Round Your Patients:
One of the most successful, tried and true, ways of expanding your business and increasing repeat business is by rounding on customers for outcomes. This is a method of leadership that business owners and employees can use to improve results and revenue. The method of rounding is a simple concept; it entails making a face-to-face, personal connection with customers by providing “service with a smile” and asking what the customer truly needs, discussing their expectations, and what they want from a pharmacy. It is an opportunity to ask the customer what they need and show a willingness to assist. You can’t improve upon something unless you ask the customer what needs improving.
This builds trust and shows accountability. Do not underestimate the impact that soft skills and simply asking what someone needs can have on business. When you round on a customer you show you really care about them and their needs. That’s all a customer can really ask for. When this basic need of sharing their wants is met, then advertising by positive word-of-mouth ensues which will increase your customer pool, repeat business, and ultimately revenue. Studer Group did a study that revealed the mere act of talking with customers about their expectations cause satisfaction scores to skyrocket—even when the company didn’t change its inventory, its price, or its processes in any other way” (Studer, 2008).
Another way to stay competitive is using a specific greeting or closing to a conversation that your staff has with each customer. This could be done easily by saying “Stay healthy” or “Thank you for letting [insert business name] provide you with excellent service today”. A simple “branding” or “catch phrase” leaves the client with the psychological notion that you are helping them get healthy or that they received excellent service.” In a customer satisfaction study done by Jiun-Sheng & Chia-Chuan (2011) they found that while marketplace competition continues to intensify, that pharmacies and other businesses are enhancing outcomes, staying competitive, and improving client retention through interactions with their customers.
The best results were seen via one-to-one customer-employee communication that was intimate, information rich, and customer focused. Their results showed, “the service provider’s social skills, customer orientation, and expertise are positively related to service friendship and customer compliance, which in turn affect customer satisfaction and anticipated future interaction. The control variables are also both positively associated with service friendship and anticipated future interaction” (Jiun-Sheng & Chia-Chuan, 2011). Whether you are an urban pharmacy or a rural pharmacy, whether you see your customers weekly, monthly, or yearly, they will remember the interactions they have with your staff and the feeling they were left with.
It’s not just about providing efficient service, it’s about providing a positive, memorable experience for the customer.
Jiun-Sheng, C., & Chia-Chuan, H. Modeling service friendship and customer compliance in relationships. Journal of Service management, 2 (5), 607-631. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1108/09564231111174979
Studer, Q. (2008). Results That Last. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.