With the Coronavirus vaccine near ready, and with the general public needing to receive two vaccinations three weeks apart, pharmacy and healthcare providers have an interesting and significant challenge ahead of them:
How can pharmacies and healthcare providers efficiently vaccinate a significant volume of customers while offering a good experience and reducing their risk of catching Coronavirus in the process?
The service needs to be safe for customers and store staff – and that means it also has to reduce unnecessary contact points and enforce social distancing standards. The experience also needs to be engaging, efficient and easy for everyone to use. After all, pharmacies have their reputations and long-term relationships to consider.
That’s where Retail Choreography tools come into play – in today’s age, they are a must-have for creating safe and engaging customer experiences, and for driving sales.
Find out how pharmacies and healthcare providers can efficiently deliver flu and Covid-19 vaccines with appointment scheduling software and virtual queuing software (alongside unique insights into Tesco’s flu jab customer journey):
Consumers are visiting pharmacies less than before the pandemic
Despite being classed as an essential service and, therefore, allowed to remain open throughout the lockdown periods, a large proportion of consumers are visiting pharmacies less often than they were before the Coronavirus pandemic took place, according to Qudini’s survey of 2,000 consumers that took place in September, 2020.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, 65% of consumers said they visited pharmacies “often” or “sometimes”.
During the pandemic, 45% of consumers said they are visiting pharmacies less than they were before. Only 7% of consumers are visiting pharmacies more.
Most customers won’t queue at pharmacies for more than 10 minutes
The survey also highlighted how little consumers are willing to wait outside or inside of pharmacies to receive service or check out before walking out of store, with 15% willing to wait up to 3 minutes, 20% willing to wait between 3 and 7 minutes, and 25% willing to wait between 8 and 1o minutes.
The top concern when waiting in queues is contracting Covid-19 (40%), while others are worried about weather conditions and not knowing how long they will have to wait (34%).
How pharmacies can efficiently deliver flu and coronavirus vaccines
In the coming months, the top challenge for pharmacies and healthcare providers will be delivering vaccinations to the masses in a safe and efficient way.
And while most consumers will be eager to receive vaccinations, pharmacies and healthcare providers should use this as an opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with consumers and encourage consumers to return for other healthcare, medical or beauty needs.
Pharmacies can create a safe and engaging service in one of two ways (or both):
1) Deploy an appointment booking system
By deploying an appointment booking system, pharmacies and healthcare providers can:
- Allow customers to schedule appointments 24/7 over the web, by phone or on-site. Two appointments three weeks apart can be booked at once, minimising admin time for the business.
- Ask customers to complete a tailored questionnaire to find out if they are experiencing Coronavirus-like symptoms or request their GP’s details.
- Send SMS and email reminders to ensure customers don’t miss their appointments.
- Make it easy for doctors, nurses and receptionists to manage upcoming appointments.
- Reduce the amount of time customers spend in the clinic by having them arrive just before their appointment and leaving straight after, reducing the risk of contracting Coronavirus in the process.
- Access analytics to understand demand and demographics to plan resource levels and supplies.
2) Create virtual queues outside of clinics
By creating virtual queues, pharmacies and healthcare providers can:
- Enable customers to join virtual queues from their phones (by SMS, QR code or app), a kiosk, a host with a tablet or a reception desk. This means customers don’t have to wait in physical lines or waiting rooms, and can return when it is their turn.
- Send SMS and smartphone updates to customers, providing them with queue position and wait time information as the queue progresses.
- Drastically decrease the time customers spend on-site, reducing their risk of contracting Covid-19 and ensuring they can use their wait productively. They’ll receive automatic SMS and smartphone updates when it’s almost time for their vaccination.
- Set up a simple virtual queue interface that makes it easy for store or clinic staff to manage walk-ins alongside customers with appointments.
- Display queues and call forward customers with an on-site TV interface.
- Gain access to analytics that enable clinics to understand foot traffic and demographics, and better optimise resource levels and supply.
Gain significant insight into your vaccine operations
The best appointment booking and virtual queuing providers like Qudini will provide also you with access to a range of valuable metrics, including:
- Planned appointments
- Capacity utilisation
- Online traffic
- Foot traffic
- Wait times
- Service times
- Turnout rate
- Demand by service type, venue and region
- Resource time and motion
- And much much more.
Tesco’s flu jab customer booking journey
Earlier this year we worked with Tesco to allow customers to schedule NHS and privately paid flu vaccines at their nearest stores.
When completing their booking, customers were asked to fill out a brief and easy to complete questionnaire to check that customers are not experiencing Covid-19 or flu symptoms beforehand, and to ensure they don’t suffer from any allergies that may prevent them from receiving the flu jab.
With our help, the journey was safe, time efficient, engaging and professional.