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What Can I Do Today?

1 Aug

Top 3 super easy, low cost, high return ideas for Independent Pharmacists that can be put in place today!

  1.  Encourage everyone on your staff to be your extended sales force.  This is such an easy and often easily missed opportunity.  Have a contest each month, quarterly, or bi-annually.  Decide a time frame that works and encourage your employees to come up with ideas to sell more product.  The employee’s idea that generates the most revenue should be rewarded.  Obviously, you need to have some guidelines and layout how the winner will be picked, but you will be shocked how this can motivate your staff and increase moral.  A happy staff will translate into happy customers and more synergy and buzz about your store.
  2. Remember the 80/20 rule.  Your pharmacy system should be able to easily generate a list of your top 20% of customers.  Analyze it and see what they have in common and then go after more of what emerges as your target market.  Do they share a disease state like Diabetes?  If so, create a Diabetes Prevention Program.  For this, one option is to look to partner with a local YMCA.   The YMCA already has their own Diabetes Prevention Program.   The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.  Rather than creating your own, you may want to find out if you can partner in some way with a quality organization that already has a program in place?  Even better if there is a local YMCA near your location for an easy referral partnership.
  3. Create Relationships.  Yes, be the pharmacist they trust.  Take the time to answer questions and know your customers by name.  This is something that chains just can’t touch Independents on.  We suggest asking this simple question to every customer that walks in your door.  “How Can I Make You Smile Today?   It’s personable and memorable!  Along with this, we highly like the idea of giving out the business card of the attending pharmacist every time the question is asked.  It reinforces that relationship and makes you even more memorable and business cards are very cheap.  On the back of the card look to put a coupon that drives them back into the store or to a new product!                                                                                            There you have it 3 super easy, low cost, high return ideas for Independent Pharmacists that can be put in place today!  Go forth and implement!

Who Is Your Best Choice for Prescription Piece of Mind?

25 Apr

TitleAt RxMaster, we have no doubt that your local Independent Pharmacist can give you confidence that the medications you are taking work and do not cause severe reactions when taken together.  How did we come to this conclusion?  Well good research will show you this.  But, if we are being honest here, often times research can be skewed based on who is doing the research and what they want the research to support.  So, we suggest just applying common sense to this statement.  Are you more comfortable with a pharmacist that knows you, your name, and most likely what medications you have at home?  Or, are you ok with a pharmacist who doesn’t know your name and never seems to take an interest in your health?

Your relationship with your pharmacist should be no different than your fitness trainer, doctor, hairdresser or auto mechanic.  These are all professions people tend to seek out people to do work in that they know and trust.  You should look to them for guidance in their industry and have confidence that because they know you and your circumstances they will give you good advice and look out for your best interests.  In our opinion, the #1 way to know if your pharmacist cares about you is if they take the time to ask you if you are taking other medications to make sure there are no concerns with interactions.  If your pharmacist has never asked you about taking other medications, this could be a sign you may need to consider a pharmacist who will.

Here at RxMaster, we know that if you are using an Independent Pharmacist there is a good chance you are also dealing with the owner of the pharmacy or at least someone very invested in the pharmacy.  And, the simple truth is, the owner is going to be very attentive in making sure you have a great experience and come back.   To them it is personal, they live in the town they operate in and they want to make sure if they see you in the grocery store, they know they met your needs and can strike up a conversation with you knowing that.  In a day and age when drug interactions and prescription drug misuse is way too common, we just simply ask why would someone not make sure they have a relationship with their pharmacist?  Why would you not be comfortable to ask questions and believe the person giving you answers has your best interest at heart.  Your health is not something you can afford to take lightly.  Be serious about where you get your prescriptions and who you trust to provide them to you.  We encourage you to try a local pharmacist today!

Are You Going The Extra Mile?

7 Mar

Just finished reading an article in Forbes about going the extra mile for your customers.  It was talking in regards to favored medications primarily, but I would like to take that a step farther.  The truth is most Independent Pharmacists have to go that “Extra Mile” now-a-days to stay in the game whether they feel like they have time or not.  The good news is that “Extra Mile” idea can be very simple in my humble opinion.  It is more of deciding what your “Extra Mile” process will be, sticking to it and being sincere in whatever you choose to do.  Here are 3 ideas to get you thinking about what your “Extra Mile” concept should be.

1. Do you always ask the customer if they have any questions or concerns about their medications?  And, even if they give the typical response of “No” give them a card with a phone and/or email on it and say “That’s great, but just in case, here is my personal email and phone here at our pharmacy.  I take time each day to look at this email and respond to calls because we want our patients to know we are here for them”.  Yes, you will need to make some time for this, but in doing this you are building a relationship with your customers that can be worth more than any advertising you could do.  With all the craziness in reimbursements and costs, having a relationship with the customer is key to not only surviving but thriving as an Independent.

2. Give them something to remember you by.  A great way to this is to get something inexpensive to give or produce that attracts children in particular.  It is the old cereal box trick.  Kids will always ask to get medicine at the pharmacy that gives them something.  And, normally parents dealing with a sick child want to take advantage of the path of least resistance.  Think about what you could give that costs little, but kids would like.  Maybe you have a soda fountain or ice cream machine to offer a free small soda or ice cream with kid’s medication pickup.  Maybe you could even work with another local store and offer something that would drive people into the other place of business and cost you nothing or very little.  A Sonic slush card comes to mind.  Get creative and let creating a little synergy with other local businesses work for you.  It could cost you little and have a big impact!

3. Say thank you and mean it.  There is still something to be said for knowing your customer and sending a personalized thank you note.  Make time to write one a day to your best customer if that is all you have time for.  Log it and choose a new customer to receive one each day.  Reference their name and illness.  Don’t be generic.  Don’t waste money on a pre-produced, look-a-like ad piece either.  As Independents, you have to show you care more than the traditional chain store, and a generic piece says no thought went into this and I think you are just another customer like nothing else.

Whatever you choice, make it easy, stick with it and we are confident you will see that going the “Extra Mile” can create big rewards.  We hope you have enjoyed this short article and please know we always want to go the “Extra Mile” for our customers.  Please call us, ask us questions and let us create solutions specific to your pharmacy.  If you know of a pharmacy that is unhappy with their pharmacy software and wants to engage with an honest company that knows their customers by heart and cares about their success, please let us know.  We know our customers are our best source of advertising and appreciate any referrals sent our way.  We promise to create an affordable, easy-to-use, solution with the best customer service in the business!

Holiday Time Is A Great Time To Show Your Customers How Much You Appreciate Them!

21 Dec

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Time for rejoicing and thanking your customers.  Here are a few suggestions for ways to say thank you to your pharmacy customers that don’t require a lot, but may go a long way in building relationships!

#1-Have some hot chocolate ready and waiting for them while they wait for their prescriptions to be filled.

#2-Be A drop off facility for a charity.  This is an easy way to show you care and help a local charity.

#3-Participate is a Christmas or New Year’s Local Community Parade.  Hand out candy with a coupon attached to make sure parade watchers come see your pharmacy this holiday season.

#4-Send Christmas Cards or New Years’ Cards.  Cards with a real message about what your pharmacy and employees have been up to and how you want to help them in the new year can put a personal touch on communication to customers.

#5-Let your customers know that in 2016 you want to be their Pharmacy of Choice.  You are here to answer their questions and guide them in the ever-changing world of prescription health care.

Sometimes simple and personal can go a long way.  Our suggestion, choose just one above to implement and do it well.  Make sure your staff is on board and working to develop relationships with your customers in 2016!

 

 

holiday balls

Thankful for Independent Pharmacists!!!

25 Nov

20150617_150106It’s that time of year again when everyone is talking about what they are thankful for and we wanted to chime in on the topic.  At RxMaster, we are very thankful for the independent pharmacists who use our pharmacy software every day to administer personal and professional care.  We strongly believe there is a reason why independent pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals out there, and we believe that is rooted in the relationship between independent pharmacists and their customers.  We know independent pharmacists have and will continue to be an essential part of the health care system because people desire to know and trust their pharmacist despite how a PBM might try to convince people otherwise.  Some just need to learn to stand up for that choice and not be bullied into impersonal, mistake-ridden, no-human-voice mail order.  After all, pharmacists are the medication experts, they typically have 7 years of education for it, and they can personally answer your medication questions!  The independent pharmacists we know assess patients’ symptoms, determine appropriate and inappropriate treatments for certain patient types, they monitor the medications that are selected and they know a patient’s name and history. They understand disease states and their causes and they genuinely want to help a customer feel better!  You can often call them after hours or expect to get a personal note from them.  They are usually the pharmacist you see sponsoring your local baseball team or charity run!  Independent pharmacists are taught that medications are to be taken seriously!  Each prescription has its own way of helping the body, with intricate mechanisms and balances that work with exact physiological pathways with years of research and testing. With this  flow into the body, there is also inherent danger. As easily as beneficial pathways are activated, harmful effects can be activated. Multiple medications compete for the same pathways in the body and can lead to adverse reactions. And so, who do you want to be responsible for keeping this straight?  We are going to assume the independent pharmacist who knows your name and your history is who most would prefer if given that choice.

It’s  been a tough road lately for the independent pharmacist and often they spend more time fighting with a PBM to get paid above net cost and not sell at a loss than doing what they love which is taking care of and advising patients.  Consider this…no other industry on the planet does not have the ability to determine what they get paid for a product.  And, better yet  a middleman determines it for them.  Just some food for thought.  Be thankful for your local pharmacist! They are long lasting relationships and in the end they are who you want to call in the middle of the night when you really need to know about a prescription.  So, today we say thank you to all the independent pharmacists out there.  Don’t give in, you are needed and appreciated!

How Do You Endure As An Independent Pharmacy?

31 Aug

As competitors grow and reimbursements lowers, we hear a lot of ideas on how to make it as an Independent Pharmacy.  Some big and complicated and others not so much.  Here at Rxmaster Pharmacy Systems, we are always happy to share some tips we have learned over the years by working with some amazing customers.  However, sometimes the best thing you can do is simply look for some advise from those that are making it despite the challenges.  We encourage you to read the article about Miller’s Drug Store below and get a glimpse into what they do to succeed.  We can vouch these are some great, hard-working people who genuinely want to help their customers.  It’s a long tradition at Miller’s and people love that they care!  Sounds simple, but true customer service is hard to find now-a-days.  It is definitely not by chance, it’s expected and demanded by management.  It’s a tradition of caring that seems to keep their customers coming back in the midst of challenging times.   Go ahead take a read, it will put a smile on your face to know there are still some hometown guys and girls that just can’t be beat!   http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2015/aug/30/family-owned-pharmacys-tenure-spans-5-generations/?f=trilakesUntitled-1

FOCUS!

12 Aug

So here’s our Wednesday HUMP day advice.  FOCUS….FOCUS…FOCUS!  We know Independents are frustrated with 3rd party reimbursements and it’s easy to want a quick fix and to try many things.  The problem is you become a trier of many and a master of none, so you do not see improvement.  Our suggestion is to focus.  Focus on one or two financial reports that best indicate how your store is doing.  We see stores running so many reports that they don’t have time to compare and analyze and what happens is they just get confused or often reports start to contradict each other.  One of the best reports you can run is a low profit report.  You must eliminate low profits to stay in business.  Second, you must maximize reimbursement.  At Rxmaster, we love helping customers with this one and they love us when we can help them with this.  Finally target and retain your customers.  This should be a very targeted, uncomplicated and consistent marketing campaign utilizing your own CRM tool if at all possible.  The more third parties you use, the more customer data is shared.  If you are using  a third party, find out how secure the data is and are you making sure your customers have given you permission to send their data outside your store.  What is the real cost?  These bills can be confusing!  Watch out you will spend a lot of money with little return if you are not careful.  Lots of things to thing about here.    Hopefully, you have a trusted pharmacy software partner that can help you navigate through what you might really need and what might just be another expense.   A really dedicated software provider might even pull a report for you and help you analyze it and make proper adjustments right on the spot.   Yes, we will do that too!   At RxMaster, we love to help our customers utilize the features in our system.  And, we really love when we can help our customers implement something in the system that really does make a difference in their bottom line.  At RxMaster, we want to help.  Give us a call 877-433-7600!