Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist March 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist March 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Mr Annabel says the opportunity resides
with the pharmacist, not with the well-
meaning pharmacy assistant because
they don’t have the respect of the
consumer or the ability or qualifications,
to make therapeutic support
recommendations. These may be
product, e.g. S3 and S2 medicines. It may
be an evidence-based practitioner
line that works particularly well with a
prescription, or works well to help with
a minor ailments solution. It could be
an advanced wound care dressing, a
digestion suggestion or foot care.
‘It could also be a therapeutic
recommendation to do with a service
that may benefit the customer.
This could be a dietitian service, a nurse
delivered wound care service, a quit
smoking service or a sleep disorder
service. It could just be advice!
‘ What we are doing is looking at
the customer as the opportunity.
Our objective is to give them a great
health solution experience when they
are in the pharmacy and give them great
reasons to return.
However, Mr Annabel emphasises that it
does not include switching being the only
experience the customer gets. Switching
applies to a requested originator brand in
the dispensary as much as it applies to an
OTC requested brand.
He says that where the pharmacist’s
prime motivation is a customer health
outcome and when they’ve been trained
in how to provide it, the bottom line is a
lot stronger than those who concentrate
on KPIs, substituting and just getting the
‘ The financial reward is much greater.
That’s for the business as well as for the
pharmacist practitioner because they’re
producing more and they can demand
a higher hourly rate as their salary,’ Mr
‘ When talking about consumer focus the
key point is – It’s the customer that counts.
There is an old acronym called CARE –
Customers Are Really Everything. So when
moving to a customer focus it is important
that we actually think about the customer
– not just our own hip pocket.
‘When dealing with a customer who
wants a brand originator that they
value – that’s important to you because
it’s important to the customer. If we are
going to be customer focussed it’s the
starting point. We must give them what
‘You want to delight a customer, give
them a reason to come back, get them
to become an advocate with the 20 – or
more – people they talk to about their
great experience in your pharmacy.
However, first we need to give them
a good experience – not just say we
are customer-focussed when all we’re
doing is substituting and trying to take
financial advantage without giving
something in return.
‘ The real goal here is to not just give them
what they need, but also what they didn’t
know they need,’ Mr Annabel said.
Further, he says that is why it is critically
important for the pharmacist to be out
the front fully engaging with customers,
because they are the ones customers
will listen to. Pharmacists are also the
ones able to give the customer that
element they didn’t know they needed.
‘It is important to have the products
the customers are looking for in stock.
It is an important element of having a
customer focus, a customer service offer.
‘Some pharmacists think they are very
clever because they only keep generics
in the prescription area, and only keep
certain private labels in some SKUs in
the medicines departments. They think
they are being clever because they are
not giving the customer the product
they want, not giving them any choice.
‘ That is totally out of balance! It’s not
authentic and of course they will lose
some of their customers. They won’t lose
all of them but they’ll lose some.
‘If we are going to be focussed on the
customer and if customers are going to
be our salvation owners and pharmacists
can’t afford to do that. A customer who
has say two scripts filled per month and
buys some OTC products is worth about
$1,200 sales per year and $500 GP$.
Why jeopardise that in order to pick up
say an extra $4 on switching a customer
out of a requested trusted brand into a
Mr Annabel believes that pharmacies
cannot afford to lose customers because
they do not get what they want from the
pharmacy and they will go elsewhere.
His final point is: ‘How do you know who
hasn’t come back?
‘How do you know who may have come in
to get a script filled but who doesn’t come
in to buy cold and flu medicines because
you don’t have some of their favourite
brands or doesn’t come back at all?’
The customer is king...treat them
Maximising your margin by dispensing tried and trusted brands
“THE ANSWER IS TO FOCUS ON
THE CUSTOMER NOT JUST THE
PRESCRIPTION. THAT IS WHERE
THE VALUE OPPORTUNITY LIES.”
Aspen Australia is comprised
of Aspen Asia Pacific Pty Ltd
(ABN 75 146 444 484) and its
subsidiaries, including Aspen
Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd (ABN
51 096 236 985), Aspen Pharma
Pty Ltd (ABN 88 004 118 594),
Aspen Nutritionals Australia Pty
Limited ACN 160607509 , Orphan
Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 50 115
816 209), Orphan Australia Pty
Ltd (ABN 11 067 189 342) and
Arrow Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd
(ABN 17 003 144 170). All sales
and marketing requests to: Aspen
Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd,
34-36 Chandos Street, St Leonards
NSW 2065. Tel. +61 2 8436 8300.
ASP655 Prepared: February 2015.
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