Did you know that, between 2010 and 2019, the number of community pharmacies increased by almost 13%? That means that community pharmacies make up about 35% of all retail pharmacies in the nation. They are on the rise, and their growth isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Just because they’re on the rise doesn’t mean that the competition is going anywhere. The market is continuing to grow as well, which means there will always be opponents. Because of this, your community pharmacy should always be improving. Community pharmacies’ personalized services and hometown feel can be enhanced with digital tools - they can help you reach the largest number of patients possible and keep up with the competition.
Follow these four steps to improve your community pharmacy as soon as today.
1. Nurture Relationships With The Patients You Have
Of course, attracting new customers is important. But what’s also important is the business that comes from the customers you currently have.
Staying on the same page as your current patients allows you to provide them the personalized care that they’re looking for in a community pharmacy. It also helps you build trust and increase adherence through open communication.
It’s good practice to maintain good relationships, and it’s also good for your business. Happy customers will keep coming back, and they’ll also recommend your pharmacy to people that they know in the community.
You can keep up communication with patients by implementing a secure, HIPAA-compliant messaging platform that allows two-way conversations where you and your patients can communicate conveniently, in real time. You can improve your patients’ experience with messaging solutions like this because you can provide better care and better outcomes.
2. Help Patients Manage Their Health Anywhere
In 2021, customers expect quick and easy solutions to everything - including their health. They want to access healthcare products from their home and on-the-go - especially after the pandemic. A study was done that shows that 62% of people will now actively seek out virtual care for advisories and 52% will seek out virtual care for routine appointments.
While there’s been a big jump in how many people want to use these digital solutions, there are still many people who don’t trust that the tech companies behind these tools are completely secure. It’s understandable, since this is all still relatively new to the market. Because there’s a general distrust with tech companies handling your patients’ information, you can bridge the gap with digital solutions that help your patients manage their health from wherever they are - like your own mobile app.
Via an app, you can build a presence online while still keeping your patients’ information secure. These tools are HIPAA-compliant and can help with tasks such as:
● Finding health resources
● Simplifying prescription refills
● Patient transfers
● Appointment scheduling
With online tools and digital apps, your patients won’t have to wait for care. They can get it in the palm of their hand.
3. Optimize Your Digital Pharmacy
The future of health is going digital. Because of this, community pharmacists have to adapt and find ways to communicate with their patient base online - outside of their website. When you build an online presence, you can engage with your community and enhance their experience with your pharmacy online.
With a digital presence, you stay at the top of your customers’ minds and you’ll find that they’re loyal and continuously engaged with your pharmacy.
Digital marketing programs for pharmacies include monthly newsletters, social media marketing, and tracking/measuring ad campaigns to see what works. These programs might even be able to help you attract more business by pinpointing where your leads are coming from to see what strategies you should boost.
4. Give Everyone Attention They Deserve
Three important components of a patient-pharmacy relationship are:
● Keeping business/pharmacy information accessible and up-to-date
You can make sure the relationship between your pharmacy and your patients is the best that it can be by maintaining communication, answering questions, and directing patients to information that will further aid them. If you have too many inbound calls to manage, you can implement an interactive voice response (IVR) system to take care of quick and easy answers so you can focus more heavily on more complicated one-on-one interactions with your patients.
Your Community Pharmacy
We want your community pharmacy to have the best relationship with its patient base as possible. If you take these four tips to heart, you’ll surely provide quality service that your customers will value, and your business will thrive because of it.