Any pharmacy can dispense medications – but what creates loyal customers who keep coming back?
Personalized service and easy communication builds trust between you and your patients, and this helps form customer relationships that last. In a time of decreased social contact, it may seem that mail order pharmacies have the upper hand. However, community pharmacies have a unique opportunity to build their patient relationships even stronger along with the capabilities of technology. It’s all about knowing what works best with your pharmacy and the needs of your community.
Walking into the local drug store and being greeted by name is typically seen as a staple of the community pharmacy. So what happens when people are hesitant to walk into a pharmacy? Listening to your customer’s needs and adapting to their expectations is essential for retaining customers. A personalized experience may not always look the same depending on the situation – pharmacies must remain agile and look for these new opportunities for improvement.
Using technology in place of human contact can be perceived as impersonal, but during a pandemic it may actually show that you care about your patient’s safety and want to provide them with a seamless, secure experience. From text messaging to video chatting, technology has helped pharmacies connect with their patients in a contactless yet convenient way. In a study of Medicare eligible seniors, 61% felt that they have embraced technology more during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s evident that the use of technology in the pharmacy industry has been growing, and it was already predicted to expand this year in 2020. With the start of the pandemic, this growth has been accelerated even further than was expected.
One common use of technology in pharmacy is direct patient messaging within workflow. Your patients want reliability when it comes to getting their medications – and you want to be able to provide this without interruptions in workflow. Being able to maintain a clear line of communication even without face-to-face contact is a necessity in this time. Mobile messaging can be a great addition to your pharmacy – whether that be sending quick reminders and answering questions through two-way SMS messaging or having more detailed conversations in a HIPAA-secure platform like RxLocal.
As a whole, your customer experience is a sum of all the ways your pharmacy interacts with patients. Listening to the needs of your patients and finding ways to incorporate them into your services will strengthen your pharmacy’s competitive advantage.