Pharmacy U

Gayle Romanetz takes the customer experience to the next level


By donalee Moulton


Gayle Romanetz is Loblaw Companies Limited’s senior director of pharmacy operations. Ensuring customers have a great experience is integral to her job. She spoke with Pharmacy Business about how a pharmacy team can stand out from the crowd – and stand out in their patients’ minds.


You have talked about striving to create an innovative experience for customers. Tell us why this is so important, and how you go about creating such an experience.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we confuse invention with innovation. Invention is a thing, whereas innovation is synonymous with continuous improvement. The implementation of innovative ideas keeps things fresh; it drives colleague and customer engagement while appealing to a new patient base. If you want to be an innovator, you have to think like one and that means resisting the status quo; start small and build upon the wins one at a time. No one expects you to be the next Thomas Edison!


Truly helping people to manage their health demonstrates value and builds loyalty. How does Loblaw achieve this goal? What would you recommend pharmacists do to enhance their value to customers?

Today’s customer wants more than a prescription filled with medication by a generic pharmacist; they are looking for a partnership and holistic approach to health. Challenge your team to take some risks and go beyond medication management.

Earlier this year we launched Wellness kiosks in our Loblaw stores which allow our patients to track their blood pressure, body mass index and more. By connecting this information to our pharmacies, we can better assist by providing our patients with a whole view of their health and help them to make positive changes.


You mentioned that one of your goals is to create a great experience for customers. What constitutes a great experience? How do you know when you have succeeded in doing this?

A great experience is just that; it doesn’t have to be complicated. You leave feeling valued and in our profession, it goes even deeper. A customer needs to know that their health matters.

I see hundreds of stories each week from customers who provide feedback about how the pharmacy teams help them. Sometimes the story is lifesaving, however, most days we hear from people who sincerely appreciate how their pharmacist helped them navigate a complicated healthcare system.


How can pharmacists enhance compliance? Are there essential ingredients to success?

Compliance is top of mind for pharmacists and we need to keep things simple amid today’s fast- paced technology and the need to satisfy busy lifestyles. With day-to-day demands getting in the way, it’s not surprising many people accidentally miss a dose or delay refilling a prescription.

Digital tools are a convenient solution that allows customers to access their drug profile, medication information, and order refills from their computer or smartphone anywhere, anytime.


Creating touchpoints with customers is vital. How can pharmacies of all sizes do this?

The customer experience starts anywhere your pharmacy can be seen through a website, advertisement, in-store marketing or in person. Map out your workflow and what touchpoints will have the most value always considering the customer’s perspective. The size, format, and value proposition of your store will drive your workflow; it is not one size fits all. The one constant and “do no wrong” is to develop a personal connection with your customer, and that always starts and ends with a name.




Today’s customer wants more than a prescription filled with medication by a generic pharmacist; they are looking for a partnership and holistic approach to health.


Photo By Brandon Gray


Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by Pfizer Canada Inc. (plus LOGO)