It is not at all irrelevant how a pharmacy digitizes its customer service. Functional digital customer relationship tools strengthen things that are good and unique in each pharmacy chain and the pharmacies of the chain. The best digitalization considers the location of the pharmacy, and the age, functional capacity and varying needs of its customers, and with this information develops and improves the familiar and safe services. A pharmacy that offers well-functioning and easy-to-use remote customer services for medications is also the primary choice for the customers.
The challenge of multi-channeling in medication delivery
Remote access requires multi-channeling. It is good that customers are offered various options to order and receive their medication and other pharmacy products. The customers are used to versatile options when making other purchases and that is what they expect from a modern pharmacy as well.
However, multi-channeling in medication delivery poses a major challenge - differentiation of operations into service segments and fragmentation of customer service experience. Studies show that the more the customer experience in one channel differs from the service experienced in the alternative channel, the more confused and dissatisfied the customer is with the entire service provider. If the service is difficult or slow to use, the customer can find a new service provider with one click.
From multi-channeling to channel integration - many channels, one service
The challenges of multi-channeling can be addressed with the Omnichannel strategy. The policies and contents of the different channels are aligned as far as possible in order to provide the best customer experience. The principle is simple: it keeps the high-quality service that is managed by the personnel but introduces many channels. The best customer experience processes are selected, the disadvantages experienced by the customers are eliminated, and digitalization is subjected to good service based on studies and experience.
The best process for a pharmacy is clear: good personal service of the pharmacy, to which the protection of privacy is added, and from which unnecessary traveling and queuing is eliminated. A well-functioning Omnichannel strategy for a pharmacy means the following:
- Remote visiting must be technically simple, and the tool used to it so familiar that, in principle, all customers know how to use it. In many respects, phone is superior, especially for the elderly population that use plenty of medication. Mobile is already used by two thirds of digital retail customers and the share is growing.
- The customer is provided with the same good pharmacy service on the spot or through the remote channel. Service content, medical advice and visiting dynamics are always of the same quality and the customer experience good. The customers know what they get, regardless of the channel.
- The service is run by the skilled pharmacy personnel in a local pharmacy, and the pharmacy does not have to resource and train several customer service teams.
- The customers can pay for their purchases with the same ease as a mobile payment remotely or on the spot.
- The customers can receive their purchases from the pharmacy during its opening hours or after the closing time. Delivery to the location indicated by the customer is part of the entity, but the pharmacy should prefer pharmacy pick-up or delivery through the dispenser. It is in the interest of both the customer and the pharmacy that the customer knows the location and overall offering of the pharmacy.
Let's keep the brick and mortar pharmacy attractive, because they are needed in the future as well
It is wise for an individual pharmacy to establish itself as a place the customers know, and which they visit, and from which they get positive experiences.
Dispensers are a great tool to keep the pharmacy relevant to the remote customer. According to the Global Data consumer survey, more than 80% of the remote customers of retail stores said they were satisfied or very satisfied with deliveries via dispensers. The administration of the dispenser deliveries is more convenient for the pharmacy, and the total cost is considerably lower than that of home delivery. Therefore, it is no wonder that dispensers are becoming more and more popular as part of the digital strategy of brick and mortar pharmacies.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (www.icsc.org), pick-up boxes increase the number of customers in the box-owner store and in the surrounding stores. Three out of four of the customers who picked up their products from the dispenser made additional purchases in the store. Thus, shopping centers are happy to have pick-up boxes on their corridors. The dispenser also increases the number of foot customers (footflow) in pharmacies operating in their own premises.
More information on Click&Collect and Omnichannel products and services at remomedi.com