Choosing where to fill your medications is a very personal decision. The process of filling a prescription requires two-way communication around topics including embarrassing side effects, uncomfortable financial situations, and stressful insurance barriers. Patients often won’t respond to a missed call if they think the interaction will be confrontational or stressful. Additionally, many patients simply may not have the time to take an impromptu call during work hours and need to plan ahead to take a live phone call. Increasingly, pharmacies are using texting to fill prescriptions, send medication reminders, and provide exceptional customer service.
Patients often won’t respond to a missed call if they think the interaction will be confrontational or stressful.
In his recent article, “Still think texting is “impersonal”?, fitness ‘textpert’ Jace Treat talks about how two-way texting creates a minimally invasive channel to have non-preferred conversations and create ‘empathetic interactions’ with customers to improve customer relations. Jana Bennett of Medicine Shoppes, Denison & Sherman, uncovered the power of an ‘empathetic interaction’ and how it also translated to increased customer retention when she prevented 12 scripts from being transferred to a mail-order pharmacy with a single Zipwhip text.
When Jana got the request from a mail-order pharmacy to transfer 12 prescriptions from one of her ongoing med sync patients, she sent her customer a text asking if they were sure they wanted to leave her pharmacy.
“I would never do this with a phone call, because I just feel like it’s too confrontational and would not want to make the patient feel uncomfortable in any way,” Jana said. “I felt like a text was okay because the patient could either choose to ignore me or could have time to think about an answer and respond if they cared to.”
This patient wasn’t being forced by mail order to transfer, as so often many are, she was merely having trouble coming up with the two dollar delivery fee.
Within seconds, Jana was able to reach her patient and clear up a financial concern that came down to a two dollar delivery fee. Come to find out – this patient wasn’t being forced by mail order to transfer, as so often many are, she was merely having trouble coming up with the two dollar delivery fee.
“I have a feeling that she might not have told me this over the phone, but was okay with it in a text,” Jana said. “Of course, we told her we would waive the two dollar fee from now on if she would like to keep her business local. She was so grateful.”
Imagine if Jana made a phone call to the patient and they were too uncomfortable to divulge that this fee was a strain. Jana would have lost 12 prescriptions due to two dollars. In the current landscape of decreasing margins, increasing DIR fees and heightened restrictions on where prescriptions can be filled (ie PBM owned mail orders), independent pharmacies need to prevent losing ANY unnecessary business where they can. Having a convenient and non-invasive communication channel to reach patients while allowing them to be responsive is critical to customer retention.
“We get to keep a good customer, because of Zipwhip!”
Jana uses Zipwhip as a productivity tool to text from her computer or mobile device using her existing business number. You can see how Zipwhip has impacted Jana’s adherence programs and customer service initiatives here:
Maureen spent five years working across the retail, community, and specialty pharmacy fields. At Zipwhip, she works with pharmacy owners to implement two-way texting as a cost effective tool to increase engagement, impact adherence ratings, and improve the patient experience.
Latest posts by Maureen Andrew (see all)