Aug 23, 2010 5:30:00 PM

Creating a WOW Experience in Your Independent Pharmacy

Posted by Samantha Timmermann

What are you doing to WOW your customers? Pharmacy Thank You ProgramThey may have had a great experience while at your pharmacy, but will that bond last until the next time they need a prescription filled? As an independent pharmacy, you must be competitive on price, hours, and location, but in the end it’s all of the small things done exactly right that separate the ordinary stores from the extraordinary ones.

The small things that help create the wow customer experience can range from offering freshly baked cookies to the callback program to asking a patient with a prescription for pain medication how they're feeling and if they need to get home ASAP. However, one of the most successful WOW programs we recommend to our members is the Pharmacy Note Card Program. It’s as simple as ordering custom note cards (ask us about our inexpensive resource) and requiring each staff member to write a personalized note every shift to a customer they interacted with that day.

Whether it be a sincere thank you for stopping by today, I’m sorry you’re still not feeling well, or I’m sorry your visit took longer than necessary, a handwritten note is a powerful tool that has proven itself to be a valuable technique to:

  • Build and strengthen relationships with your customers
  • Put a smile on your customers face outside of the pharmacy
  • Smooth over a less than ideal visit

Your pharmacy employees may complain that they are required to write a daily note, but this is a situation where you can’t let the inmates run the jail. All you’re asking for is about 5 minutes of their shift and if they can’t think of something to say, provide a few note templates to get them started. If they still can’t think of one thing to say to one person, you may need to ask yourself, “how personal is the service in my pharmacy?” and go from there. This could be the cause of why things aren’t better for you anyways.

We recently received a survey, via the We Want to be a 10 program, where an upset customer was about ready to dart to the competition due to the fact that the pharmacy made a few mistakes. In the feedback, she brought it to the pharmacy’s attention that the reason she decided to give them a second chance is because she was so touched by the handwritten thank you note she received from one of the employees. In the survey she came right out and said that if it wasn’t for the thank you card she’d be gone and wouldn’t think twice about going back the pharmacy in the future.

Another pharmacy owner shared that while he was working at a community event somebody came up to him and said:

“You don’t know me, but your pharmacy takes care of my sister. For the past few months, things have not been going well in her life. She recently received a thank you note from your pharmacy and I wanted to let you know that it really made her day and it turned everything around for her. In fact, she actually keeps the note on her counter and reads it all the time. Thank you.”

One of Dan’s five cardinal rules for success is “people don’t care how much you know, until you show them how much you care.”

In the scheme of your business, the note card program may seem like something very small.  However, a personalized, handwritten card touches people and if you think about it in business terms, how many people actually do this?

If you had ten employees and they wrote one card each day, that’s ten envelopes going out a day, five days a week, totalling 2,600 note cards a year! The key to success in this program is that it touches people emotionally. It is appealing to people’s emotions because most purchases are emotionally based. So, anytime you can make an impression, do it because people talk about the unusual - the unusually good and the unusually bad.

What does your pharmacy do to create a WOW customer experience?

Topics: pharmacy business development employee management competitive edge Market Research Pharmacy Marketing

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Meet Samantha Timmermann

Samantha Timmermann is the Director of Product Development at Pharmacy Development Services and a regular blog contributor. She can be found on LinkedIn.

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