Meeting the negative pharmacy industry forces head on

A way forward to a high customer-counsel, high solution-sales, forward-dispensing model tailored for your pharmacy.

The current levels of service provided to health customers at the dispensary in Australian community-based retail pharmacy

Studies from a representative cross section over 120 medium to large sized community based Australian pharmacies over recent years shows that at least 90% of dispensary’s service is relatively undifferentiated from each other.  Furthermore, the data collected and associated benchmarks relating to the range of elements that make up the health customer’s dispensary visit experience, suggests that the typical service experience is not compelling enough to encourage customer loyalty.  The statistics gathered align with the rise and rise of foot traffic and commercial success seen with the big box discounters.  Moreover, this growing pool of data now tells us how and why.

The data tells us that Australian community-based pharmacy dispensary teams:

  • Invite script customers to leave, breaking their dispensary visit into two, more often than they invite them to stay for one visit
  • Leave the customers disengaged longer than engaged
  • Provide proactive counsel regarding the meds being dispensed to the health customer less often than they don’t
  • Provide, on average , proactive meds / health counsel for 37 seconds per script customer visit
  • >90% still practice the old separate (the customer from the script and team member) and rear dispense model, that is coming under increasing profitability pressure under the new world order.

Many pharmacies are reacting by cutting costs / wages / headcount.   Some are price discounting even further.  Some are asking their generics suppliers for unattainable further supply discount.  Some think that the forthcoming 6th agreement will provide some “give backs”.  Some are looking to sell out.  Some will look to hang in there and keep on keeping on.

Many Pharmacists will be slow to react and change their service model, because they believe that they are already differentiated and superior, and give great customer health service.

Too many Pharmacists / owners we speak to as we conduct our studies will not recognise quickly that they cannot save their way off the burning platform.  We sense a widespread under-appreciation that whilst not designed in this way, the industry twin negative forces are nonetheless recalibrating retail pharmacy from a comparative “super” profitability level, to a more “normal” industry level of competitive profitability.  Too many Pharmacists still see selling as a dirty word.

However, there is a small but growing cohort of pioneers that are coming to the realisation that getting an independent, objective and scientific assessment of their current levels of provided customer engagement effectiveness and script processing efficiency is a critical first step towards culturally changing the self- perceptions and mindsets of the members of the dispensary team.

Come back next month for another interesting and thought provoking bulletin.

Visiting The Next Level’s website can help put this discussion in perspective. Or simply send us a message via the Contact Us section and we will gladly answer any questions you may have or organise to come out and have a discussion as to what The Next Level can do for you and your business.