Why pharmacy owners need to engage with their local community
Strong customer service is created through relationship building. One great way to create a relationship with your customers is becoming a member of your local community. Pharmacy owners need to engage with their local community. This is because you are creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Your pharmacy gives back to its local community and the local community (your customers) can, in turn, help support your pharmacy.
There are many ways to engage with your local community, here are some strategies on how to do so:
Sponsor a local sporting club
Local sporting clubs are the hub of community life. They help build strong and supportive relationship for residents within a local area. There is an opportunity to meet the key members in the community, parents, students, coaches and other local businesses etc.
Simply investigate the popular sporting clubs within the area and approach them about a sponsorship opportunity. This could involve donating strapping tape for the players or paying for their uniforms. The sporting club in return can advertise your pharmacy branding to club members, on social media etc. Furthermore, remember to maintain this relationship it’s important to stay in contact with the club and even attend some of the games. Showing a general interest in the sporting club will carry a lot of weight with the community.
Attend local events
Participating in local events is a great way to become more involved in with your local community and an excellent branding exercise. Most residential areas even small ones, host events for the local residents, whether that is a school fete, open days or festivals. You can become involved by setting up a stand or simply attend to network and meet some new people. In addition, you can post about this on your Facebook page, showcasing your involvement with the community.
Hosting internal events is a very powerful strategy for engaging with your local community. It creates another purpose for them to visit your pharmacy and build relationships with yourself and your staff. It also is a strong tool to position your pharmacy as the expert within the area. This can be done by hosting a specific type of event such as educational workshops for weight loss management or diabetes. There is also an array of other events you could do for example, a mothers group and fund raising morning teas. These events could result in heavy foot traffic to your pharmacy and an opportunity to gain regular customers.
Engage with local medical and health services
Having a relationship with medical and health services in your local area plays a huge role in building relationships with customers. After all, you are both there to improve your patient’s health. It is beneficial working together versus working against each other. For example if you wish to provide immunisation to your customers but your local doctor surgery is offering the same service. This sometimes creates situations where there is conflict between the doctors and pharmacy. There are however good examples where pharmacists and doctors are working together. They create good health outcomes for the local community and potentially create a partnership to achieve both parties’ goals.
Strong community engagement= stronger relationship with customers
In Conclusion, creating a local identity for your pharmacy will create more foot traffic but also will be a differentiation point for your pharmacy from your competitors. When it is done well, customers will come from suburbs around, passing several other competitors just to go to your pharmacy. People identity with people and creating an identity for your pharmacy will create loyal customers.