New services should always be part of the pharmacy’s strategy. It is a choice that gives priority to the basics:
How to open the dialogue with a patient in every conciliation, how to actively listen and give appropriate advice.
However, finding the "right service" for a particular pharmacy and, at the same time, compatible with customer expectations, is not always easy.
Being aware of the need to change their practices, some pharmacists already offer several services.
These initiatives show the dynamism of a fully evolving profession.
Let's look at some examples:
1. The scientific role at the top
Most pharmacists love to practice their profession and especially the young ones. But they are not completely satisfied.
They would like to do more, because they are worried about the future of the profession.
Most people think that the coming years will be more difficult than the previous ones.
However, they enjoy practicing a profession that has gained the recognition and the trust of their patients.
Today, however, patients, especially the chronic ones, prefer to enjoy more services from their pharmacy.
Thus, they would be interested in an informative meeting (10-15 minutes) with their pharmacist regarding their health condition and improving their compliance, through the preparation of daily and weekly doses of their medication.
The pharmacy experience does not end with the distribution of medicines.
A variety of services around vaccination, control and monitoring of chronic diseases, nutrition, home care… can be used, thanks to the specialization of each member of your team.
You can also make an appointment in your pharmacy to help people stop smoking, to give nutrition advices for athletes… and the list goes on and on.
2. An aesthetic cabin
Emphasize to beauty and transform a small sector into a beauty salon, where you can arrange an appointment with a beautician, is a good idea. Appointments are made at the counter during the customer’s visit.
You have to inform your customers about this action, by phone, e-mail or SMS.
This service will be designed to present and apply new beauty products!
If you re-pack cosmetics of certain value in a beautiful package, the customer will become your "ambassador".
That’s how a story may begin to be built for you. Everything is there!
3. The "natural" Bet
If you are passionate about alternative therapies, in addition to your short daily suggestions and tips, you can organize seminars for a group of 8-10 clients, lasting one hour, 3-4 times a year, e.g. on phytotherapy.
There, you will refer to seasonal health problems and analyze the appropriate solutions. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to exhibit the proposed products on the counter.
This workshop can be done in the evening, before closing, or on a Saturday morning, in order to facilitate your customers that work.
Even if you don’t have spare space, your pharmacy space with a few chairs is enough.
Traffic counts! As a result, you create a base of loyal customers, people come back and even talk about you to others. But it takes some time to be organized.
4. Create a "home made" online newsletter
You can create and send a newsletter to your customers every week, month or every 2 months, where you will publish articles on common health problems or a current health policy topic.
5. On-line pedagogy
The service also exists in its digital dimension, such as online sales of parapharmaceuticals and OTC products, or the online prescriptions. However, we should continue to see the website not only as a selling tool, but mainly as an educational tool.
The website allows you to continue the relationship with your customer, through a consulting service. It strengthens the connection by communicating information about pathologies or explaining some health issues, when there is no time at the pharmacy’s counter. It is also a way to reach some lonely patients.
Therefore, the website is also a "gateway", which allows for patient-to-pharmacist connection. It's a real ecosystem for the digital patient.
Through your website, you can have printable forms available for different types of common conditions: diabetes, stress, obesity ... It is a way to provide Internet users with the most important information and advice about their condition, which they can easily discuss also with their doctor.
6. "Home Made" Products (Private Label)
Use your imagination for an innovative service! You want to create a pleasant surprise for your customer, to disrupt the market.
Many customers are looking for highly sophisticated, even more expensive, more selective products, but also for not well-known brands.
Therefore, by using your scientific knowledge you can create products based on your know-how. Have you thought to offer your customers some infusions of your own mixtures?
7. Simple and practical
It is not possible for all pharmacists to have great and innovative ideas.
But the real service, the practice, the common sense, which offers a pleasant experience, is probably possible for everyone. In fact, a simple service is always easier to implement.