How to Start a Pharmacy Loyalty Program (Part 1 of 2)

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Sep 8, 2016 1:30:00 PM

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There’s a lot of research out there suggesting that customer loyalty programs are an excellent way to increase customer retention and boost sales. (If you’re looking for some statistics, check out this infographic from SelfStartr.) However, knowing that a loyalty program would be a good move for your pharmacy and starting one are two different things.

To get you started thinking about all that a loyalty program includes and how you can implement one in your pharmacy, we’ve created a quick 3-step guide on how to start a pharmacy loyalty program.

 

This article will discuss the planning process. Planning is an important of any program that you’re going to implement in your pharmacy, and there are many things to consider when implementing a loyalty program.

Planning

Before you start a loyalty program, you must first establish guidelines for how your program will be set up. You can do that by answering these questions.

What earns loyalty points for my customers?

First, you need to establish how your customers will earn loyalty points. The most basic loyalty program rewards customers based on the money they spend in the store. However, you can take it a step further by rewarding customers for more than just the money they spend, like healthy eating habits, work out plans, following you on social media, updating patient information, and medication adherence.

How much are points worth?

Next, you will need to establish the number of points per dollar value. Many pharmacies give 5 or 10 points per dollar spent. However, this number can be whatever you want it to be. You could give them one or 100 points per dollar spent. You will just need to consider this value when you’re setting the redemption point for your program.


How many points must be earned to redeem them?

Determining when a customer can redeem points goes hand-in-hand with establishing point worth. If you want a customer to get 10 dollars off for every $100 they spend, you will give them 10 points per dollar spent and set the redemption point at 1000. If you want rewards to be more frequent, you can give 10 points per dollar spent and set the redemption point to 500. This means that when a customer spends $50 they will be able to redeem their points.


How much will customers get when they redeem their points?

This number should correlate directly with the amount of money they have spent to get to the redemption point. In the first example above we discussed giving a $10 coupon per $100 spent. This is a pretty standard offer. If you decide to allow customers to redeem points more frequently or less frequently, be sure to adjust the amount of your coupon to correspond. The key is to make sure that your offer is reasonable but enough to entice them to want to earn more points.


What merchandise can customers redeem their points on?

This is an important factor of the loyalty program that pharmacies must pay special attention to. Do you want your patients to be able to redeem points on prescriptions? Many pharmacies choose not let patients redeem points on prescriptions and instead direct them to their OTC items. This is a smart way to get customers moving around your pharmacy and finding value in your OTC products.


How will my customers enroll?

You don’t want to automatically enroll all your pharmacy patients in your loyalty program. This defeats the purpose of the program, which is to create loyal customers that come into your pharmacy more often. Instead market your program to your patients. Show them the value of coming to you for their healthcare needs and let them decide to enroll. This nurtures the relationship between you and your patients and helps your business by encouraging them to visit the pharmacy more often.

 

Once you figure out these key details, you will be ready to launch a pharmacy loyalty program that will keep your customer returning to your pharmacy. You can spend this week working out the planning. Next week, we’ll discuss a couple of different options for launching your loyalty program and how to market it.

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