Grow your independent pharmacy practice with a solid patient base using these 4 tips for better organic marketing exposure and patient retention.
Every time you visit the doctor’s office they ask three questions: name, date of birth, pharmacy. We are conditioned to ‘have a pharmacy’ and establish it with our physician the moment we walk into their office. They save it in their system and we accept that pharmacy as ‘our pharmacy’. Knowing that patients want and need to establish a pharmacy, the question becomes, how do you make ‘your’ pharmacy ‘their’ pharmacy?
- Be Convenient
Patients value convenience more than anything these days. Our attention spans are shorter than ever, and more big box retailers are offering pharmacy services at places where we already shop for groceries or household goods on a weekly basis. Consider ways that you can set your pharmacy apart as the most convenient option for patients.
Reach patients first after they move. Since new residents are seeking a new pharmacy in their new neighborhood, it is the most convenient time to introduce your practice to them and invite them in to meet you through targeted pharmacy advertising. Studies show that new movers are 210x more likely to respond to your marketing than existing residents making them a high value audience to target. Consider new mover marketing options like a new mover direct mail.
Offer delivery services. Make your pharmacy more convenient and easier than other options. Delivery will save consumers wait time and an extra trip to pick up their prescriptions- which is exactly why it was named a top trend in pharmacy practices for 2018.
- Be A Good Neighbor
According to Consumer Reports, 90% of pharmacy patients that use an independent practice rated their care as “excellent” or “very good” in categories of speed, accuracy, courtesy, and helpfulness. In these categories, rating for the independent practices far exceeded those of the big box retail pharmacies.
Patients choose a local independent pharmacy option with the expectation that they will receive a more neighborly experience. They appreciate when you make an effort to get to know them personally and the extra gestures you make to be thoughtful and personal. Make it a routine to personally call patients back, greet them by their name, and ask how they are doing. As you build rapport you will build trust and increase patient retention.
- Educate Your Patients
According to CVS Health, patients want more than medicine dispensing from their pharmacists. Statistics show that pharmacists are spending at least 20% more time on additional patient care services than they were 5 years ago and that 64% of patients consider their pharmacist as part of their healthcare team.
Set your pharmacy apart by proactively offering educational services and classes to your patients and the community. Ask patient opinions on topics they’d like to know more about and consider bringing in other medical specialists to talk more in depth on topics or starting an email newsletter with valuable clinical care information. By establishing your practice as a medical resource, you will gain more creditability which will provide organic word of mouth marketing and increase your customer retention rates.
- Promote Referrals
Most local businesses say that word of mouth marketing is their most effective form of marketing – but what if you could have more influence on the tone of the message? Referral programs are the best way to build a positive buzz around your business. By offering loyal patients an incentive for promoting your business to their friends and family you are incentivizing them to keep talking about your business in a positive light. The result is that your current customers become more loyal and you gain new customers that already have a positive first impression.
At Welcomemat we specialize in local business marketing plans that make a great first impression and promote long term customer loyalty. Learn more about our great local marketing options and how we can help your local pharmacy grow within your community. We offer turn key pharmacy advertising services including new mover marketing programs, local email marketing, and targeted direct mail postcards. Learn more HERE.