When patients take a trip to their local pharmacy, they have certain expectations in mind. When they step foot in the front door, they expect to be greeted with a friendly smile and a familiar, “Hi, how are you?” Upon approaching the counter, they expect to speak with a team member who is not only knowledgeable about products and services but who also helps them feel at home. And, when they get their routine prescription or their seasonal vaccine, they expect to meet with a pharmacist who knows their needs inside-out.

Community pharmacies are known for providing a personal touch to their everyday operations. Personalized care is what sets independents apart from the big-box chains, and it’s one of the many reasons why patients choose them. With so much emphasis placed on personalized care, it’s something you should be investing in. A commitment to personalized care starts from within your pharmacy, but with the right tools, it can extend outside of your four walls and into the world beyond.

In your effort to give patients a personalized experience, your pharmacy software system is one of your greatest assets. Your software system has a number of features, but one in particular can open up opportunities to add your signature touch: direct messaging.

Get the Conversation Started

Direct messaging is usually associated with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Direct messaging isn’t just for connecting with friends, though: it’s also for connecting with patients. The ability to communicate back and forth with patients in a simple, streamlined way can give you the chance to connect with them and prove your commitment to personalized care. With the right software system, direct messaging isn’t only made possible. It’s made easy.

Many software vendors have the capabilities to send messages, reminders, and notifications to patients from within the system. These messages can include anything from appointment reminders to prescription prompts to billing information. Few software systems, though, have the ability to let you send messages to patients and let patients send messages to you.

Two-way communication not only allows you to send important information to patients, but it lets patients respond to that information with any questions, comments, or concerns that they may have. Rather than making a trip to the pharmacy, they can send you a message from the comfort of their own home — and you can respond to it at your convenience.

Direct messaging can be helpful in a number of different situations. If a patient has a prescription on hand but has questions about how to properly take it, they can quickly and easily send you a message, and you can get them the answers they need. If they are interested in a particular clinical service, or if they want to set up a time to come in and see you, they can coordinate with you via a direct message. Having direct messaging capabilities can therefore free up both your phone lines and your wait times. More importantly, though, it can show patients that they can reach you any time, at any place. What better way could you enhance the customer experience?

Some software vendors offer direct messaging via SMS, some offer it via email, and some offer it via a separate app that patients can download. No matter the platform, though, the best vendors let patients send you messages that you can see (and respond to) from right within your pharmacy software system. This capability makes it easy to integrate messaging right into your workflow and eliminates the hassle of using a third-party system. If you’re curious about whether your software vendor offers two-way messaging, set up a demo and find out for yourself.

The First Step to Personal Connection

You can’t give patients personalized care if you don’t know them on a personal level. The first step in this effort is opening up a line of communication and creating an ongoing dialogue. The best software vendors give you the tools you need to do this, making two-way communication easier than ever before.

When you shop for your next pharmacy software system, then, keep conversations in mind — and know that when you choose to enhance communication, you also choose to create long-lasting patient relationships.

Not sure which pharmacy software system is right for you? Compare some of the top vendors on the market and find the best choice for your pharmacy.