Do your pharmacy customers trust you?

February 21, 2014By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Amy Kasza

A recent poll demonstrated what many of us are experiencing in our everyday lives: Americans just don’t seem to trust each other as much as they used to. This phenomenon encompasses every area of our lives, whether it’s trusting our elected leaders, our employers, or the organizations that provide products and services to us. The reasons for the erosion of trust are up for debate, but regardless of the “why,” few disagree that trust in general is at a low ebb.

At the same time, pharmacists remain near the very top of the list of most trusted people across all professions, as they have for many years. pharmacists remain near top of most trusted people

In response to last year’s Gallup poll on the subject, National Community Pharmacists Association CEO Doug Hoey said, "Since the audience is the American people, this ranking is a testimony to the good will generated by the patient-friendly approach of pharmacists who are accessible, responsive and take tremendous pride helping patients achieve the best health outcomes at the lowest costs."

If you own or aspire to own an independent community pharmacy, think about that for a moment. It’s an extraordinary concept, considering that ordinary business advice emphasizes only the dollars-and-cents aspects of a successful retail operation. When was the last time you read this in an article about running a business? Your own character can be a key to your pharmacy’s success.

In an era during which a majority of Americans appear to be watching each other uneasily for a false move, independent pharmacies can distinguish themselves with their honesty and fair dealing.

First, make sure you personally do not spend all of your time behind the counter. Your patients need to see and interact with you in order to build and maintain trust. Next, make sure your staff is of a caliber to reinforce the tone your pharmacy is trying to set. Every interaction with a patient has to confirm and re-confirm the trust that he or she is placing in you.

And the next time you tally up your pharmacy’s advantages over the nearby competition, don’t omit “trustworthiness” from the list. It’s quite simply the most important advantage that you have.

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