The national press continues to take pot shots at community pharmacy, failing to understand the increasing benefits pharmacies bring to customers. This is happening in every Western country, yet more pharmacists are recognising that now is actually a time of great opportunity. In Australia, government support for professional services is providing relief for overworked GPs with basic medical care and facilitating pharmacists making greater impact as professional health providers and potentially in business, actively contributing to our communities. In other locales, pharmacists have long ago had to become adept at being super heros in order to hold their own against the big players.
Watch this short video to discover how to capitalise on these special opportunities and take your pharmacy business to the next level:
There’s hope, expectation and excitement amongst pharmacists, both in Australia and in other countries. There is renewed enthusiasm for the twin objectives of making a difference in our communities and a decent living from their business too and awareness that community pharmacies must provide value beyond a cheaper price on a script or OTC item to make that difference.
The Hidden Heroes
So we are looking for heroes to make their difference in the community and inspire heroic results which benefit individual customers and have a flow on effect in the community, making your pharmacy the health destination of choice.
Which hero is most compelling depends on who you are.
As a pharmacy owner, your heroes could be the products with the best margin or the services, ranges and categories that fit most seamlessly into your retail space and are congruent with your marketing and vision (which keeps your heroes firmly at the forefront of your and your team’s minds).
Your employees’ heroes would be you, the pharmacy owner or key staff who lead, inspire and train them. Do they share relevant knowledge and training in topics and products to make a real difference to and are valued by customers?
If a pharmacy employee is a hero to your customers, caring and providing valuable advice and products to help them, they’ll be a hero to you and their colleagues.
According to a PSA study of pharmacies about ‘health destinations’, the hero for customers are the engaged pharmacy staff who interact with them about the management and improved use of their medications and who provide interesting and relevant information and improved access to care.
Becoming A Pharmacy Super Hero
Follow the three ‘i’s’
- Implementation / Interruption
Want to be profitable, buy effectively, streamline your processes, eliminate the unnecessary, amp up the valued service and services, build loyalty and raving fan customers? Dialogue with your customer through focus groups, informal chats with individual customers or asking some key strategic questions at the register to discover your ideal customer’s wants and needs.
Then brainstorm the opportunities. How can you provide what they need in a way that is profitable for the business and adds massive value to the customer? Look at how other health care professionals are offering their services. What are local retailers, boutiques and franchise chains doing? What lessons can you learn, apply and adapt to help your customer and business?
How can you make your customers aware of these advantageous changes? How can you interrupt their normal day or expectations (in a good way!) with your marketing? How can you engage your staff’s commitment and enthusiasm and galvanize them into action, embracing, even initiating, the change?
What To Do First
It’s time to act outside the square, that’s where the rewards and value are.
As Morpheus said to Neo, in ‘The Matrix’ movie: What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this. Don’t think you are, know you are. Come on!
Pharmacists, the time is now. The opportunities are here and with a good understanding of your customers’ needs, engaging your staff and some planning, the rewards can be yours and benefit your customers.
Morpheus also said, “there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”.
So take the first step today and begin your investigation. Your customers need you. Are you ready to help them?
In the next article, you’ll discover a key to innovation for your pharmacy but if you’d like to learn some specific strategies immediately to identify your customers’ wants and needs and convert them to sales then click here to download your free report: Click Here NOW!