In all aspects of life, first impressions are crucial in generating a positive reception.
The overall impression of a first encounter has far reaching implications, and creates a perception that is not easily overcome.
This simple and unavoidable fact is as true for your business as it is for your personal interactions.
As a pharmacist, your first line of contact with your customers is through your employees. It is this interaction that will formulate how the customer perceives your establishment. A positive initial experience can mean the difference between a one-time visit to your pharmacy or a life-long customer that not only provides you with their own repeat business, but campaigns for you with positive reviews to friends and family members.
Congeniality is contagious. Your employees' demeanor speaks volumes about your establishment to your customers before any verbal exchange ever takes place.
A happy, cheerful employee not only sets the customer's mind at ease about the excellence of service he or she will likely receive, but about the quality of product as well.
When your employees appear alert and confident in their work, the assumption is that they will give a superior degree of attention to detail to the product they are preparing and providing to the customer.
When a customer is greeted with a smile and a warm welcome to the establishment, they feel confident that they are about to have an enjoyable experience.
Conversely, when greeted with a dour expression from an employee who obviously would rather be doing anything other than his/her job, the customer is put on guard and is much more likely to translate that perception of poor service into an expectation of low quality.
Therefore, the initial contact between your employees and customer is the lynchpin in providing an excellent experience that will have your customers return to your establishment and raving about you to their peers.
As critical as that first interaction between employee and customer is, it will matter little if it is not part of a cohesive whole presented by your establishment. This unity of experience is established through two aspects. The ambient atmosphere of your pharmacy and the general mood of your staff.
You should strive to create an appealing and positive environment in your pharmacy through effective lighting and visual pleasing decorations. Lighting should be bright but not harsh. Adequate for easy viewing, but not distracting. Visual schemes should be muted, but not bland or sterile.
Employees should be encouraged to not only be courteous and polite, but to get enthusiastic about their job. An air of lighthearted fun and excitement behind the scenes translates into an overall sense of wellbeing and enjoyment for the customer.
Therefore, it is important that your management staff be capable of positively motivating the staff through encouragement and positive reinforcement techniques.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and if you fail to make a positive one, you may not have a chance to make a second one.
It is crucial to the success of your business that you provide your customers with a comfortable and pleasant experience from the moment they walk in your door through to the moment they pull out of your parking lot.
A happy and satisfied customer is a repeat customer.
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