Don’t lose an embarrassed customer

January 7, 2016By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Jen Johnston

You say “Hello” to a young female customer walking in the store. She says “Hi” softly, avoids eye contact, and heads over to your OTC area. You don’t know it yet, but this young lady is in the store to pick up a product for a condition she deems embarrassing – a yeast infection. But when she gets to the feminine care section, she stands there looking a little bewildered.

Put yourself in her shoes for a moment. This could be her first infection of this kind. As she approaches your set, she sees one-, three- and seven-day treatments from multiple brands. They each serve a different purpose and their availability on your shelf is necessary, but she has no idea the differences between these SKUs.

She wonders “Why would they make a 7-day treatment if there is a 1-day option? Is the 1-day option inferior somehow?” She is too shy to approach you and too embarrassed to stand there and read all the package detail. She might just get so anxious she will leave without making a purchase. This is not good for her problem and not good for your bottom line.Quietly approach her

To prevent losing this embarrassed customer, here is one thing you can try. Quietly approach her. You can say something like, “I know this can be an embarrassing condition, but I’m a healthcare professional. Do you need help figuring out which product is right for you?” or “You look confused about which product to choose, would you like me to explain the differences to you?”

Being able to approach embarrassed shoppers in this way is a good skill to master. And remember, it isn’t only your young, female patients who get embarrassed. Imagine the 70-year-old male customer who is having incontinence issues – he may not know if he needs guards, shields, or adult diapers, or what size and absorbency he needs to buy. A little guidance from his concerned neighborhood pharmacist might be just what he needs to put himself at ease with his purchase decision.

Some manufacturers offer signage to help explain when different products should be used. If you notice shoppers struggling in your feminine care or incontinence sets, reach out to the manufacturers to see if they have some at-shelf materials to send you. At-shelf signage and pamphlets empower your shoppers to make educated choices when they purchase “embarrassing” products.

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