The Customer is Always Right…Right?!

pharmacy customer
Working as a pharmacy technician is rewarding in many ways. Getting to know customers and helping them manager their health gives you a real sense of accomplishment. The work you do every day not only benefits your customers, but your personal life as well, as you are exposed to cutting edge developments in the health care field. However, not every minute of your workday will always be pleasant. Whether they have valid excuses or not for their behavior, some customers will find reasons to get upset. Let’s talk about three common scenarios and how you can best handle the situation.

The cell phone is a common culprit in the retail pharmacy setting. Many customers will appear at the drop-off or pick-up window while talking on the phone. Then when you try to ask a question, some of them act like you are interrupting their very important conversation. The best response is to tell the customer that you will be happy to help them once they’re done with the call. Explain the importance of privacy and that you don’t want the other person on the phone to hear any private health information about the customer.

Customers are often in a hurry and want their prescriptions yesterday. When you announce a 30- or 40-minute wait time, you may get some pushback. Describe the safety precautions each member of the pharmacy team takes to ensure that the customer receives the correct medication, dosage, and instructions and point out that rushing increases the likelihood of a preventable error. The customer should walk away with an understanding that safety is a top priority in your pharmacy and that your team will work as quickly as possible to provide a safe product for them.

Insurance plans can be confusing and some of your customers won’t be clear on tiered co-pays. If a customer receives a new prescription and it’s part of the non-preferred tier, they might be surprised with a higher co-pay than they’re accustomed to. You may be able to better explain the tiers if their prescription card has the co-pays printed on it. Otherwise, you can explain the tier system and ask the customer if they would like to speak to the pharmacist about the possibility of calling the doctor and changing the prescription to a generic drug or a preferred brand drug.

Most importantly, don’t lose your cool. Try to anticipate the reasons a customer might get upset, and have a planned response that will diffuse the situation and solve the perceived problem. Provide excellent customer service at all times and your clientele will recognize it, appreciate it, and reward you for it by choosing yours as their pharmacy.

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