Growing your customer base and then retaining those customers is one of the most important aspects of running a pharmacy or any business. It’s all about bringing value to your customers and making them feel comfortable. I know you’ve heard the old adage, it takes months to gain a customer, and seconds to lose one. Treating customers as a number or a commodity is a sure fire way to send them to the pharmacy down the street. Give them the attention they deserve and build relationships with your customers to create brand loyalty.
How to Retain a CustomerOne way to show your customers that you care, is by increasing the number of quality communications or touch-points they receive from you each month. This can be done through strategic marketing through channels such as social media, blogs and emails. Provide possible solutions that may help your customers with their specific ailments and concerns. These marketing techniques should happen both online via email and social media and offline, in your pharmacy and at their home.
Your goal is to put an invisible box around your customers, making it easy to do business with you, but hard to go elsewhere. Does that business model sound familiar? It should, because it is used by companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook who have mastered customer strategy.
Following are four easy ways to increase customer loyalty:
1. Capture Customer Contact Information
When a new customer comes in you’ll want to obtain his/her permission to collect their name, address, phone number and email address. This information will be critical for you to communicate with them concerning their prescriptions, health notices, and refill dates. Use the right form of contact for the right message you want to deliver. You wouldn’t want to call the customer to let them know about a sale on floor items, that message might be better delivered by email or mailer. Your email list will be one of your most effective marketing resources, so make it a priority to capture that information from customers.
2. Personally Reach Out
There’s nothing like a warm voice helping you with your health concerns. Call your patients to ask if they have questions concerning their new medication. Most medication has important protocols that need to be followed for safety and other health reasons.
Give your customer that personal feeling when they walk through your doors. Train your staff to great repeat customers by name and ask about their families. Do this in a sincere manner and you’ll build one of the most important parts of a customer/company relationship – trust.
3. Go Above and Beyond
Do you love your customers? Of course you do! Reach out to them in an unexpected way to show that your care. Send a carefully written personal letter, thanking them for being a loyal customer. Don’t include any marketing message or product information. Simply reach out and thank them. This can simply be a hand-written note or a printed piece with a real signature. This type of personal contact goes a long ways in building the relationship and showing them that you care. This will catch them by surprise and they will be eager to walk through your door to thank you.
4. Create a Points or Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is an extremely effective tool when your goal is to create repeat customers. Sandwich shops do it, gas stations do it, why not your pharmacy? Customer will continue to return in order to earn reward points that could help them save through merchandise discounts, free health assessments, and other benefits. Once they have started building up loyalty points, would they ever visit the pharmacy downthe street?
Think of your customers as friends and they will reward you with their business. Yes, they are important assets to the success of your pharmacy, but don’t think of them as an asset, think of them as people that you want to help live better and healthier lives.
To better understand different ways you can connect with your current customers and build trusting relationships, download our free eBook, The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to an Exceptionally Effective Implementation.