Why Training Your Pharmacy Staff is the Most Important Investment of All.

One of the most important investments you make in your pharmacy is the investment in team. And not just because it’s expensive to recruit and train employees when you have high turnover. Employees have the potential to define the customer experience at your pharmacy.  One bad experience can lose you a customer for good. But on the flip side, a positive experience can create a lifelong raving fan.

So how you create a team that delivers those positive experiences time after time? The team that you know has it under control even when you’re not there.

One answer that’s too often overlooked is training. Providing your team with ongoing opportunities, to learn and improve increases employee satisfaction, improves efficiency and accuracy, and provides staff with the resources they need to provide excellent service.

Ongoing training looks a lot different than the things you teach a new hire on day one.  You’re looking to touch on often overlooked facets of day to day activities. And you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to results vs. time spent.

Here are some key areas to focus on:

Store Services – Customers don’t know what they don’t know. And too often it is taken for granted that a customer isn’t using a service because they don’t wish to.  But really they just might not even know that it exists.  Make sure that your team understands all of the services that your pharmacy offers so they can ask the right questions during a transaction.  Whether it’s if a customer knows about delivery or curbside pickup, or about the pharmacy loyalty program.  Take the time to talk through all of the benefits of each service so they can answer questions as they come up. Focus on a new service every week or two to keep interactions fresh and to continue to grow knowledge.

Technology- The receipt paper outage that no one seems to know how to fix. Or the pricing error that leaves everyone stumped.  We’ve all been there. And it’s almost always frustrating. Many of the day to day hiccups encountered at the point-of-service can be easily avoided. Simple training on how to use the systems and technology available in the pharmacy helps to keep everything running smoothly.

Private Label Products- How many of your customers pay more for name brand products when the private label sitting just a few spaces over on the shelf will suit their needs?  It’s not a customer’s job to understand the availability of these interchangeable products. And if you don’t educate your team to help educate customers, they may never know. It’s a simple thing really, but if it leaves even 1 customer out of 10 with a better impression of your pharmacy because they were able to save a bit of money, it’s well worth it.

Company Culture – Your secret recipe isn’t a product mix. Or a location, or a service. It’s actually your company culture. Culture that’s made up from your mission statement, your commitment to community and team. Share that at every opportunity. When your team members understand and adopt company culture, they can share that with your customers. Don’t overlook this important facet of your business.

Before I sign off, I’ll make one final note. Training doesn’t have to mean days spent in a classroom. Hunched over a text- book, trying to keep your eyes open. There are so many easy ways to engage your team in ongoing learning. Stay tuned next week for some awesome tips that we use every day here at RMS.

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