Your pharmacy is like many other small businesses; you have to compete with the big box retailers. But don’t be intimidated! There are countless ways to show the positive difference your pharmacy can bring to your local community and draw customers away from the chain stores. According to a study conducted by online marketer WebVisible and reported in Entrepreneur.com, the top reasons customers patronize small businesses, instead of chain stores, is to support their communities and to receive more personalized service. Lucky for you, both of these are things you demonstrate every single day. Here are some great tips on how to differentiate your pharmacy:
Offer Niche Services
Independent pharmacy owners who take advantage of niche markets will take their business to a whole new level. Identifying and leveraging specialized services targeted at specific groups of customers is an excellent way to differentiate yourself from larger pharmacies. You can help your patients address unique health concerns, provide convenient services and offer preventive care options. These specialized services might include:
- Travel Vaccines
- Wellness Testing
- Hospital Discharges
- Fertility Treatments
Encourage Customer Feedback
Your customers want their voices to be heard! The small number of employees in a business like your pharmacy allows customers to interact more with key decision makers such as owners and managers. In large chain stores, a customer’s suggestions rarely makes a difference, but for you, this is a great opportunity to show your customers that you are listening to their needs and can make it happen. Whenever possible, ask customers for feedback and recommendations to improve their experience in your store.
Provide Extraordinary Customer Service
As a small business owner, you have the freedom to provide personalized, hands-on service to your customers. From the greeting they get at the front door to the “thank you” they hear when they’re leaving, there is an opportunity for you to make your customers feel welcome. By treating them like family, you can make them feel appreciated for their business. Make sure that your staff takes every opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty and exceed customer expectations whenever possible, from making follow-up “care” calls to remembering personal details such as family member’s names or upcoming vacations.
Give Back to your Community
Beyond the monetary benefit of dollars being kept within your local community, small business owners like yourself can help your neighbors by volunteering and supporting schools and charities. Philanthropy is a great way to strengthen partnerships with residents, other small business owners and community leaders. Embracing local causes will enhance your reputation and create more good will within your community!
Exhibiting the value of your pharmacy begins with , the local business owner who knows your neighbors and the community better than anyone, especially your corporate competitors. For more ideas and suggestions, download our free eBook 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market.