All too often, pharmacy owners fail to understand the importance of excellent customer service. Don’t make this mistake, as it can be incredibly detrimental to your business. Gaining and retaining customers is an important part of keeping your doors open, and owning a pharmacy probably wouldn’t be very rewarding without customers coming in. Regardless of the size of your pharmacy, excellent customer service should be at the heart of your business. So, how do you go above and beyond to give customers extraordinary customer service that they can’t find anywhere else?
Bob Farrell is an entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker whose infectious attitude about delivering exemplary customer service has changed the way that countless businesses treat their customers. Bob’s customer service mantra “Give ’em the Pickle!” was born from a letter he received years ago when he opened the very first Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in Seattle, Washington. In that letter, a loyal customer vowed that he would not return to Farrell’s restaurant because the waitress wouldn’t give him an extra pickle—unless she charged him.
Can you imagine losing a loyal customer over a pickle? Giving away “pickles” is a way for any company to keep their customers happy, exceed customer expectations, and differentiate itself from competitors. So let’s talk pickles.
What it means to “give ’em the pickle.”
Pickles are those special or extra things that you do to make your customers happy and keep them coming back. A “pickle” could be a handwritten thank you note with every order shipped or walking a customer to the item they’re looking for instead of just pointing them in the right direction. A pickle could be calling your customers by name or answering the phone with a smile and positive attitude. Every little thing counts and every effort helps improve a customer experience. If it makes the customer feel good about themselves and their visit to your pharmacy – it’s a pickle.
The trick is to figure out what your customers want and then to make sure they get it. Find those simple extra things that make customers happy. In his book, Farrell points out the common sense that seems to be not so common in this day and age. In fact, the art of customer service is in danger of becoming extinct. Just walk into any big box store and you will likely experience this for yourself. It is important for every business owner to remember that without customers singing your praise, your doors won’t be open for too long. Providing excellent customer service is not hard, but it can be frustrating and even challenging at times. Bob points out why putting your frustrations aside and seeing the challenge as an opportunity to take care of the customer will make your business the best that it can be for years to come.
4 Key Principles of Customer Service
If you’re interested in raising the bar on customer service (and who wouldn’t be?), there are four key principles that will help you keep your customers coming back time and time again:
- Service: Make serving others the number one priority. Great customer service happens when you exceed customer expectations by adding your special touch and by having the courage to make things right.
- Attitude: Choose your attitude. How you think about the customer is how you will treat them. A shining attitude is contagious and shows in the quality of your work.
- Consistency: Customers return because they liked what happened last time. Set high service standards and live up to them every day. Add your special touch and exceed expectations.
- Teamwork: Commit to teamwork. Look for ways to make each other look good. In the end, everything everyone does ends up in front of the customer whether you work the front end or behind the scenes.
Giving away pickles is part of providing excellent service and sets you apart from other similar businesses. Give them what they want and keep them coming back. Give ’em the pickle is a catchy little phrase that is easy to remember and relatively simple to implement. Define your pickle, share the concept with your team, and then implement the program in your pharmacy.
Exceptional customer service can not only lead to loyal customers, it can also transform your bottom line. In this eBook, we’re exploring ways to increase sales while creating advocates for your pharmacy.