It comes as no surprise that customers who experience long wait times at the pharmacy will quickly become dissatisfied. When told that a prescription will be ready at a given time, customers expect it will be ready without further delay. However, particularly in underserved communities, wait times can sometimes fluctuate unpredictably. Perception plays a large part in determining customer satisfaction.

Rethinking the Wait

Unfortunately, some wait times are unavoidable. It is possible, though, to reduce frustration with wait times by changing customers’ perception of the wait. The simplest ways to do this are by keeping customers informed, and by apologizing. Keeping the customer updated periodically on how long the wait will be or calling/texting to them to advise that there is a delay reduces unpleasant surprises and wasted trips. Importantly, it lets them know that you value their time. An apology for the wait appeals to customers as they feel that their feelings have been taken into consideration. Customers should not feel that they are inconveniencing you, so apologizing sincerely for the inconvenience to them puts you on the same page.

Other strategies to reduce wait time frustration include making improvements to waiting areas, such as having a television or free water available to ease the wait. Another strategy is to advise customers to come at off-peak times if they are able to do so.

With a few adjustments, perception can be changed to customer satisfaction. If your customers constantly experience wait times, however, you may have to implement more drastic process improvements in order to increase efficiency.