The use of interactive touch-screen technology in the pharmacy

The Use of Interactive Touch Screen Technology in the Pharmacy

Touch-screen displays with integrated scanners or loyalty card readers allow pharmacists to interact with the customer as well as provide them with an immediate service that is both useful and accurate (up-to-date prices, useful advice about products and services, questionnaires, demonstrations, order numbers, loyalty etc). In return, pharmacists can gather fundamental data about their clientele as well as their demographic structure.

Placing such touch screens near to our display units and items of furniture, or even integrating touch     screens into them, leads to a range of interesting scenarios:

– The customer will be able to find out the price of a certain product by placing it near to the scanner (thereby avoiding the burdensome yet fundamental task of updating the prices on the shelves). A text about the product entitled “your pharmacist recommends” will guide the customer through the process of purchasing, as well as viewing specially designed demonstrations.

– The customer can swipe their own personal loyalty card and check out current promotions available regarding a specific product or over the counter items in general.

– The customer will be able to decide whether to answer a questionnaire about big health issues (e.g. “Are you a smoker?” or “Problems with high cholesterol?”) that advises the customer on a course of treatment to prevent or cure such problems, recommends specific products and check ups, or gives general information.Questionnaires can also ask customers to comment on ways to improve the pharmacy’s services. By using questionnaires, the pharmacist will be able to obtain useful data for analysing their clientele, such as age range, needs, tendencies etc.

Data is rapidly becoming the critical factor in the analysis of the current performance of one’s business as well as its future performance. The collection of raw data and, more importantly, its summary in diagrams and tables aids the process of developing new strategies and innovative ideas, both of which are constantly evolving.

The use of queue management systems in the pharmacy of the next generation fits into this logic. Such systems allow the customer to reserve their turn by pressing a button on an interactive touch-screen display. At the same time, the customer can specify the pharmacist whom they would like to be served by according to their expertise, the number of other customers in the queue, or their people skills. The customer may also place themselves in a queue for the pharmacist or shop assistant who deals with a particular product or type of product.

The first step towards creating a more modern relationship with your customers based on personalised advice is to analyse the make up of your clientele, categorising them by age, habits, spending, gender etc. In real time, the pharmacy owner can track their clientele’s preferences on their PC over a given period. These can be cross checked with sales data and the number of people entering the pharmacy (monitored by a sensor above the entrance) in order to obtain key information on customer trends, the foundation of a modern business strategy.

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