Wow your patients with these 10 ideas and ensure your independent pharmacy stays top of mind.
Wowing your patients seems like a no-brainer, something your front-end staff is already doing. But as I have learned recently about communication, do not assume anything, and creating an exceptional patient experience is critical to building lasting relationships and ensuring loyalty.
I have broken down ten powerful strategies to help your employees make an unforgettable impression on every new patient who enters your doors. Now, these are not mind-blowing innovative ideas. And profit is made in the consistent execution of the essential details. Before you worry about advanced customer service skills, ensure your staff has these down pat.
Your employees play a crucial role in shaping these interactions, and by implementing a well-thought-out plan, you can genuinely wow your first-time and repeat patients.
- Greet everyone with enthusiasm when they come into the pharmacy.
- If the patient isn’t known to the employee, ask if this is their first time.
- Have a new patient process to welcome first-timers.
- Under-promise and over-deliver.
- Point out the free cookies and coffee or direct them to the kids’ play area. (Your purple cow moment!)
- Offer an upsolution based on their prescription.
- Tell them about your referral program.
- Surprise them with a bounce-back coupon.
- Give them a pharmacist consultation.
- Follow up with a written thank you card.
Greet with Enthusiasm:
The first moments of interaction set the tone for the entire visit. Train your employees to welcome each patient with a warm, genuine smile, exuding enthusiasm and positivity. Make them feel valued and appreciated right from the start. A sincere and energetic welcome will help create a friendly and inviting atmosphere, making patients feel valued and appreciated. Every time a patient walked through my doors, you could hear a warm: “Welcome to Faast Pharmacy!”
Identify First-Time and Returning Patients:
A simple question like, “Is this your first visit to our pharmacy?” can go a long way in making patients feel noticed and cared for. By acknowledging their status as a newcomer, you convey a sense of personalized attention and establish a connection from the outset. It also opens the door for additional conversation, such as asking how they heard about your pharmacy or if there’s anything specific they need assistance with.
Create a Welcoming Process:
Develop a comprehensive new patient process that ensures a smooth and welcoming experience. Provide a welcome packet or brochure introducing your pharmacy’s services, values, and mission. Include information on insurance acceptance, prescription transfer process, and special programs or services you offer. Consider including a personal message expressing gratitude for choosing your pharmacy. Even provide a quick tour of your pharmacy to familiarize them with the layout and make them feel more comfortable.
Under-Promise and Over-Deliver:
Train your employees to manage patient expectations effectively. If there’s a potential wait time, provide an accurate estimate for a comfortable experience. However, encourage your team to strive to fulfill prescriptions or provide service ahead of schedule whenever possible. Surprise patients by delivering their medications earlier than expected, reinforcing the perception of exceptional service and care.
Highlight Special Amenities:
Ensure your employees are well-informed and excited about your pharmacy’s unique amenities. Train them to mention these amenities to patients during their visit. If you offer free cookies and coffee, direct them to the area where they can indulge. If you have a designated kids’ play area, inform parents about it, creating a positive experience for the whole family. These small touches add value, differentiate your pharmacy from others, and turn them into a delightful surprise for your patients.
Empower your employees to identify opportunities for upsolutions. Train them to engage in conversations with patients about their prescriptions and health needs. Create a variety of open-ended questions for your employees to put in their toolboxes to be able to suggest the best possible upsolutions. By presenting relevant over-the-counter products or supplements that could complement their treatment, your employees demonstrate their expertise and commitment to holistic care. This helps patients feel cared for and reinforces your trusted healthcare resource role.
*Tip: Our HOTTEST product right now is Approved Medical Solutions Nitric Oxide!
Share Your Referral Program:
Inform patients about your referral program, which rewards them for recommending your pharmacy to others. Encourage them to inform patients about the program during their interactions. Clearly explain how the program works, what rewards patients can receive for referring others, and any referral tracking mechanisms in place. This nudge encourages patients to advocate for your pharmacy, spreading the word and building a network of loyal customers. Incentivizing referrals fosters a sense of community and trust.
*PBU members: Check your mailbox this coming week for your inaugural profit newsletter, which focuses solely on creating your referral program.
Surprise with Bounce-Back Coupons:
As patients complete their transactions, surprise them with a bounce-back coupon that incentivizes their next visit. Customize the coupon to align with their specific needs or preferences. It could offer a discount on a frequently purchased item, a special promotion on a related product, or a bonus reward for their loyalty. This unexpected gesture shows appreciation and entices patients to return, boosting customer retention, creating a memorable impression, and increasing the likelihood of their return.
Provide Pharmacist Consultations:
Emphasize the value of pharmacist consultations to your employees. Train them to proactively offer one-on-one consultations, especially for complex prescriptions or when patients express specific concerns. Encourage your team to actively listen, answer questions, provide medication counseling, and offer personalized advice. This offer demonstrates your pharmacy’s commitment to patient care and enhances the overall experience. Such consultations not only improve patient safety but also foster trust and loyalty.
Follow-Up with a Written Thank You Card:
Take the time to send a handwritten thank you card to every first-time patient. Express your appreciation for choosing your pharmacy and entrusting their healthcare needs to your team. Include a personalized note that reflects their specific visit or interaction. This personal touch goes a long way in making patients feel valued and leaves a lasting positive impression.
By implementing these ten strategies, you can empower your employees to create wow-worthy experiences for every first-time patient who walks through your doors. Remember, a well-executed plan, enthusiastic greetings, unexpected surprises, and personalized care are the cornerstones of building lasting patient relationships.
Are you looking for ways to increase the profitability of your pharmacy? We have the proven framework we call the Pharmacy Profit Roadmap inside Pharmacy Badass University. You can get 30 days of PBU for free by signing up through this LINK!