Inside: Embrace the Thanksgiving holiday with gestures that let patients know you appreciate them (and that make them appreciate you).
This Thanksgiving, you’ll gather around the table and tell your friends and family that you are thankful for them. As the holiday approaches, you should make an effort to do the same thing for your pharmacy patients. After all, they are the people who keep your pharmacy going year after year.
A small gesture of thanks will help build your pharmacy’s reputation, develop patient loyalty, and make patients feel appreciated. Celebrate the spirit of the season with these 15 easy ways to thank your patients this Thanksgiving.
1. Send a handwritten thank you
Many people love the influx of mail around the holidays, and you can take advantage of that. Send out short, handwritten notes to your loyal patients or new patients from the past year and thank them for choosing your pharmacy. It will let them know you appreciate their business, and this level of personalization is something a national chain pharmacy can’t match.
2. Tell them in person
When patients walk into the store, give them a warm, Thanksgiving welcome. Train your pharmacy staff to tell everyone, “This holiday, we wanted to let you know that we appreciate you. Thank you for choosing our pharmacy and supporting local businesses.” Letting them know how appreciated they are will improve patients’ overall experience in your pharmacy.
3. Offer a coupon
The winter holidays bring good tidings and cheer, but for many people, they also bring bigger expenses. Ease that burden by sending patients a one-time coupon for 10 or 15 percent off their total front-end purchase and frame it as a thank you for doing some of their holiday shopping at the pharmacy.
4. Post a thank you blog
Take your gratitude online and post a blog thanking your patients for their business throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it, like posting a list article about all the reasons your patients are the best in town. Or post about your favorite moments with patients throughout the year. Once you post, make sure to share your blog on your pharmacy’s Facebook and Twitter pages!
5. Go above and beyond for individual patients
Your Thanksgiving season thank yous don’t have to all be big grand gestures—you can make patients feel appreciated by practicing top-notch customer service. Encourage your staff to go the extra mile for patients this November and December by taking the time to solve their problems or help pick out the best products. Making patients feel like they’ve been listened to is a foolproof way of letting them know they are appreciated.
6. Show extra loyalty to your loyalty members
If you have a loyalty program, make sure the members get a little extra attention this Thanksgiving. You can recognize them for their patronage by dropping some bonus reward points into their account or letting them know if they shop on certain days they’ll get double the points for their purchase. You could also send them an exclusive Thanksgiving offer like a discount on holiday cards to encourage them to come into the pharmacy.
7. Provide courtesy hot drinks
As the weather gets chillier in November, warm your patients up with a cup of warm tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Remind patients to pick up a free cup of their favorite drink as they browse the front end, and be sure to post a sign at the beverage station letting them know that this is your way of showing how much you appreciate their business all year.
8. Hand out branded freebies
The gift-giving season is approaching, and you can give thanks to your patients by getting in the spirit. For Thanksgiving, hand out small thank you gifts that are branded with your pharmacy’s name and contact information. A free water bottle, notepad, or pill organizer will remind patients about your pharmacy even when they’re not in the store and they will show patients that you appreciate them.
9. Support a charity in their name
Thank patients by donating to a cause that’s important to them. Ask patients to nominate local charities or causes that they’re passionate about, and then ask patients to vote on which one your pharmacy will donate money to. You’ll have a positive influence on your community while also showing your appreciation for your patients’ interests.
10. Offer a free service
Identify a health need in your community and offer a free service or educational program to help address the issue. For example, if your area has a high obesity rate, consider hosting a free public event with a nutrition counselor. Providing patients and your community with valuable health tools and information for free is a great way to say thank you, while also demonstrating how much you care about them and their health.
11. Recommend something you love
If there’s a product your pharmacy carries that you love and think makes your life easier, tell your patients about it this Thanksgiving! Create a “Pharmacist Recommends” sign that contains an explanation of why you like it or even hand-sell it. It will create a connection between you and your patients and make them feel appreciated. Encourage your staff to make a point of recommending the products they love, too.
12. Discount your holiday merchandise
Show off your seasonal cheer by offering discounts on holiday-themed merchandise. Choose one or two items a day as a “flash deal,” and patients might pick up some of their other holiday goods as well. When patients take you up on your special offers, be sure to thank them for coming into the pharmacy all year round.
13. Respond to positive online reviews
Take some time to sit down and respond to patients who have reviewed the pharmacy positively on online review sites like Google or Yelp. Thank them for their visit and let them know that you appreciate that they took the time to leave a review about their experience. It’s not only a great way to show your current patients that you’re listening, but it will also show prospective patients that you appreciate pharmacy visitors when they look up your pharmacy online.
14. Thank them on social media
If you have patients that really get in the holiday spirit or are just a joy to be around, shout them out on social media! Take a photo of them in the pharmacy or with pharmacy staff and create a post about why you’re thankful to have them as a patient. Not only will this patient feel recognized, but your followers will see the genuine connection you have with the people who visit your pharmacy.
15. Call longtime patients
Call your most loyal, long-term patients to personally thank them for their patronage and loyalty. Patients who have been coming to your pharmacy regularly for years deserve a personal thank you. Taking the time to call them yourself can show just how much you appreciate the support they’ve shown your business over the years.
An Independently Owned Organization Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, 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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