A new pharmacy must quickly build relationships with patients and medical professionals and establish a reputation as a convenient, cost-effective source of medication. By focusing on high-quality service, you can differentiate a new pharmacy from drugstore chains and supermarket drug outlets that compete primarily on price.
Differentiate Your Pharmacy
By assessing competitors in your area, you can determine the level of service that will differentiate your pharmacy. Local supermarkets with in-store pharmacies and branches of pharmacy chains may offer a standard range of products at competitive prices, but patients may have to collect their medication from the store or only obtain advice if a qualified pharmacist is present. You can position your pharmacy as a business based on service to customers by stocking a wider range of drugs and health care products, improving convenience by providing home delivery and offering health education to customers.
Hold an Opening Event
To raise awareness of your new pharmacy in the community, host an opening event. Email doctors and other medical professionals from local medical centers and hospitals inviting them to an evening or weekend event featuring a guest speaker on a current medical topic. Attract patients and consumers to the event by advertising in local newspapers or on local radio, and include special offers in the ads, such as a discount on first orders or a free health care guide. At the event, take the opportunity to explain the range of products and services you can offer patients and medical professionals.
Offer Personalized Service
You can build a loyal customer base by offering a personalized service from the outset. As part of your launch advertising program, invite patients to discuss and review their medication programs, and encourage qualified staff to offer individual advice on treatments and lifestyle choices. By partnering with local doctors and supporting their patients, you can position your pharmacy as part of a professional health care team and offer a level of service that competitors cannot match.
Build a Reputation for Convenience
You can quickly build a reputation for quality customer service by focusing on standards and services that meet the needs of different groups of customers. Offering extended weekend hours, for example, improves convenience for patients who may need urgent or emergency medication. A home delivery service makes life easier for patients who find it difficult to visit a pharmacy. Setting up a computer program that automates prescription renewal reminders to patients helps them maintain regular medication routines. Include information on these services in your advertisements and promotional literature. Supporting patients with advice and helping them manage their treatment regimes reduces the workload on local medical centers, helping to improve relations with doctors and encouraging them to recommend patients to your pharmacy.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.