The Next Level Australian service standard industry data reveals that the average script customer stands (or sits!) disengaged, waiting for their script to be processed on average for 2m 32s.  And this stat accounts for the fact that 52% of them choose the inconvenience of making two trips to the pharmacy, punctuated by a trip to the supermarket or some other distraction, as opposed to waiting even longer than 2m 32s sitting around like a shag on a rock.

In other words, 52% flee the pharmacy environment to avoid the frustration of disengagement, yet the retail pharmacy sector still manages to inflict them on average with 2m 32s of the very disengagement they fled from.  Imagine if that 2m 32s was converted to pharmacist led conversation that added education, advice and value beyond the customer visit expectation?

But that’s a nonsense I hear you say.  The connection between a customer waiting (2m 32s average) while their script is being processed and the 2m 32s availability of a white coat to engage with that customer at that specific time is ridiculous because it implies that we should have pharmacists at the ready to swing into engagement action as soon as the customer finishes handing the script in and starts the wait.    Agree, that is not practical or realistic.  But what can be done to convert the essence of disengagement into valuable engagement, giving the customer a wow experience?

Many white coats that we talk to think they just don’t have the time to give every script customer a full and tailored complete solution consultation.  Some honest ones admit they don’t have the energy or inclination.  In the current hourly rate environment, some even think they don’t get paid enough to do that.  We have had the pleasure, when auditing, to behold some uplifting and wonderfully complete solution conversations transcending 2m 32s.  But my main point here, is that we have also heard some potent, compelling and customer enrapturing conversations consume much shorter durations.  You might be surprised how much value can be verbally delivered in a short period of time.

If you buy my argument that a conversation designed to flush out relevant potential components of a complete solution should give consideration to………

  • Treating the condition
  • Relieving symptoms
  • Alleviating side effects
  • Preventing the condition/recurrence
  • Supporting overall health and wellbeing in relation to the condition and primary med

………..then 2m 32s may well be required to cover all bases in many scenarios.  Asking the right questions the right way, and communicating the best recommendations the right way.

But we have been privy to some wonderfully succinct shorter versions, when workload is high and customer numbers also.  Think about it.  Role play such a conversation in your mind.  We have heard significant portions of the components above covered in 1m 30s.  Even 1m.

Conversely, we have heard banal waffle communicated in well over 2m 32s….regularly.  There seems to be no shortage of time for the latter, but when striving for the former, time pressures often become a perceived road block.  It’s all about converting minutes and seconds into dollars and sense.