So hello. This is a first for me. I’ve never blogged before. But I’m determined to give it a go, because finding better ways to communicate is really important to me.
It’s especially important, as from today we start sharing our future direction across our business.
Today I’m in Hinckley, just outside Birmingham where later this morning I’ll be sharing our strategy and vision with a number of our fantastic store managers. And we have many, many more events planned.
I’m excited to share all this, because I’m genuinely inspired about our plans. Plans I am confident will deliver growth, success and most importantly, plans that I hope will connect with all our colleagues.
But before I launch into those plans, you might be wondering...
What does the future hold?
Well, if you ask six different people in pharmacy what the future holds, I would reckon you get six different answers:
- Some will talk about the importance of services
- Some will talk about the Five Year Forward view
- Others will reference a shift from profit on purchasing contracts to service-led contracts
- Some might mention pharmacists working in GP surgeries
- And on and on they will talk…..
But.... I would put money on it that NONE of these six people would start their conversation by talking about our customers, the real people who walk into our pharmacies every day.
Imagine a world where you’re trying to create a vision for the future but you don’t ask your customers what they want? Well, that’s what we have in the pharmacy sector… and that’s how it’s been for years.
But not at Well.
We have invested real time in talking to customers and understanding what’s important to them.
We’ve been with them in their homes and on their pharmacy trips. We’ve partnered with YouGov to hear what 1,000 people have to say. And we’ve undergone a full review of our business to understand why people really come to us.
The message is loud and clear:
Our customers see pharmacy as a place to get their prescriptions. First and foremost. Above anything else. This is what they are telling us. It might sound very obvious or very simple, but it’s amazing how overlooked this is, by the whole sector.
So we need to be the best at this. And in doing so we will win.
It’s as straightforward as that. Our strategy is a simple, resolute focus on building the best prescription experience in the UK. One so good, customers will walk past another pharmacy to come to us.
What our customers have told us
We wanted to know what the most important reasons for choosing a pharmacy were. So we asked people. 1,000 of them. And again, the answers were blindingly obvious:
- They want their medication to always be in stock
- They want their repeat prescription to be easy
- They want staff who are friendly and helpful
- They want it to be quick
- And they want pharmacy to fit around their life, not the other way round.
But guess what? No one in the sector is getting all of this stuff right. Quite frankly, pharmacy is a faff. But we’re going to change that.
“GPs & Pharmacies are two places where you know you just have to wait. It’s not Amazon Prime, quick, quick, quick.” - Del, repeat prescription customer, Midlands
From today, we're making it our mission to take the hassle out of prescriptions.
To be the best, we need to make our customers some promises, and in order to deliver against these we need to really believe it right through the organisation.
I want everyone in our business to get behind these 5 promises, doing everything we can to deliver on them:
Making it happen
It’s not going to be easy. Sometimes the simplest things are actually very complex. But we must challenge ourselves to build an experience that is consistently brilliant.
But I also need to make a promise to all our colleagues, customers and partners… that I will listen more to your feedback and take it on board.
Honestly, we haven’t listened enough, and we haven’t done enough with your feedback, and that has to change – it will change!
To all our colleagues: I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and your loyalty to Well. I know that it can be tough at times, and you often go the extra mile with not always the thanks and appreciation you deserve, so I want to use this opportunity to say a big thank you.
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge the support we have from our owners, Bestway. They have shown patience when things haven’t worked out as planned, and they continue to support us all the way.
Tomorrow is another day, but rather than letting it be just another day, why not make it the first day of the future?
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