The APP conference is a great opportunity to observe the current trends and themes in community pharmacy. Interestingly these were reflected in the practices employed by this year’s winner of the “Guild Pharmacy Of The Year’ award, Lucy Walker Pharmacy of Goondiwindi, Queensland. There are 5 key secrets to her success, watch this short video to discover what they were:
Flexibility and innovation
Be nimble and adaptable to change, actually embrace it and be innovative to maximise engagement with customers and improve health outcomes. Don’t rest on your laurels. Any award or feedback is an inspiration to keep growing and doing more and better.
They’re always striving to innovate and do new things like installing a dispensary robot.
Retail Sales And Professional Services Focus
Professional services can increase your profitability but you must also focus strongly on retail sales. Professional services income is limited and, as with dispensary income, the government can reduce your income at any time. Currently there’s talk but no definitive guarantee of extra professional services funding being provided.
Adjusting the store layout allowed Lucy to offer expanded professional services and not only improved her profitability but increased retail sales, improving her dispensary/ retail ratio from 80/20 to 55/45 with particular growth in products that align with their health message to their community. It’s as simple as identifying the gaps from other providers – such as difficulty getting a GP appointment for flu shots- and offering those services to customers and recommending vitamins to further support their immune system.
Marketing And Social Media
Social media is a great tool to increase engagement with customers.
The strengths Lucy and her team brought to this platform were to be personable, genuine and engaging, tying in with their pharmacy and personal values.
What’s the heart and soul of your business? Is it caring for young mums? Bring it out, it should be centre stage on social media. Know who you are, know your key offering, write it down, involve your staff. Your customers will become a tribe who connect with you as people as well as your services.
Make your social media posting part of your everyday routine. A quote or some content complementing your overall marketing strategy, for example, a vaccinations promotion you’re running in store.
Like Lucy Walker’s team do, run small online campaigns a couple of days ahead about the benefits of vaccination, introduce your pharmacist who’s done the training and take the customer through the journey to build up credibility and trust. Build a story that is genuine and specific with a face attached so your community feel like they know you. Set a target for how many bookings you want so your staff stay focused. Regularly introduce fresh content and stay on point.
Caring For Staff And The Community
Lucy Walker Pharmacy are a social, medical and community hub who reach out to residents and are very caring of staff welfare and development. This keeps staff motivated to learn and provide the best advice and services to customers and patients.
Their community engagement is excellent and they have a wonderful team who all have their own strengths and enjoy working together.
‘We care for ourselves, each other, our customers and our community’ is their motto and that’s the order of priority. Lucy recognises different people like to be rewarded differently and in performance reviews asks staff “what would you like? How can I help you?” Some want training, some want flexible hours, some want regular acknowledgement- work out what they want and need. It’s not about what you pay them.
Having A Vision
To transform the pharmacy Lucy says make a plan, have a dream, get the staff and customers on board, take them on a great journey and make sure that what they want is in line with your dream.
The basics for success are all here: look after your staff, reward them according to their motivators, do performance reviews, get their feedback, play to their strengths, involve them in marketing and developing and driving a vision. Do that well and you could be the next Guild Pharmacy Of The Year!
In my next post, I’ll be delving into how to keep your staff motivated and enjoying maximum job satisfaction because, as Lucy commented, it underpins a pharmacy’s success. Pharmacy owners need your staff to come along with you.
If you’d like to learn some specific actions you can take now to build your team’s motivation then check out strategy 2 and 3 in this great report. Click here: http://pharmacyprofitsecrets.com/7-strategies-to-increase-pharmacy-revenue-report and download your free Report NOW!