Dequeuing your queues


Community pharmacies must pay more attention to the amount of time patients spend in queues, says Glenn Guilfoyle

Regardless of all the latest retail pharmacy challenges and opportunities: electronic prescriptions, COVID vaccination, generic prescribing, etc, nothing changes the importance of maximising the customer experience within a pharmacy. 

This is especially true now as the new, post-COVID world order forces retailers of all walks of life to find new ways to excel. 

All visitors to retail pharmacy will be exposed to many different manifestations of the customer experience elsewhere. Your customers will, at least subliminally, be making comparisons and benchmarking accordingly. 

Neglect at your peril

An oft neglected element of the retail pharmacy customer experience is found in the queue: whether this is at script in, script out, OTC, wherever.  

Some pharmacies pride themselves on how quickly they acknowledge and greet customers arriving to queues or occupied waiting chairs.

Sorry, this is not good enough.

Too many pharmacy floor staff are so task focused: facing up, filling up, ticketing up, that they don’t even see the customers in the queue. 

Again, sorry. This is also not good enough. 

A golden customer ‘wow’ experience presents in the way you could (should!) de-queue the queues.

On the lookout

Appropriately selected floor staff, or the retail manager, should be on the constant lookout to dequeue the pharmacy. 

Don’t be afraid to place a desk bell at the dispensary for the dispensary staff to “call for” dequeuing, if the nominated ‘de-queuer’ doesn’t see the new queue forming.

Some of the steps to take include:

  • At script in queue – take the script from the queuing customer, ask if they need anything else, serve them, submit their script and relieve them from queuing
  • At OTC queue – serve them , pulling them out of the queue to do so
  • At script out – ask their name if you don’t know it already, and check if their script is ready for pick up now. If the tray has no peg signifying that the BPharm must speak to this customer, deliver their meds and send them happily on their way

Wow! Happy customers….

Wheatbelt Health Centre Pharmacy
Wheatbelt Health Centre Pharmacy.

Glenn Guilfoyle is Principal of The Next Level Sales System

Call Glenn on 0418 519 755

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