose independent community pharmacies.

1. Supporting the local economy

Your independent community pharmacy is called a community pharmacy for a reason; your business supports the community.

Not only does your business create jobs for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and non-pharmacy employees in the area, but your business also gives back to your community in many ways, as well. Your employees may volunteer at charitable functions, educational events or community health fairs, for example.

When patients choose your pharmacy over a national chain or big box pharmacy, supporting the local economy is likely a contributing factor.

2. Personalized patient care

There are many perks to your pharmacy that patients won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Services such as smoking cessation, at-home delivery and wellness consultations, likely aren’t offered at competing pharmacies in your area. Even if some of the patient care services your pharmacy provides are offered at other area pharmacies, the personal, individualized attention and care you give to your patients is second to none.

3. A unique front end

Although you may not think of your front end as the strongest selling point of your pharmacy, your patients may come in your pharmacy just for your front end.

For example, if you offer one-of-a-kind, local gifts and products made by local artisans or vendors in your community, this gives patients a reason to frequent your front end over a dollar store or national chain pharmacy.

4. Above-and-beyond customer service

Unlike large retailers, your pharmacy business is a family. The friendly, thoughtful service you provide is what keeps your patients coming back.

According to the December 2015 Consumer Reports buying guide, “Independents scored highest in every area of customer service. At least 90 percent of shoppers at independents rated their pharmacy as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ in speed and accuracy, courtesy and helpfulness, and pharmacists’ knowledge. No other type of drug store came close.”

The little touches you offer, such as personally calling a patient back on the phone, your pharmacy’s welcoming atmosphere, and the timeliness of your prescription refills, are just a few ways that contribute to the superb customer service you provide.

Learn how you can be a problem-solver for your patients.



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