How Can Text Messages Cut Operational Costs?
There are so many things for us to remember these days – bill payment dates, passwords, vehicle maintenance, doctor appointments, and picking up prescriptions. It is overwhelming and difficult to remember it all, so something always ends up lost or forgotten. New technologies and innovators constantly come up with creative ways to solve issues like this one. Text messages cut operational costs for pharmacies; and mobile technology in general has been a saving grace for many people. It is a cost effective solution for pharmacies. Several of the large companies including Walgreens and CVS have adopted text message refill reminders for their customers. It has helped to make operations run smoothly, and customers are happy to get a reminder in a place they notice – unlike email. However, very few of the independent pharmacies have implemented a text marketing solution for refill reminders. Considering that they represent 1.5 billion prescriptions each year, it is somewhat shocking to realize.
Mobile Technology Integration Barrier
The big reason that so few independent pharmacies are adding text marketing to their refill reminder system is technology integration. Many smaller retailers use older management software for recording and processing orders. They accept orders in person, over the phone and even via fax. These tasks can be time consuming and inefficient. If some time and money was spent upfront to implement an automated solution such as text messaging, then it could relieve employees of unnecessary work and increase the time for them to spend consulting with patients. If I was the owner or manager of an independent pharmacy, then I would do a time study of the pharmacy employees. How much time do they spend taking manual orders and translating them into a management system? How much time is spent consulting with patients? Then I would ask myself if text messaging would save time and make my team more efficient. The most likely answer is yes, it reduces some unnecessary work. Maybe it’s time to start shopping around for a solution.