These days it’s harder than ever to keep up with what customers want. That’s because customers are more knowledgeable than ever and they have seemingly endless options to choose from. We often talk about the customer experience and how it’s the most important thing for you to focus on in your pharmacy. But what makes up the customer experience? Specifically, what are customers looking for when they shop in your pharmacy?
If you’re looking for a good place to start, check out this article on the 6 Things Customers Expect in a Pharmacy. It’s a great high level overview of the areas that every independent pharmacy should focus on. Let’s take a closer look at how pharmacy POS helps you to accommodate these expectations.
Faster prescription fill times – While your POS system isn’t a part of the actual prescription fill process, your customer doesn’t know that. And they really don’t care. They aren’t only judging you based on how long it took to get the prescription filled, but they’re also judging how long it took them to walk out of the pharmacy with that prescription. So aside from your prescription workflow, the checkout process should be easy and efficient. Your POS should interface with the pharmacy management system so when you scan that prescription barcode, the POS knows all of the information it needs to in order to process the customer’s transaction efficiently.
Trust and accuracy – Your POS plays a big part in the accuracy of every transaction. And not just in making sure that the transaction is rung-up accurately. That interface with your pharmacy system can help in a number of ways. The POS can tell you if there are additional prescriptions available for pickup, or if you’ve scanned a prescription for a different patient than the first script you scanned.
Longer operating hours – The needs of your community should really be what determines your operating hours. If you are located across the street from a grocery store with a pharmacy inside that’s open until 10:00pm, well, it may be worth thinking about. If you decide to try extended hours, make sure you use the reporting functionality in your POS system to monitor transaction volume by the hour. No matter what, those extra hours have to be worth it from a business standpoint, so make sure you are tracking the business you do during that time.
A well-stocked front end – Not every pharmacy is going to benefit from a robust front end. But whatever you do stock, your POS can help you manage it. If you do a lot of front end business, integrated inventory management capabilities are a must. And whether your front end is big or small, you should always use your pharmacy POS system to track item movement so you can make smart decisions about what to carry.
A welcoming atmosphere – If you think that the technology you use in your pharmacy doesn’t play a role in the atmosphere of your pharmacy, think again. A modern looking POS system on your counter says a lot about the investments you make in your business. Shelf labels printed from your POS system contribute to an organized, easy to shop in environment. Customers want to be efficiently rung up, so providing them with the technology they’ve grown accustomed to see these days goes a long way to increased customer satisfaction.
Customer service perks – Offering what the competition can’t or won’t offer will always be your pharmacy’s biggest strength. Use mobile technology to offer curbside or home delivery services. Consider implementing a customer loyalty program to reward your customers for shopping with your pharmacy. Offer seminars on certain disease states to educate your patient base.
Every time a customer walks into your pharmacy, they are making the choice to shop at your store. Make sure you are paying attention to what’s important to your customers. And wherever you can, use pharmacy technology and pharmacy POS to help provide them with the products and services they expect.