I was thrilled to be asked to write an article this month for the Irish Pharmacy Union's official magazine "The IPU Review".
They had partially liked a blog I had written called "It's not what you say, it's how you say it” as pharmacies just like other business communicate with customers on a daily basis.
Whether they are selling medical and healthcare products or even fulfilling prescriptions, pharmacists and staff face the daily challenge of ensuring they fully engage with customers, so they take on board their recommendations without possible misunderstandings or even objections.
Human nature is such that sometimes when we do a job day in day out, we begin to become “robotic” in our dealings with customers. We don’t realise we can stop treating customers as individuals as we go through the motions of asking the same questions or in giving similar advice, so the lines of communication can become a little blurred.
Sometimes we can use a lot of jargon and make the mistake of assuming that the customer understands what we are saying. So we stop thinking about the impact of our messages.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) are especially mindful of how important effective customer communication is for their member companies. According to Darren Kelly, Business Development Manager with the IPU, he understands that “Pharmacists and their staff often have to deal with delicate situations, sick or vulnerable patients. So, they need to be extra sensitive how they interact with customers by connecting with them in a caring and responsive way”.
Similar to other businesses pharmacists deal with highly technical issues, so they too must ensure that the advice they give is always clear and easy to follow.
For any industry, communication is key to the success of the organisation and the satisfaction of its customers. We must strive to fully engage with customers, resist complacency and never assume that what we are saying is interpreted exactly as we meant it.
I am also delighted to say that Call Focus and the Irish Pharmacy Union will be running a workshop in “Customer Service & Complaint Handling” in Dublin, this coming April (2015) for its member companies. For enquiries, please contact the IPU or Call Focus.