No one likes to be kept waiting. And in a time where instant gratification is both attainable and expected, and demands are being met more readily, people rarely have to wait for goods and services anymore.
While this is mostly due to technological advancements and the rise of ‘instantaneous’ online purchases, the repercussions have extended into physical spaces as well – including pharmacies.
At a time when many customers are less willing to wait for their prescriptions, pharmacy dispense wait times are increasing. This is due to processes not being able to meet demands of a growing customer base, and is raising problems for businesses and customers alike.
Current dispense practice is often not compatible with safe and efficient dispense. In order to maintain positive customer experience and safe dispense, consideration needs to be made around the best dispense process to support customer needs.
The far-reaching effects of slow dispense
Slow dispense times affect multiple parts of your business – all of which can contribute to overall poor customer experience and in turn, decreased return business.
The knock-on effect from this one problem could be more extensive than you would first expect. Long dispense wait times alone can damage:
An increase in competition – particularly in metro areas – means your customers have more options of where to go. If your overall customer experience, including wait times, is poor, it’s never been easier for customers to head down the road to a competitor.
This can result in immediate lost sales, and the compounding loss of future business.
In many cases, having a prescription filled is a very impersonal experience. More often than not there is very little personal interaction with the pharmacist, unless specifically asked. Even then, customers are required to repeat information already passed onto the dispense technician, and bring up information that pharmacists may have missed on their system.
Long wait times and high customer demand puts increased pressure on staff to quickly work through the backlog. But dispense is not something to be rushed. This not only leads to poor time spent with the customer, but increases the likelihood of mistakes, or missing important information.
Any one of these issues can greatly affect business performance and growth. A combination of them leads to a pharmacy that is not viable in the current industry climate and inhibits you from being able to provide adequate service.
Supporting staff to support customers
Pharmacies and pharmacists are there to provide a service – not just a script. When dispense is inefficient, not only do customers not receive the service they need, but your staff’s medical expertise is being wasted.
To promote the idea of a pharmacy being a health destination, rather than a retail outlet, the industry as a whole is promoting forward-facing pharmacists. This initiative aims to increase the level of dispense service, as customers deal directly with pharmacists in every interaction.
A forward-facing approach can improve experiences and decrease wait times by ensuring:
- Customers speak to the right person, every time
- There is no back and forth between different staff members
- Pharmacist expertise is always utilised
This is a good start for providing a personal and interactive service. However, without a proper support system, this approach will only go so far to decrease dispense wait times. This is the role of pharmacy dispensing software.
Does your software help or hinder?
In theory, your software is there to make things easier. But failing to provide key capabilities or time-saving features mean that it can actually be hindering your performance and contributing to dispense wait times.
In order to aid efficient dispense and maintain safety, it’s important that your dispense process and tools enable your pharmacists to:
- Receive alerts about important information that cannot be ignored, deleted or accidentally skipped.
- View detailed patient history and check past interaction
- Have all information on one system, without having to move between multiple
Pharmacy dispensing software should be the silent partner that’s there to assist you, but not get in the way. When pharmacists don’t have to spend time searching for information, focus can return to the customer.
Customer satisfaction and business success go hand-in-hand
Decreasing dispense wait times, while vital, is not the overall goal – it’s the vehicle to the goal of improving customer experience.
Being able to have personal, expert interactions with a pharmacist through a forward-facing model can go a long way to improving said experience, and building positive relationships and repeat business.
Successful take ups of the model so far have proved, beyond customer satisfaction, staff and pharmacists are much more engaged and happier with what they’re doing. And in turn, business is thriving.
Efficient dispense doesn’t need to be about rushing, but about providing meaningful and efficient experiences from the get-go – without unnecessary roadblocks.
By ensuring this positive customer experience is supported by appropriate software solutions and business processes, you put yourself in good position to achieve both effective and efficient dispense.
Not all pharmacy dispensing software has the integrated and streamlined capacity to support a forward-facing and customer centric approach. Which is why Corum Health developed Corum Clear Dispense.
If you’re concerned about the effect of dispense wait times on your business and customers, or are interested in better supporting your pharmacists, click here to contact Corum Health.