Customer experience is the new battleground and differentiator for businesses and this includes pharmacies.
The phrase ‘customer experience’ or CX, is commonly associated with the digital world such as how people use websites and mobile devices to make their online experiences as seamless as possible.
But look closely and you’ll see that it is really about the total experience that people encounter – offline as well as online.
Combining offline and online
People are social creatures and as much as smartphones and online shopping have transformed the way we search for and buy products and services, we still value the human interaction that the conventional shopping experience brings.
So the challenge is about how the offline and online spaces can work together to engage customers while at the same time preserving the profitability of your pharmacy business.
A great example of customer engagement is the eRx Express App, an innovative technology which allows customers to scan and submit their prescription order, then pick it up when it suits them. Customers can choose you as their favourite pharmacy and you can publish your services and other information in the App, encouraging loyalty.
Increased convenience is valued by customers and eRx Express gets a tick of approval on this count. Other key considerations for engagement are consumers’ in-store experience and the customer service they receive.
How does your pharmacy stack up on each of these factors?
Does the design of your store (and your website) make it easy for customers to navigate? Do you offer services that save the customer time? Can customers research products online and then easily find them when they visit your pharmacy?
- In-store experience
How long has it been since you planned the layout of your store, with considerations of space, lighting and merchandise? Does the plan contribute to a pleasant and enjoyable shopping experience or could you make it more dynamic and personalised?
- Customer service
A positive customer service experience is a major contributor to customer satisfaction. Are your staff friendly and approachable and do they have the knowledge to be able to answer customers’ questions? Do you need to provide training to achieve this?
A prescription for CX success
There are many CX touchpoints both inside and outside your pharmacy that can improve your customer’s total shopping experience and potentially lead to increased loyalty and sales. Bringing all this together requires a combination of the personal touch with efficient processes.
Providing great customer service will go a long way in differentiating a community pharmacy from their larger supermarket style competitors. After all this is a personal, customer-focused type of business.
For example treating each customer as an individual who may need advice about a particular concern, rather than someone shopping for the lowest price. Or showing a customer the item they’re looking for rather than just pointing them in the general direction.
In order to focus more on your customers, solve their problems and provide an experience that encourages them to keep returning, you need to have the right IT processes in place.
Fred Office Management Software can help bring your systems together giving you fast access to a snapshot of how your business is operating – so you can slow down and spend more time with customers.
For example, Fred Office includes an inventory feature that allows you to more accurately gauge your stock needs, helping your customers to find what they are looking for when they need it.
From stock management and pricing to promotional items and customer information, Fred Office increases your efficiencies in the current highly competitive pharmacy environment so you can do more of what you do best.