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

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Sep 15, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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Last week we discussed the value of implementing a pharmacy loyalty program along with the details you need to determine during the planning process. This week we’re going to discuss two methods for implementing your loyalty program, ways you can market your program, and tips on how to get the most out of your loyalty program with minimal effort.

Starting Your Loyalty Program

Once you’ve defined the parameters of your program, there are two paths you can take to establish a loyalty program in your pharmacy. You can work with an outside company, like Repeat Rewards, or you can look to your pharmacy software partner for a loyalty program solution.

Outside companies are excellent solution for pharmacy owners that don’t have a lot of time to keep up with a loyalty program. They take care of most of the leg work for marketing and tracking your program, leaving you in charge of enrolling patients and gathering their information. Most even offer convenient cards designed to be scanned at each transaction to keep track of a patient’s points. However, this convenience comes at a price, usually including a set-up fee and a monthly charge.

Many pharmacies take advantage of the loyalty program solution in their pharmacy software. Most pharmacy software solutions come with a set up for a basic loyalty program. This option requires more effort on your part. However, it gives you total control over your loyalty program and it should come completely free with your pharmacy software.

When using the loyalty program within your pharmacy software, you will do the setup and marketing as well as enrolling patients. The setup includes:

  • Flagging items you want to be included in the program. You should be able to complete this in batches to expedite the process.
  • Setting a point value at which a patient can redeem their points for a coupon or can apply the redemption value to their current purchase. This value will be determined by how you set up your program.
  • Enrolling and linking patients to your loyalty program in the software. You should be able to group family members into a single loyalty account.
  • Monitoring your loyalty program by specialized reports set up in your pharmacy software system.

Marketing

Marketing your program is the best way to get patients enrolled. Printing flyers and bag stuffers is an effective way to spread the word, along with posting on your social media pages.

You can create a small email campaign to directly target your customers that don’t come into the pharmacy as often. Usually, those that are willing to give out email addresses are more inclined to join incentive programs. Most importantly, inform your clerks. They’re the front line for the enrollment process, and word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

In your marketing materials, be sure to convey the details of the program. Let them know how they can earn points, when they can redeem points, and what they get for redeeming points. These are the key details that can entice customers to join.

Pro Tips:

  • When your loyalty program is established, you can use it to market items in your store by giving more points for certain items. For example, if you’re trying to move holiday items out of the store, market all holiday items at double loyalty points up until the holiday. Then, you can offer triple points after the holiday has passed to help free up the space in your store.
  • Opt items into your loyalty program in batches by category. This saves a lot of time versus going one by one through your inventory list.
  • Create barcodes to scan that will give patients points for completing tasks rather than just buying things. Rewarding things like updating patient information or good adherence percentage creates incentive for your patients to take better care of themselves and builds the relationship you have with them.

Successful loyalty programs boast benefits such as increased customer retention, trust, and spending. Today, loyalty programs are used to bring these benefits to all types of retail businesses, including pharmacy.  Now that you have a complete 3-step guide to start your own pharmacy loyalty program, you can get to work on building a program that fits your pharmacy business plan.

If you’re a current Computer-Rx Customer, you can learn how to start a pharmacy loyalty program in Computer-Rx software here.

If you’re not a current Computer-Rx customer but are interested in seeing our loyalty program in action, contact a member of our sales team for a demo of the product.

Request a live demonstration