Harness technology for customer service

Customer service went beyond in-person interactions. Here’s what technology can offer

For many years, good customer service meant having someone who could help customers in the store and someone to answer phone calls. However, the proliferation of technology, from the rise of social media to everything a smartphone has to offer, has changed the way customer service is performed.

Once rare, online shopping has become increasingly common. According to Statista, more than 263 million US consumers shop online1 and 56.6% of consumers surveyed said they prefer shopping online. A 2018 report found that 87% of customers begin a purchase online, and 71% of them use their mobile device in-store when making a purchase.2

To take advantage of what technology offers, pharmacists should consider:

Have a good website – The days of building a website one piece of HTML code at a time are long gone. Services like Squarespace and Wix make it easier than ever to create a clean, professional-looking website. Websites should not only contain contact information and make it easier to get prescription refills, but also make it easy for customers to find initial stock and determine if something would be available for in-store pickup.

Exploit social networks – Social media can not only help define a pharmacy‘s brand, but it also provides a way for customers to ask questions and raise concerns. It can be seen as a partial replacement for past phone calls.

Use the power of Google – The search engine has become the point of reference for all research. Google offers some services to help businesses be more visible, such as business profiles and business email addresses. Google Analytics can provide information about how many people visit the pharmacy site, where they come from and which parts of the site are most popular. The search engine algorithm is changing, which makes tracking key search engine optimization trends an important way to get the most out of a pharmacy site.

Consider developing an app – An app may not be a necessity, but it can be a great tool for a pharmacy. It offers all the benefits of the website and Google, but is exclusive to one business, meaning customers choose to look specifically at what that business has to offer.

The personal touch is the foundation of independent pharmacy. Technology offers a way to extend that touch and reach customers where they currently are.

References

  1. e-commerce. Reports. Statistical. Accessed August 8, 2022. https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/ecommerce/united-states
  2. Alaimo D. 87% of shoppers now start their product research online. Press article. Retail diving. Published August 15, 2018. Accessed August 8, 2022. https://www.retaildive.com/news/87-of-shoppers-now-begin-product-searches-online/530139/

About Terry Gongora

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