Monday, December 8, 2008

Because of the Economic Downturn, Do I have to Kiss Butt More than Ever?

It's starting to look that way. If numbers go down and people aren't going to the doctor, it's being suggested that we've got to take pains to bend over backwards for the customers.

Sure, normal customer service is expected. But I do not feel any more compelled to figure out someone's insurance plan who doesn't have the card and doesn't have a clue. I do not feel any more compelled to try and counsel a patient who is talking on his cell phone through the entire transaction and glares at me for the interruption. I do not feel any more compelled to tiptoe around a customer who I know to be getting his narcotics from several sources, and who has hopelessly duped his doctor.

Yes, they might go somewhere else. And with the number of copies I'm giving out lately maybe they are -- although I believe the gift cards are playing the biggest role there. But I'm not going to kiss butt to anyone who's being rude, sneaky or just downright lazy. And I'm going to feel the same whether the economy is up or down. Enough said.


The Ole' Apothecary said...

Who is making the "kiss butt" suggestion---your employer?

I've been out of retail practice for 15 years, and I never had a population as fickle as it is now, with these gift cards. Today's pharmacists can only do their personal best, not an artificial one.

Doesn't it register with the Big Box companies that, by institutionalizing these gift card transfers, they are contributing to the disloyalty that also hurts each one of them?

Rxmonster said...

In my experience, medical fields are nearly recession-proof. Last week my store broke our sales record (open 26 years) and came close on Rx count. This despite being surrounded by other pharmacies and no, we do not "kiss butt." People may have less to spend but they still need their pills and such.

Anonymous said...

Recently at work (I am a tech), a woman came through the drive-thru at 9:45pm (we close at 10pm) asking if she could get a gift card for a refill that she always gets at my pharmacy.

I told her no, the coupon clearly states that it is for transfers only. She continues to argue and threatens to go to another chain if I don't give it to her (which I couldn't care less about, honestly). I even have the pharmacist tell her no gift card. At which point she says, "I spent thousands of dollars at this pharmacy every month. I ONLY come to this pharmacy. You're willing to lose my business over twenty-five f***ing dollars?"

After arguing and wanting to go home, as she didn't seem like she would be leaving the drive thru without a gift card, my pharmacist gave in.

I don't understand how people have such high views and opinions of themselves to think that their business means the world to the pharmacist and pharmacy.

And after she left I looked up her file.. she has zero copay on every single prescription.

NJRxManager said...

it's so funny how people claim they spend all this money on drugs when it's their insurance footing the bill. most of the time its medicaid customers too. as a matter of fact, i don't even call them customers until they take money out of their pocket. until then they're just patients.

My father is old school and belives in bending over backwards for business, but I'm not an ass kisser. we're plenty busy as it is without doing favors for people. If they think they'll get better service somewhere else, then I say let them try.