Perfecting the Art of Customer Service in Your Pharmacy Business
“In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” -Walt Disney
As a Pharmacy Owner, you mayfeel the constant obligation to seek new ways to provide your customers with a better experience. The value of quality customer service should never be underestimated. Complacency in any business will ultimately allow our competitors to advance beyond us. In the book Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute emphasizes that we should constantly strive to improve customer service standards and product offerings, especially as the desires and needs of our customers change.
The astounding success of The Walt Disney Corporation is inarguable. It is no wonder that thousands of companies worldwide have sought to learn the secret to these achievements. How does Disney keep its customers not only satisfied, but happy and returning year after year? The answer is simple: magic. Not surprisingly, magic is the edict of every Disney employee and the premise that each of its theme parks is built around. Provide your customer with a magical experience and they will come back for more. You can and should incorporate magic into your own pharmacy business “theme.”
How has Disney been able to establish such an admirable benchmark for magical customer service? By practicing the art of guestology – or the science of knowing its customers better. Disney recommends striving to meet, then exceeding the expectations of your customers every time. As anyone fortunate enough to have visited a Disney Theme Park knows, the memory of the experience lingers for quite a while. The same can be said about a visit to any business establishment.
Whether the experience is good or bad, the customer will remember and talk about that experience long after. (Although maybe not quite to the extent of meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time.) And if an experience is great the customer will return.
The following four components of the Disney’s Quality Service Cycle can help create outstanding customer experiences within your pharmacy business.
1. A Service Theme
A shared vision by all employees, which becomes the motivation behind providing the customer with excellent service. Disney’s Theme is to “create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages…” What’s yours?
2. Service Standards
These provide the basis for successfully implementing the service theme and are critical in keeping our customers happy. While Disney’s standards are universal (safety, courtesy, show and efficiency), a Pharmacy’s could also include reliability, personal attention, etc. When a person’s health is at stake, an atmosphere of trust and dependability is crucial. Education is anotherimportant standard. It is important to be current with the latest market trends and to have well-trained and educated employees regarding these trends. Your own standards will depend on the demographics and psychology of your customer base.
3. The Delivery System
Disney guests have stated that the warmth and charisma of the cast is the chief factor behind an exceptional park experience, and is the number one reason behind a return. It is obvious that the attitude of an employee makes an important difference in a company’s success. Employees are the key element in the delivery system.
The Setting: “Wherever your guests meet you.”
Speaks volumes to your customer. Walt Disney spared no expense in his endeavor to provide guests with the ultimate visual and auditory experiences. His approach to creating the perfect environment was based on the assumption that everything speaks. It is important that your setting is inviting and has pleasant qualities. People gravitate toward anything that is sensory appealing.
The Process: How your business delivers its services.
This includes the manner in which your employees interact with each other and your customers within your pharmacy business. At Disney World, the process begins with the parking of your vehicle. It continues with check-in and culminates in the check-out process. Disney’s process includes line management, restaurant service and involves emergency response factors. Anticipate potential problems and solutions before they happen.
Integrating these elements into your pharmacy business operations will produce smooth, efficient and successful results. You can even try out an Integration Matrix – similar to a tic-tac-toe board, with your service standards on the side and the elements of the delivery process across the top. With the driving force being the psychology and demographics of your customer base and the major delivery component being your employees.
Disney stresses that happy and well-trained employees will always deliver a better customer experience. Each combination of service standard and delivery process represents a service moment of truth and should be carefully considered in determining your own method of providing exceptional customer service.
Tip: Disney recommends storyboarding to provide a visual map of service solutions. In other words, create a picture of every service standard and delivery process. When you can picture a process from beginning to end, it becomes easier to execute.
Your results can create a multiplier effect on your business. In other words, the value of the whole organization becomes greater than its parts. Never underestimate the magic of exceptional customer service! Your success depends upon it.
Based on the book Be Our Guest! Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, by the Disney Institute