8 Ways to Show Patient Appreciation
In the world of community pharmacy, you help your patients, but your patients also help you. By doing business with you, they maintain your pharmacy’s day-to-day operations and make sure that your doors stay open. Within your pharmacy, your patients also provide opportunities for you to practice your craft and become a better healthcare provider. Beyond their business, though, they create connections with you that transcend the patient-provider relationship. In many cases, they can feel like your friends and sometimes even your family. Finally, your patients see you as an integral part of their community — and be willing to stand with your pharmacy in both good and bad times.
In any case, your patients are the reason why your pharmacy is standing. For all that they do, it is important to stop and say thank you. Whether you say a quick word of thanks or make a grand show of support, take the time to let your patients know that they are valued by your pharmacy. To get started, consider these 8 ways to express appreciation and learn how you can implement them in your own practice.
While a verbal “thank you” certainly goes a long way, a written one can go even further. In fact, sending a thank-you card through the mail is one of the best ways to reach patients and show your appreciation in a unique way. To get started, pick out a personalized design, draft a handwritten note of thanks, and ask each of your team members to sign it — then send it off. If you notice that your patients are receptive to thank-you cards, you can branch out into regular card-sending: whether to celebrate a patient’s birthday, to recognize a special achievement they’ve made, or to spread extra cheer around the holiday season. In a digital world, a piece of old-fashioned snail mail can feel more personal and do a better job of expressing genuine thanks.
In addition to telling your patients thank you, you can show them your gratitude in a variety of practical ways, too. One of the best ways to give thanks 一 and to give back 一 is by helping your patients save money. To kick-off the effort, hold an appreciation sale at your pharmacy on a monthly, bimonthly, or yearly basis and invite your customers in. For your sale, markdown fan-favorite OTC and retail items in your pharmacy; or, if you’re feeling generous, offer discounts across your entire store. Not only can a sale help your patients to feel valued, but it can actually generate more business to you and lead to even higher profit margins: a win for everyone involved.
Another practical way to show your appreciation 一 and to advertise your pharmacy in the process 一 is by gifting your patients with merchandise. Find a designer in your local community and work with them to create a line of products: t-shirts, hoodies, pens and pencils, or any other trinket you’re confident your patients will love. Instead of selling the merchandise you create, though, use it as an opportunity to thank your patients and give it away. Whether they recently started doing business with you or have been loyal customers for years, your patients will proudly wear eye-catching merchandise.
To generate even more excitement, put your merchandise 一 along with any other products you have in mind 一 into a giveaway to say thank you. Get the giveaway started by hosting a contest, holding a drawing, or randomly selecting a patient to reward with an assortment of items. Your giveaway should include both useful and fun items, including your most-loved retail and OTC products. For an added boost, partner with other businesses in your community and have each one contribute something to the effort. In addition to diversifying the items and making the giveaway even better, partnering can offer a great networking opportunity that leads to more growth for you.
If you want to implement a long-term show of appreciation, consider a loyalty program. Loyalty programs can help you to give thanks to the patients who visit your pharmacy most often and ensure that they remain regular visitors for years to come. To implement a loyalty program at your store, begin by taking some time to think about patient requirements and rewards. Requirements can center around anything from the amount of time that someone has been a patient at your pharmacy to the amount of money that they spend there on a set basis. Rewards can include early access to new products and sales, regular free merchandise, members-only discounts, and more 一 anything that thanks patients and encourages them to keep coming back. After thinking about the logistics, consider how you can advertise your program and get patients involved.
To express your thanks in a public way, make use of social media. A Facebook or Instagram shoutout that features individual patients can be a great way to spotlight your support system, as well as to increase your social media presence. In your highlight, make sure to talk about the patient, their experience in the pharmacy, and all of the reasons why you appreciate them. As a bonus, if your patient shares the post with their friends, family, and social network, your pharmacy can get more exposure and bring in more patients. It is important to note, though, that while social media can be used to grow your patient base, it should also celebrate the patients that you already do have.
Looking for other ways to maximize your pharmacy’s social media accounts? Learn more from our featured social media blogs and discover how our Social Media Assistant can help you to create a lasting online presence.
Nothing expresses appreciation quite like a good celebration. To thank your patients and have fun while doing it, throw a party in your local community. Find an area in your neighborhood 一 like a public park, for example 一 that can accommodate a largegroup. Then, find decorations, bring in food and drinks, plan out games and entertainment, and include raffles or other giveaways to keep guests entertained. When considering the timing of your party, choose to celebrate on a special occasion 一 like your pharmacy’s anniversary 一 or any random weekend that you feel calls for it. While parties can help you to show your appreciation, they can also be a great way to get to know your patients on a more personal level and strengthen your relationships.
For a broader approach, say thank you to patients by supporting causes that are important to them. Whether it is donating to a local charity, advertising an upcoming event, or raising money for a good cause, use your time and resources to show your patients that you care about what they care about. Participating in local causes demonstrates that you not only care about individual patients in your pharmacy, but that you care about your community in the same way your community cares about you.
If you are looking to improve your relationships, strengthen your business, and take your pharmacy to new heights, pay attention to the patients that you already have. As the foundation of your pharmacy, your patients can help you get where you want to go 一 especially if you make them feel seen, heard, and most importantly, appreciated.
Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be a great ordeal, but it can have great impacts.