This weekend, the news hit that a childhood staple since 1957, Toys R Us, may be closing the doors of all locations. Fierce competition and dwindling profits may have gotten the best of something that I always viewed as something of an institution. Despite already announced store closures I guess I always figured it would be there, offering much the same experience to my kids as it did for me.
Of course now that i think about it, that was kind of a silly train of thought. Not much is the same as it was even a few years ago. Much less 20 plus years ago. Especially when it comes to retail in any form. Consumers have more information and more options. Let's face it, clicking an order button online and then waiting a couple of days is just easier.
So what exactly do you do about it then? How do you give your pharmacy an edge when it comes to obtaining and mantaining business?
Make it personal - 2017 once again saw pharmacists as being viewed as some of the most trusted professionals in the US. No surprise here but a good reminder that the relationship you have with customers is important. How you and your staff interact with customers makes a big impact. While you may think you're doing all you can on this level, there might be some improvements you can still make. For instance, you can use RMS' EvolutionPOS V2 Tablet as a tool to create a more personal customer experience. Get out from behind the counter to walk customers to a specific product or step into a more secluded area of the store for patient counseling and finalize their transaction right there.
Make it easy - Convenience is a big concern for consumers today. For every time they may want to chat about the kids and catch up, there's a time when they just need to pick up a prescription and go. Features like additional prescriptions for pickup (which RMS supports with a variety of different pharmacy systems) help to make sure that customers don't leave without all the prescriptions they need. That same tablet that we mentioned before can be used for line busting to get customers out quickly when it's busy, or for curbside pickup service so customers just picking up a prescription don't even have to get out of the car.
Make it valuable- The final piece of the puzzle is continuing to add value for your customers. Do things that keep them coming back. Loyalty programs are a great start, and are pretty much a necessity for retailers today. But even the best loyalty program may not make you stand out. However, services like the Digital Replete interface RMS offers with Ortho Molecular Products allows you to give your customers something they won't find online or at box stores.
There's so much that's wonderful about the experience that customers have always had at their local pharmacy. But there are also some things that it's time to change. Let RMS help your pharmacy take the next steps.