When we look at the current state of pharmacy and compare it to a decade ago, we will notice such a big difference. The world of pharmacy has evolved so much and has brought a lot of responsibility to pharmacists all over the world and especially in Canada. Pharmacists in Canada have and continue to play a crucial part in the healthcare system with their services.
In a report done by the Canada Institute for Health Information in 2020, results showed that there were 44 094 pharmacists in Canada, and there had been an 8% increase in the overall supply of pharmacists from 2016 – 2020. Clearly, this establishes a massive demand in this industry, thus creating tremendous competition.
Now, every pharmacist wants the whole community to themselves. However, with the growth of pharmacy in Canada, pharmacists now need to dig a little deeper when it comes to good service. This may mean scrapping out traditional ways of doing things and being innovative. Diversity can lead to growth, even for your pharmacy.
Explaining the three ways to differentiate your services
Market your pharmacy!
There are multiple ways of getting your pharmacy to be the first preference in your community. Everyone is using their phones for everything nowadays, so it is also time to take advantage. Make sure your website is easily accessible, straightforward, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing because customers love presentable things. Another brilliant way of marketing is through social media, creating videos on how you work, what you care about, and the unique services you offer. To be precise, 31.8 million people in Canada are on social media. You cannot ignore the impact of using this channel for business. Digitizing direct communication with your patients is what you call “hitting two birds with one stone”. You communicate with your clients on social media, via chatbots, or email and send them your monthly adverts and promos, and they have direct access to you for any medical concerns. Retailers like Zehrs do this well. It is easy to notice how the Zehrs flyer can be found on their website, on the PC Express app, on social media etc. They communicate their product sales and promotions well, and customers easily get in touch with them too.
Appointing graduate-level pharmacy in the Communities
Professionalism is a definite need in community pharmacies. Most pharmacies tend to have employees that are not pharmaceutical graduates serving and helping people, which can be a big mistake. Hiring a qualified pharmacist is of importance when trying to set yourself apart. Patients get confused when they notice a lack of professionalism or pharmaceutical knowledge, which may cause them to rush to the nearest pharmacy to yours. Graduate pharmacists can change the atmosphere of any pharmacy as they will be dealing with their speciality.
Upgrading the pharmacist’s skills
Nowadays, pharmacists are doing a lot more. Training for clinical skills, vaccination, and minor ailment schemes brings great advantages. Although there are global standards that allow clinical pharmacy services, some are still not enforced in the communities. Take advantage and skill yourself in order to increase business. For example, in Alberta, pharmacists are allowed to give drugs by injection, order lab tests and prescribe medicines, and this helps customers by eliminating the need to also go to the hospital at times.
In order to differentiate yourself as a pharmaceutical business in the community, you need to be more customer-centric and focus on the needs of those you’ll be serving. Market your pharmacy using tools at your disposal; social media, your website, and community engagements. Make sure you provide high-quality service by employing qualified and knowledgeable staff. Upskill yourself by training for clinical assessments, vaccinations, and minor ailment treatment so that your customer base broadens.