It’s easy to get distracted about what your competitors are doing and make the inevitable comparisons between your community pharmacy and larger operators. While it’s important to keep a watchful eye on what’s happening in the external environment, its paramount that you don’t neglect what it is that makes your particular business special.
Here are three steps to follow to make the most of your strengths and keep you focused on what’s important to customers about your business.
Establish your point of difference
In a crowded marketplace, it’s becoming more difficult to standout. Customers expect quality products and good service at a minimum, so you may need to look further and rediscover what makes your business unique. Maybe it’s related to the history of your pharmacy and its connection with the local community, a story that carries through into the way you conduct your business? Keep in mind that emotional connections will always resonate positively with consumers – few shopping decisions are based on logic alone.
Think hard about what represents your unique ‘value proposition’ and accentuate your business ‘personality’; it will make your customers’ experience more engaging.
Customers expect quality products and good service at a minimum, so you may need to look further and rediscover what makes your business unique.
Provide real value to customers
So how does your value proposition translate into real value for your customers, after all it’s going to be about value not price? Going head to head with the big players on price alone is generally not an effective strategy. Competing just on price is saying that your products and services are commodities, providing customers with no additional reason why they should shop at your pharmacy rather than a discount warehouse.
Value can be many things to different customers but convenience is a big one. For example, is there a way of reminding customers of when their script is due or when they should be receiving their flu shot. Or going that extra mile with a follow up phone call to an elderly customer to make sure a medicine has been taken correctly.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and imagine some ways you could be surprising them with new services or perhaps a combination of existing services.
Get your house in order
When your behind-the-scenes pharmacy processes are efficient your staff will be less stressed and you will have more time and energy to focus on customers and growing your business.
If you are currently juggling multiple systems to manage your pharmacy then it may be time to take advantage of smarter technology to streamline your workflows.
Fred Office allows you to quickly see how your business is operating, bringing your dispense, POS and other systems into one package that looks and works just like Microsoft Outlook.