Increasing sales is a tall order at any time. Today, it might be more difficult than ever before. That doesn’t mean your pharmacy profitability goals are completely out of reach. You can still grow your pharmacy business with the right strategies and attention to healthcare trends and a holistic, customer-centric approach.
Differentiate your business through service
What sets your pharmacy business apart isn’t a prescription fill. The thing that makes your business special will be all the things that you do in addition to that prescription fill. Counselling programs, disease state management, nutrient depletion recommendations, health programs like smoking cessation or weight loss support, vaccinations. All these things turn your pharmacy from a prescription depot into a valuable health and wellness resource. And they can all be monetized. Both through the loyalty that’s naturally created as your customers consume more from your business, and through additional product sales that are a natural part of many health and wellness programs.
Become a knowledgebase for your customers
Customers are hungry for information that they can trust and rely on. Your expertise is a product, and just like some of the clinical services referenced above, it can be a big part of growing your pharmacy profitability and growing customer loyalty. While it’s an investment in time to post helpful articles, create posts or videos, the financial investment is relatively low and can result in big returns.
Ask Smart questions
Asking directed questions helps sales staff start a conversation with their customer. It also gives them an avenue to use their expertise about the products that the store carries to advise the customer on the best purchases to meet their needs. Best part? It can be done in person or over the phone, so regardless of how you’re interacting with your customers, it can make a difference.
Brainstorm with your team about what kind of questions make sense to ask your patients. Use these guidelines to help you get started. Think about what you want customers to have accomplished when they leave your pharmacy. Or what feelings you want them to have about their experience. Here are a few examples to get you started
What can we do to make your family healthier today?
What steps are you taking to improve your health today?
What necessities are missing from your medicine cabinet?
Are you familiar with our clinical services programs like…….?
Offer flexible service options
Today, this is a very important consideration for every business. Make sure that customers can reach you in as many ways as possible. Meaning in store, drive through or curbside, home delivery and mail order. Make it crazy-easy to make a lasting impression that can protect and grow your customer base.
Make smart inventory decisions
Many pharmacies turn front end inventory far too infrequently which is a costly mistake. Inventory that isn’t moving is nothing but a drain on your bottom line. It takes up valuable space on your shelves. Space that could be used for a product that actually makes you money. Check out this 6 minute video on inventory holding and inventory turns.
Monitor your success
How will you know if you are succeeding. How will you know if you’re asking the right questions? You need to have a clear picture of where you are today and then monitor your average ticket size, and overall sales to make sure that your revenue is growing the way that you expect it to. You can also monitor participation in your customer loyalty program. And if at first, you don’t succeed… well, you know the rest. Just keep trying until you strike the right chord.
Hungry for more pharmacy profitability tips? You’re in luck! RMS hosts a monthly webinar called CLIMB which helps pharmacies improve their profitability and customer-centricity with a focus on 5 core components of pharmacy business. Care, lead, innovate, motive and balance. You can register with this link for free and get access to tons of great pharmacy content.