Sometimes the path of improvement for your pharmacy is obvious. Struggling with too many phone calls? Let people communicate with you online instead. Need to increase your revenue? Start offering private clinical services. But sometimes there are things that can drastically improve your fortunes that don’t immediately spring to mind.
Communicating with people when they’re not in your physical location was, once upon a time, a tricky accomplishment. Often costing hundreds of pounds every time you did with ads on TV, Radio or in the newspaper, or physically sending someone letters, which costs P&P. Data collection for pharmacies and squeezing the value out of the data with technology has changed the game.
Data collection for pharmacies
An Unexplored Goldmine
This is the usual scenario in a pharmacy…
- A person walks into the pharmacy
- That person comes and collects a prescription or buys something over the counter
- The person walks out of the pharmacy
If that person experienced great customer service, it’s likely that they will come back again. But who knows? They’ve got the Amazon app and it might just be a bit more convenient for them to do what they needed to do online. This issue is once they have left your pharmacy, how are you going to make sure you can continue communicating with them so that they continue using your services?
Of course, social media helps massively and making sure you’re services are plastered over Google, but these are not direct or personal forms of communication. This is where intervening in the above scenario is key and represents a gold mine for pharmacy.
How many people have walked into your pharmacy in the last 10 years? 10,000’s. That’s 10,000’s of opportunities to intervene and collect the data from a customer/patient to communicate with them digitally and directly thereafter.
But what data do you collect?
In an ideal scenario, you want to collect:
- Services they are interested in
As you can imagine, this information for your pharmacy is extremely useful when targeting certain demographics with the various services you provide and the products you sell.
But how do you go about collecting people’s data?
Data & Permission
You can’t email someone without their contact details, or their permission to contact them in line with GDPR. So how do you get both?
Easy. Ask for it. Saam, Pharmacy Mentor’s CEO, used to have a simple script he’d use every single time when working as a pharmacist.
“Hey Mr. Smith, we’re trying to improve communication at the Pharmacy, would you mind filling in this form whilst you wait?”
No one ever said no. That form can be a paper form or you can have a pre-populated form on Mailchimp or a similar subscription tool. With that one simple form, you can get their details and permission to contact them directly and build up an email list over the years that can have a direct impact on patient retention and business revenue.
But that seems a bit slow to grow?
How many people come in to collect their prescriptions every day? Conservatively speaking, collecting 20 sets of contact details every day gives you a list of 400/month. That’s a lot of attention. You’re in a unique position as a community pharmacy that people aren’t skeptical of leaving you their details.
Hotel Chocolat, Hugo Boss, they offer discounts on their products just to get their hands on the customer emails. That’s how valuable contact details are for big brands. And why do they do it? Because targeting customers with special offers around Valentine’s Day and Christmas, or letting them know when there is a sale on, makes them money.
Next week we’ll be releasing an article on making the most out of email marketing for pharmacies. But for now, start growing your mailing list!
Websites and Email Opt-ins…
Data collection doesn’t stop in your physical pharmacy either. Your website can host more visitors than your physical pharmacy. The same concept applies to any visitor. How are you making sure they come back?
Email opt-in forms on your website capture visitors’ information whilst they’re on your site. Utilising pop-up windows to capture visitor information works well, especially when paired with an incentive to sign-up. Pairing a Pharmacy Mentor website with our email marketing campaigns is a great way to get an email list up and running quickly.
This is a slightly separate tactic, though it’s related to Data Collection. It’s all about capturing the person who’s walked into your pharmacy and making sure they come back to you. That way you grow your revenue and stay in business. Sell a man some Bonjela, you’ll remove his toothache for a day. Sign him up to your loyalty card whilst you’re doing it, and you’ll remove his toothache for life. Because now he’ll come back when you target him with your special offers on Bonjela.
There’s only one word required to convince you of the power of a loyalty scheme in pharmacy…Boots. Their Advantage card lives in the memory as one of the first. Since 1997, it’s offered customers money off for returning to their stores. It’s one of the biggest loyalty schemes in the UK. So why wouldn’t you want to copy that?
Upfront costs of loyalty schemes
Boots invested £30million into their Advantage scheme. There’s a small chance you think that’s too much? But there are solutions for small businesses.
Swipii is a loyalty card app for local businesses, without the upfront cost. Instead, you get charged a percentage when people take advantage of the cashback offers. As always, a smaller profit on a sale is better than no profit on no sale. There are multiple options out there offering similar solutions, some may suit your pharmacy more than others.
As the title of this article suggests, these are just the sparkling nuggets sticking out of the rock in the goldmine that is Data Collection for pharmacies.