How many doors are there into your Pharmacy?
I recently interviewed a Pharmacist on our Technology in Pharmacy Podcast series www.pharmacyview.com.au about their digital business transformation. If there was a statement made that really resonated with me, it was that today your Pharmacy, or any business for that matter, has multiple doors that your customers can come through. More than you possibly realise or are geared to adequately manage. The discussion went on to say that in today’s omnichannel connectivity you need to be aware of and manage each of your key connection points closely or risk alienating a valuable Customer group.
Is this a conundrum? Absolutely yes, as how do you know where your new Customers are coming from when you and your team are just busy doing the current day to day Customer Service and operation requirements.
One of my best recommendations to help here is look firstly within your own team, then if needed look for a connection within your local community and lastly seek external specialized support.
Who’s in your team? When it comes to understanding your local Customers, in addition to the Dispensary team I have great respect for Pharmacy Assistants and the experience and knowledge they garner over time. As busy Pharmacists and Business Managers you would already be aware of the role they play in your business and how much you all know about births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and affairs of the community. The team connectivity across family generations and age demographics is often an untapped resource when it comes to potential Customers and new product markets.
Within your business do you have a team member that is also active in social media arenas? What I mean by this, is there someone with multiple social media accounts, are active within online community forums and potentially have a smart or iPhone as an extension of their arm. These are the team members that you need to start a discussion with around the additional role they may be able to play within your business helping manage your digital Customer networks, posting up your Pharmacy community activity, new Supplier products and promotions.
An example I can share here was a discussion with a group marketing manager in recent weeks now finding more potential connectivity with customers (existing and new) through Instagram clicks than the traditional home delivered printed catalogue. As community businesses, this is something you can do at your own level, creating your own marketing collateral (or accessing your group or brand media) and communicating through your business social media portals. There are many great examples already if you search ‘Pharmacy’ on Instagram and begin to follow other business pages for activity and ideas.
If not a team member, then maybe a community customer? You may not have someone on the team that matches the description, so potentially you have a customer that interacts with you regularly from a digital portal, is a Facebook or twitter mogul that might be able to help. This person could become a part time team member helping you acknowledge, promote and transact Dispensary and Front of Shop activity in ‘their normal digital manner’. Helping your team recognize the manner in which Customers have connected digitally is critical and will continue to evolve as technology changes each and every year.
Lastly, seek external help. This support area may be firstly your Pharmacy Brand or Buying Group. It could be a local marketing and creative agency, or possibly digitally ‘seek your skill and talent online’. We often use an online digital service portal ‘fiverr’ and access services from providers in Europe and Canada which has brought a global knowledge base to our business – Shopfront Solutions.
Shopfront Solutions marketing platforms have been created for Australian Pharmacy with focus on digital Customer communication firstly when entering your bricks and mortar Pharmacy and now potentially to your online customers. If you’d like more information about our Pharmacy focused marketing and communication platforms, click here www.shopfrontsolutions.com.au and contact us though our digital portal or give me a call to discuss.
Scott Carpenter – Head of Business Development Shopfront Solutions and Host of Pharmacy View Podcast – technology in Pharmacy business series. M: 0490705651