You may not have had a course dedicated to delivering excellent customer service in pharmacy school, but it’s a critical skill needed when owning and operating a service based business. As an independent pharmacy owner, how you address customer complaints can directly impact your retention rates and ultimately your profitability. The concept of customer service is fairly straight forward, we all want to be treated well when being served as customers. But, actually navigating through unhappy customers, angry vendors, and even disgruntled employees ends up feeling more like a landmine than a day filled with shaking hands and kissing babies. Below are five customer service mistakes that your pharmacy can’t afford for you to make.
Don’t Use Jargon and Expect the Customer to Understand
The vast majority of your customers did not attend pharmacy school. Medical and industry terms might as well be a foreign language to them. Don’t assume that because you understand your instructions, your customers will as well. Train your staff to be mindful of the person they’re speaking to and keep things as simple as possible. A confused customer does not care about anything other than clearing their confusion and solving their problem. Help them do that by being clear, concise and kind when discussing any situation with them.
Don’t Appear Flippant About Your Customer’s Complaint
We’ve all been there, our order was wrong, the item we ordered took forever to arrive, or the movie we wanted to see was sold out, because only one theater was showing it. Running a business is busy, it takes a lot of time and energy and you may hear dozens of complaints each year. Approach each difficult situation with grace and show customers that you really do care and empathize with how frustrated they may be. Simply being human can be the difference between losing a customer and gaining an evangelist.
Don’t Argue with a Customer
The days are long and the weeks are even longer, you put everything you have into your pharmacy and when a customer tries to discredit that or criticize your hard work, it’s not easy to keep your cool. But, when you stepped into pharmacy ownership, you accepted that you must rise above the frustrations and always put your customers and their business first. There will be a day when someone pushes all of your buttons, don’t let them. Understand that losing the battle today, means winning the war tomorrow.
Don’t Fail to Share Information Internally
Even if your pharmacy is small, it is very possible that your customers will interact with more than one person. Because of this, it’s vital that you create systems that allow for easy and fluid conversation between your team members, especially as it relates to your customers. This could be as simple as utilizing the Notes section in your pharmacy software to provide updates. Customers who feel appreciated by every member of your staff are significantly more likely to remain a customer and refer your services to their friends and family.
As you work to create the perfect experience for your customers, it is difficult to accept that you and your staff may be making customer service mistakes. The list above will help get you on the right track toward removing these common pitfalls from your daily routine and move you even closer to the experience you’re striving for.
For even more ways to help your pharmacy grow, download our free eBook 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market.