One of the pillars of independent pharmacy is great customer service. We have an obligation to our patients to be professional, prompt, and personal and it seems all goes well until a problem arises, the patient is out of refills, we are out of a medication, a prescription needs a prior authorization, and so forth. These are obstacles that we face every day. It is when these problems arise that customer service can really shine or go terribly wrong. Communication is key in these situations and it is essential to teach this simple rule to the staï¬€- Never tell a patient about a problem unless you tell them how you are going to fix it.
For instance, never say â€œyou are out of refillsâ€ unless you follow it with â€œbut donâ€™t worry, I am going to contact your doctor for you and when I hear back I will give you a call. If you need a few tablets to hold you over itâ€™s no problemâ€. Or donâ€™t say â€œwe are out of stock on your medicineâ€ without saying â€œbut it will be in first thing tomorrow and we will deliver it for you.â€ Furthermore, the sooner the problem is communicated the better. We should not wait until the patient makes a trip to the store only to tell them there is a problem.
Over the next few days, listen carefully to how the staï¬€ communicates issues to your patients. Great service demands that we be great problem solvers. As amazing as it seems, these simple rules will greatly increase your customer service and set you apart from the competition.