Are All Pharmacy Patients Created Equal?

What is missing from your business strategy for your independent pharmacy? Unless you are regularly leveraging your dispensing data, the answer is — a lot.

Simply increasing prescription volume isn’t the answer. Quantity does not always equal quality. In today’s industry, the most successful and profitable pharmacy owners are using their pharmacy data to make laser-focused business decisions. Understanding where your profits are coming from, such as the profitable prescribers, empowers you, the independent pharmacy owner, to hone a sharp competitive edge you may not have known existed.

There is an incredible amount of data at your fingertips. When applied to make informed business decisions, you can improve how you and your team engage with key customers, build strong prescriber relationships, optimize patient outcomes, and increase pharmacy profitability.

So, where do you start?

Know Your Top 50 Most Profitable Patients

In business, it is said that 80% of profits come from 20% of your customers. Start by identifying the most profitable customers; then start treating these patients with ‘white glove service.’ Everyone wants to feel like they are VIP.  Patients can make or break your pharmacy, they can grow your profits and drive word of mouth referrals. Simply stated, go above and beyond the typical pharmacy experience and WOW your customers! For example, if you have a patient that generates $7200 in profit per year, ask yourself, is using $200 to ‘surprise and delight’ your top customers a good use of your marketing dollars?

Ideas for How to Provide Exceptional Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

  • Mail patients a handwritten thank you note or a get-well card.
  • Personal phone calls to check how they are doing with a particular medication or see if they need any other supplies.
  • Random acts of kindness such as small gifts, flowers, pizza, whatever it takes to ‘WOW’ them.

Know Your Top 10 Most Profitable Prescribers

When patients receive a recommendation to visit your pharmacy from a physician, it adds a level of credibility to your business. Analyzing your data and identifying your most profitable prescribers allows you to nurture and build more customer referrals similar to those on your top 50 list. The reasons why a prescriber may land on your list will vary, but you want to focus on the high-profit margins, not the volume. After all, do you want to make more money or do you want to be busier? You get what you focus on. Regardless of the reason, once you have identified these key contacts, you will want to stay top of mind by providing value-added services.

How to Build Prescriber Recommendations:

  • Strive to understand why certain prescribers are profitable.
  • Customize your services and communications to suit the unique needs of the office and the patients.
  • To the prescriber, position yourself as a solutions partner and make them look good for recommending you.
  • Work to WOW and delight these valuable customers so they sing your praises to anyone who will listen. People talk about the unusually good and the unusually bad. Make sure you supply them with plenty of good things to say about your pharmacy. 

Learning to leverage your data is increasingly important in today’s competitive business world. Targeting your most profitable patients and prescribers is the chance for you to promote your pharmacy’s niche services and build relationships that drive referrals. Prescribers want to refer patients to pharmacies that will show care and make everyone’s life easier. It may seem like a lot of work, but the result will be a precise picture of where your profits are coming from, where they are headed and will be well worth the effort.

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