Empathetic and trusting pharmacist-patient relationships are the cornerstone of customer care. However, many pharmacies miss the role patient relationships play in successfully marketing and selling their clinical services.
Pharmacies should build committed relationships with each patient. Doing so repositions the pharmacy-patient relationship from transactional to one based on genuine patient care.
“We’re focused on the one-to-one relationships we have with our customers,” said Chris Cornelison, owner of Mississippi based independent pharmacy Iuka Discount Drugs.
For over 20 years Mr. Cornelison has championed services which demonstrate pharmacy patient care, such as flavored medicine and automated medicine compounding and reconstitution.
“If we can improve customer relationships, then we can keep our patients compliant with their medications, which keeps them coming back into our store,” Mr. Cornelison said. “Fillmaster supports those relationships.”
Mr. Cornelison understands that relationship marketing extends from the bond between patient and pharmacy staff. Fillmaster, Mr. Cornelison said, enables his team to build long-lasting, one-to-one relationships with their pharmacy customers.
Fillmaster Improves the In-Store Pharmacy Experience
“Fillmaster with FLAVORx changed our customer’s mindset from: ‘I hate coming to the pharmacy’ to ‘something good is about to happen’,” Mr. Cornelison said.
The staff at Iuka Discount Drugs understand that patients come into their pharmacy expecting a negative experience. But rather than accept the status quo, Mr. Cornelison invested in services which delight and surprise customers.
“We know our patients aren’t feeling well, they’re either sick or stressed,” he said. “FLAVORx makes the whole pharmacy experience more pleasant for our patients and Fillmaster gives our staff the opportunity to go above and beyond for customers.”
Fillmaster supports Mr. Cornelison’s one-to-one marketing strategy by helping his team establish, develop, and maintain successful customer relationships.
“We offer [medicine] flavoring for free because it draws customers into the store and keeps them coming back,” Mr. Cornelison said.
Mr. Cornelison said the efficiency of Fillmaster helped eliminate cost as a barrier from flavored medicine.
“Fillmaster fully automates the medicine compounding and reconstitution process which lowers our resource costs and makes dispensing liquids faster and more pleasurable for our team,” Mr. Cornelison said. “The money we saved with Fillmaster made it worthwhile for us to offer flavoring for free.”
In that sense, Mr. Cornelison demonstrates patient care with Fillmaster by using it as a tool to reduce patient anxiety and in-store wait times. “Fillmaster directly improved our customer relationships,” he said. “They’ve had such a good experience with us in the past, that they walk into our pharmacy excited and in a good mood.”
Mr. Cornelison also attributes an improved in-store experience to Fillmaster’s sleek appearance, which he said delights customers. Iuka Discount Drugs intentionally placed their Fillmaster unit in front of the pharmacy where it is clearly visible to patients.
“Fillmaster looks cool as hell! Those blue lights make prescription filling a spectacle,” Mr. Cornelison said. “It’s a whole scene! Fillmaster is making medicine time fun and helping our patients’ wait times pass quicker.”
Fillmaster and FLAVORx Encourage Patient-Pharmacy Interaction
“Fillmaster helps our staff anticipate patient needs,” Mr. Cornelison said. “We use it as a conversation starter with customers, which is the first step in a long term relationship.”
Creating a natural segue to patient care is a no-brainer for pharmacies that prioritize collaboration. “Simply asking a patient about their preferred medicine flavor creates a pharmacy experience that invites the patients to participate,” Mr. Cornelison said.
“We can make it better” is how Mr. Cornelison and his staff pitch flavored medicine to their customers, but that same language applies to their pharmacy’s culture.
Allowing patients to customize the taste of their medicine with FLAVORx demonstrates the pharmacy’s commitment to patient care. Moreover, personalizing the in-store experience to the customer’s unique preferences increases the likelihood that customer will return to Iuka Discount Drugs.
Fillmaster helps turn happy customers into pharmacy evangelists
Overtime, Fillmaster can cultivate new customer behaviors.
“Thanks to Fillmaster, we’ve engrained medicine flavoring as an anticipated part of the prescription filling process,” Mr. Cornelison said. “Customers now expect us to add flavoring.”
Some customers even take the initiative to ask for flavoring.
According to Mr. Cornelison, parents often come into Iuka Discount Drugs with their sick child and intuitively ask their kid to select their favorite medicine flavor.
“The parents act as a staff member, actively promoting flavored medicine to their kids, in their own words,” Mr. Cornelison said. “The kids are excited, the parents are happy, and we’ve strengthened our relationship with the whole family.”
Mr. Cornelison understands that prioritizing customer care is good for long term business growth.
“When we take exceptional care of one family member, we can be sure that we’ve won that family for life,” he said. “They trust us because of our professionalism, but they love of us because we added a little fun to an otherwise boring and stressful situation.”
Fillmaster earns customer loyalty one patient at a time
Instead of a narrow, one-sale-at-a-time view of customer interactions, relationship marketing through Fillmaster emphasizes close and continued collaborations between the pharmacy and its patients. Focusing on long-term patient relationships can have big payoffs.
“After we installed Fillmaster, and began building patient relationships around short wait times and flavored medicine, our team now fills and flavors more prescriptions than our local CVS and Walgreens pharmacies combined,” Mr. Cornelison said.
As Mr. Cornelison learned, prioritizing patient care is a winning strategy.
“Many pharmacies don’t want to take the extra step for their patients,” Mr. Cornelison said. “But Fillmaster makes the compounding workflow so much easier and quicker for my staff, that our pharmacists want to use it, which makes the patient’s experience so much more positive.”
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