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CLIMB Rewind: Tips for a Strong Vaccine Program
With cold & flu season ramping up, we're rewinding CLIMB to share our best tips for building a strong vaccine program in your pharmacy.
Flu shot clinics are a great way to support your community, build relationships, and grow your business. And there's no busier time of year for flu shot clinics than during cold & flu season.
With said season ramping up, we wanted to circle back to some tips we shared earlier this year on CLIMB to help you make the most of your existing vaccine program, or inspire you on your path to getting a successful one underway. You can re-watch that segment below, or read on for a recap of what we discussed.
Make a Plan
There are a few things you’ll need to figure out prior to the start of flu shot clinic season. First, it’s helpful if you can empower a point person to be your flu shot clinic champion. Someone to coordinate the schedule and take care of all the paperwork and moving pieces. You’ll need to make sure you only schedule flu shot clinics on days where you can tolerate having staff members out of the pharmacy. (Tip: Your point-of-sale system can tell you when you are the least busy by day of the week and hours of the day.) You’ll also need to make sure you put the supplies and materials together for the team member(s) that will be performing the clinics. What paperwork, office supplies, and equipment do they need? The sooner you get this plan into place, the less stress you’ll place on yourself and your team during peak flu vaccine season.
Start Engaging With Businesses Early
Kevin and his team start coordinating with businesses to perform clinics in July. They reach out to their local Chamber of Commerce to find out who the largest employers are and send letters to those employers offering to come in and do a clinic for their employees. The letter highlights important statistics on employees missing time due to illness and some frequently asked questions about the vaccine and program. It’s a helpful tool to get a jump start on booking clinics, and it can be a great way to increase awareness of your pharmacy as you engage with patients that aren’t yet customers. You can also open the door to more opportunities with businesses by offering healthcare or wellness visits, or any other programs/services you can provide on-site or help to support from your pharmacy.
Good Marketing is Key
In addition to engaging with businesses, you need to have a strong communication and marketing game plan to bring customers into the pharmacy for their vaccines. Posts on social media, quick videos answering FAQ’s, and active conversations in the pharmacy are all great options. It’s also important to communicate with new customers following their first interaction with your pharmacy. Kevin and his team send out letters to every new customer!
Every vaccine can be an opportunity to gain repeat business and grow additional revenue streams. Kevin and his team make the most out of every interaction by focusing on providing 10 out of 10 customer service. The way he sees it, if he can provide a great customer experience, he’s going to see them again. Just like when you have a great meal and great service at a restaurant.
Make It Fun
The team at Village Discount Drugs asks every customer if they’d like to get their vaccine during flu shot season. To encourage team members to have these conversations, Kevin will often set goals to give a set number of vaccines that day, and then buy the staff lunch or coordinate a fun event if they hit goals.
Assess Your Success
Kevin and Brittney don’t think it’s all about numbers when it comes to assessing the success of their flu shot clinics at the end of each season. Instead, when you set a goal, actively evaluate whether you are doing all of the little things to make that happen. For example, if a patient said their goal was to lose 20 pounds, you’d want to know what they were doing to make that happen. Going to the gym, cutting calories, etc. If you make the right changes and give it that 10 out of 10 effort, you’re going to lose weight. With flu shot clinics and vaccine programs in general, assess whether you did an adequate job of social media marketing, getting engaged with local businesses, and properly motivating staff to ask at the point-of-sale. If you can give it your all on those little things, you’ll see the results follow!
Let us know in the comments what your favorite takeaways were and any tips you have for those just getting started with their vaccine programs!