Just finished reading an article in Forbes about going the extra mile for your customers. It was talking in regards to favored medications primarily, but I would like to take that a step farther. The truth is most Independent Pharmacists have to go that “Extra Mile” now-a-days to stay in the game whether they feel like they have time or not. The good news is that “Extra Mile” idea can be very simple in my humble opinion. It is more of deciding what your “Extra Mile” process will be, sticking to it and being sincere in whatever you choose to do. Here are 3 ideas to get you thinking about what your “Extra Mile” concept should be.
1. Do you always ask the customer if they have any questions or concerns about their medications? And, even if they give the typical response of “No” give them a card with a phone and/or email on it and say “That’s great, but just in case, here is my personal email and phone here at our pharmacy. I take time each day to look at this email and respond to calls because we want our patients to know we are here for them”. Yes, you will need to make some time for this, but in doing this you are building a relationship with your customers that can be worth more than any advertising you could do. With all the craziness in reimbursements and costs, having a relationship with the customer is key to not only surviving but thriving as an Independent.
2. Give them something to remember you by. A great way to this is to get something inexpensive to give or produce that attracts children in particular. It is the old cereal box trick. Kids will always ask to get medicine at the pharmacy that gives them something. And, normally parents dealing with a sick child want to take advantage of the path of least resistance. Think about what you could give that costs little, but kids would like. Maybe you have a soda fountain or ice cream machine to offer a free small soda or ice cream with kid’s medication pickup. Maybe you could even work with another local store and offer something that would drive people into the other place of business and cost you nothing or very little. A Sonic slush card comes to mind. Get creative and let creating a little synergy with other local businesses work for you. It could cost you little and have a big impact!
3. Say thank you and mean it. There is still something to be said for knowing your customer and sending a personalized thank you note. Make time to write one a day to your best customer if that is all you have time for. Log it and choose a new customer to receive one each day. Reference their name and illness. Don’t be generic. Don’t waste money on a pre-produced, look-a-like ad piece either. As Independents, you have to show you care more than the traditional chain store, and a generic piece says no thought went into this and I think you are just another customer like nothing else.
Whatever you choice, make it easy, stick with it and we are confident you will see that going the “Extra Mile” can create big rewards. We hope you have enjoyed this short article and please know we always want to go the “Extra Mile” for our customers. Please call us, ask us questions and let us create solutions specific to your pharmacy. If you know of a pharmacy that is unhappy with their pharmacy software and wants to engage with an honest company that knows their customers by heart and cares about their success, please let us know. We know our customers are our best source of advertising and appreciate any referrals sent our way. We promise to create an affordable, easy-to-use, solution with the best customer service in the business!