7 Ways to Upsell Your Pharmacy Customers

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7 ways to upsellWhile upselling is often perceived negatively, it can make a whole world of difference when making your pharmacy extremely profitable. Upselling shouldn’t be seen in the same light as a shady used-car salesperson, it should be perceived as a way of giving customers additional solutions that help them solve for their needs. Yes, upselling is designed to give your pharmacy a boost in sales and, if implemented correctly, it will also help your customers.

The goal should be to always help the customer find a solution to their shopping and pharmacy needs. Here are 7 upselling tips your pharmacy can utilize to help customers and boost your revenue. Continue reading “7 Ways to Upsell Your Pharmacy Customers”

4 Steps to Conquer Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

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Gaining and keeping customers is a crucial part of your business. Your customer service must be second to none!

We know that you’re busy … you’re a pharmacist, business owner, supervisor, manager, husband/wife, mom/dad, brother/sister, motivator, leader, entrepreneur, accountant … and you have to be a customer service guru, too!

Today’s lesson from Bob Farrell will give you one more avenue to become a superior customer service expert. Bob’s customer service mantra Give ‘em the Pickle! was born when he received a letter from a loyal customer vowing to never return to his ice cream parlor, because the waitress wouldn’t give him an extra pickle without a charge.

Can you imagine losing a loyal customer over a pickle? It may seem silly, but it happens to businesses every day! Giving away ‘pickles’ is a way for any company to keep their customers happy, exceeding customer expectations and differentiating the pharmacy from its competitors. The cost of a few extra pickles is far less than the cost of lost customers and lost business.

So what are pickles, anyway? We’re not talking about dill pickles, sweet gherkins or bread and butter pickles. ‘Pickles’ are those extra, special things that keep customers coming back.

  • A handwritten thank you note with every order shipped
  • Walking the customer to the item they’re looking for instead of just pointing them in the right direction
  • Calling the customer by name
  • Answering the phone with a smile

Every extra effort counts. If it makes the customer feel good about themselves and their experience with your store – then it’s a pickle. The trick is to figure out what your customers want and make sure they get it.

Remember, pickles = raving, happy customers = better business!

Let’s go over 4 key principles for exemplary customer service in your pharmacy:

  1. Service: Make serving others your number-one priority. Great customer service happens when you exceed customers’ expectations by adding your special touch and by having the courage to make things right. (Give em’ the pickle!)
  2. Attitude: Choose your attitude. How you think about the customer is how you will treat them. A shining attitude is contagious around customers and shows in the quality of your work.
  3. Consistency: Customers return because they liked what happened last time. Set high service standards and live them every day. Add your special touch and exceed their expectations.
  4. Teamwork: Commit to teamwork. Look for ways to make each other look good. In the end, every action by you and your staff will become visible in your business and to your clients, whether you work at the counter or behind the scenes.

So, what’s your pickle? 

  • If your pickle doesn’t immediately come to mind, you need to develop one.
  • Even if it does, we can help you identify additional pickles and get your staff excited and on board with your customer service philosophy.

Great customer service is incredibly important. If you are anything like most pharmacy staff and pharmacy owners, you can probably use some help and encouragement in this area.

Our eight-week, webinar-based workshop The Lost Art of Business Etiquette will help pharmacy employees identify and employ the lost art of social etiquette through increased awareness of business communication and body language. Learn more about all the programs Pharmacy Development Services offers our members.

{Pharmacy Management} How to Make Choosing Easier

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Pharmacy Choices

Every consumer wants customized experiences and products while shopping, but when faced with 700 options the choosing becomes difficult. In a recent Ted Talk, speaker Sheena Iyengar, explained, after her experimental findings, how businesses can improve customers’ experience when making choices.

Do you know how many choices you make in a day? In a week? In a month? In a study of over 2,000 Americans, on average consumers make over 70 choices in one typical day. Wow!

In the corporate world, scientists have studied CEOs by following them around, documenting their various tasks and noting how much time they spent making decisions. In turns out, the average CEO engages in about 139 tasks a week, with each task made up of many sub choices. 50% of CEO decisions were made in 9 minutes or less and only about 12% of the decisions took an hour more of their time.

Think about your own choices in your pharmacy business and personal life. Do you know how many choices are in your 9 minutes or less category or your 1 hour or more category? How well are you managing these choices?

In an average grocery store, there are over 70 olive oil choices. 70! Choice overload. We all experience it. Sheena conducted her own study in a grocery store to discover the customer buying patterns depending on the more or less choices offered. She proposed these two questions for customers buying Jam in a grocery store:

1. Would a customer stop for 6 flavors or 24 flavors of Jam?

2. In which case (6 or 24 flavors) are people more likely to make a purchase?

Sheena found that about 60% of people stopped for the 24 flavors over the 6 flavors of jam. But when it came to actually buying, the experiment showed the opposite. Only 3% of the people who stopped to see the 24 flavors bought, but over 30% of the people who stopped for the 6 kinds of flavors bought.

Choice overload affects us even in consequential decisions. We choose not to choose even when it is in favor of our best interest. Why? Because of 3 negative consequences:

  1. We delay the choice and procrastinate
  2. Make worse choices – financial, medical
  3. More likely to choose things that make us less satisfied

Let’s apply these studies and findings to your pharmacy business. The following four techniques can help your customers with choosing and purchasing in the store.

1. Cut

Less is more. If you are willing to cut there will be an increase in sales. By lowering the number of products, costs will lower and there will be an improvement in the choosing experience. For example, when P&G went from 26 kinds of Head and Shoulders products to 15, they saved money and increased sales by 10%.

The average grocery store offers over 45,000 products, the typical walmart offers 100,000 products and the 9th largest retailer, Aldi, offers only 1400 products.

2. Concretization

In order for people to understand the difference between the choices, they have to understand the consequences associated with each choice. And these consequences must be felt in a concrete way. For example, the average person spends up to 15% more when they use a credit card over cash because the money does not feel as real.

3. Categorization

We can handle more categories than we can choices. Think about walking down a magazine aisle. If you are given 600 magazines in 10 categories or 400 magazines in 20 categories which will make you buy? The less intimidating layout. The categories help differentiate the magazines. Customers would believe there are more choices when given 400 magazines in 20 categories.

4. Condition for Complexity

By starting off easy and gradually increasing the complexity of the buying decision, the customer learns how to choose. For example, when buying a car there are manydifferent decisions and choices to be made. By varying the choices in which they appear, you can change the buying outcome to be more favorable. Ordering high choices to low choices, consumers can get very overwhelmed and settle with a default or not buy at all. Even though the information is the same, if ordered from low to high, consumers are more likely to make all choices and purchase.

These techniques are designed to help you manage your personal choices and help your customers manage theirs. In order to make choosing easier for you and your customers, the key is to be choosy about choosing.

Based on the Ted Talk, How to Make Choosing Easier by Sheena Iyeganr.