How to Compete By Differentiating Your Pharmacy

Let’s face it. Any brick and mortar pharmacy deals with a constant elephant in the room these days. Or maybe two or three such elephants. The challenge to stand out from competitors. The tough task of maintaining patient and employee safety. And perhaps the biggest figurative pachyderm intruder, the big bad online retailers.  Just how exactly can you compete? The key is in differentiating your pharmacy from the competition and taking your pharmacy beyond the box that everyone else operates within.

This is no small task. But there are a few surprisingly simple ways that you can make your pharmacy stand out from the crowd.

Nutrient Depletion Recommendations

Increasingly, pharmacies look to their front end to drive revenue. While many OTC’s can be purchased pretty much anywhere, what isn’t offered is expert recommendations geared to improving patient well being. This expertise, paired with aligned products, gives patients a reason not just to fill prescriptions, but to add OTC items to their basket. Nutrient depletion recommendations make this process incredibly easy.  At the time of prescription scan, your POS system displays supplement recommendations based on prescription induced nutrient depletion. In this best of both worlds scenario, you can increase front end sales, while your patients gain needed insight into their health. Added bonus? They’ll feel better, comply with their prescription instructions, and keep coming back for more.

Customer Loyalty

Everyone is a member of customer loyalty programs. But of the programs you have membership to, how many really engage you? How many actually impact your buying decisions? Yes, you do need a customer loyalty program. However, it shouldn’t look anything like anyone else’s.  Loyalty isn’t just about rewards or coupons. It’s about the time you but in to building relationships, understanding your customers and giving them reasons to keep shopping with your pharmacy. In this article from Computer Talk Magazine, RMS CEO Brad Jones talks about why loyalty programs are so important, and how you can build one that will be effective and meaningful.

Flexible Customer Service

Transactions today don’t look the same as they did 10 years ago. Or even a year ago. And it’s likely that a year from when this post was written, things will look different still.  Flexibility is a key concept for becoming indispensable in the eyes of your customers. And giving them something they can’t get anywhere else. Offer as many avenues for interaction as you can. Curbside, drive thru, delivery and mail order are all valuable options in addition to your tried and true customer service practices.  Here’s another great article on how you can keep it personal, no matter what.

Bringing it All Together

The last key to bring everything together is to invest. Not just financially, although the right technology will make your life so much easier. You also must buy in to the differentiation you wish everyone else to see. Train your staff to take transactional interactions to the next level. Put the time into building a solid, successful loyalty program. Let your passion for what you do show in everything you do.