Independent pharmacies usually have an existing base of loyal customers who keep on coming back. However, expanding that customer or patient base can sometimes feel impossible, thanks to the competition: Walgreens, Costco, and other big brand pharmacy superstores across the country. Growing your pharmacy is difficult without an influx of new customers, so we take a look at 10 ways to overcome the challenges of growing your pharmacy and help increase your customers in 2019:
Connecting with Local Healthcare Providers
Patients filling a prescription usually don’t feel much loyalty to the pharmacy where it is filled. However, if their doctor recommends a specific pharmacy, it’s likely they’ll listen. By connecting with local doctors and prescribing nurses, you may be able to increase the likelihood of your name coming up in an appointment with a patient.
Increasing Word of Mouth Referrals
When you have a helpful and friendly staff to provide excellent customer service, your existing patients are likely to recommend you to their friends and family. Don’t be afraid to directly ask your customers to reach out to friends and family for a recommendation! Increase the likelihood of this by offering coupons or discounts on retail items to both current and new customers.
Increasing Sales by Going Online
CVS found that patients with access to digital prescription refill and delivery services were up to 2.4 times more likely to fill their prescriptions – resulting in increased profits for pharmacies taking advantage of these services and greater accessibility for patients.
As well as advertising locally, advertising online exposes your business to a much broader range of people. It can also provide much more relevant leads by targeting audiences who are already looking for services similar to what you offer.
Finding Out What You’re Doing Right
It’s likely that you have a loyal base of customers – find out why they’re so loyal. Running surveys and interviewing existing customers can be a quick way to discover why patients come back to your pharmacy time and again.
Tailoring Your Retail Offerings
Find out what your potential customers want in order to better tailor your services and products, providing a better experience for your patients and improving revenue for you.
Expanding Your Services
When you have identified common themes in your customers’ wants and needs, try expanding your services with things like diabetic clinics, blood pressure screenings, or cooking classes.
Providing Health Insight and Education
In addition to new classes and clinics, offering pamphlets and books on common illnesses may help to increase the levels of trust in your pharmacy. Train your staff appropriately to offer helpful advice for both retail and prescription purchases.
Engaging the Community
Sponsorships and branded giveaways can help put eyes on your pharmacy and put it top of mind when a prescription is needed. Leverage your connections with healthcare professionals by letting them know about new clinics and classes, and encourage them to discuss these with their patients.
Offering Great Customer Service
The thing that sets the local, independent pharmacy apart from big brand super-pharmacies is offering both a personal and positive customer experience. Staff should come across knowledgeable, helpful, and discreet where necessary.