By Kathy Hagen for our “99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy” blog series

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Yes, this is an old saying, but it makes sense, especially when a new customer walks into your store.

Recently, I stopped in at a new location of a retailer I’ve shopped before. Within seconds, an employee greeted me not with “Good morning!” or “Can I help you find anything?” but with a comment that made an assumption about my shopping at your customers

My response? “No thanks, I’m just looking.” Then I turned to my companion and suggested we leave without buying. I haven’t been back.

Think about the first impression you and your staff want to make. Be helpful, not pushy. Acknowledge the customer, and don’t make assumptions.

How can you help your staff make a good impression? Here are some suggestions:

  • Set the standard – if your employees see you greeting and helping customers, they will feel more comfortable doing it themselves.
  • Ask your staff to stop and think – how would they like to be treated as a shopper?
  • Make note of what aisle/section the consumer is in, especially for personal products. Be extra discreet in how you approach those shoppers.
  • Try role playing – let everyone on your staff have the chance to be a “customer,” and then have them help you as a “customer.”

Last but not least, smile at your customers and encourage your staff to greet patients with a smile! A smile is welcoming and sets a pleasant tone. Chances are good your shoppers will smile back. A smiling customer is more likely to buy, more likely to come again, and more likely to tell others about a positive shopping experience.

Under the direction of the Data Assets Coordinator, Kathy supports the documentation and execution of content capture business rules of HRG content databases. She also establishes procedures for entering information into the databases.  

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