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Lost in the shuffle

Every pharmacy has them, but few pharmacies do anything about it. In this case, I am referring to the elusive “Lost” patient. Those who came in to get what they needed, and six months later you have yet to see or hear from them again. Most pharmacies forget about them since they are not their regulars but taking the time to analyze your lost patient list will be worth your while.

We all know that patient retention is crucial to keeping your pharmacy up and running, and countless studies have shown that loyal customers spend significantly more than one-off customers, but how do we convert lost customers to loyal ones?

First, be sure to check out our blog on creating customer loyalty:

Second, it starts with a simple touch. Reach out. Either through a letter or a phone call. Pull a list of patients who have not transferred out, but also have not filled a prescription in the last 3-6 months. Consider creating a short, lost patient survey asking them why they have not been back in.

· Did they receive poor care from your staff?

· Did they find the wait time too long?

· Did you not carry what they needed?

Try to find their pain point and address it in a way that brings them back to the pharmacy. Be ready to accept any mistakes made on your end and offer a solution. Take their feedback to heart and act on it to show the patient that you truly heard them. As a side note, be sure to check your online reviews to see if there are trends in why people are unhappy with your pharmacy.

Lastly, offer an enticing incentive for them to return. Create a lost patient kit similar to a new patient kit. Include items such as:

· a letter thanking them for their return

· a few tchotchkes with the pharmacy logo such as a water bottle, coffee mug, notepad, etc.

· a coupon for 30% off their next front-end purchase (proper disclosures included)

· a brochure of your pharmacy’s services

· a few sample products such as a travel sunscreen, an essential oil, hand sanitizer, etc.

If COVID-19 is prevalent in your area, consider creating a COVID-Essentials kit and include masks, thermometer, hand sanitizer, gloves, and a COVID-key.

Some patients may be lost, but that does not mean they cannot be won back. Take the time to reach out to them and put in the effort to show them that your pharmacy wants their business. Be proactive, develop a plan, implement the steps, and make sure your lost patients don’t get lost in the shuffle.

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