In your community pharmacy, you are responsible for treating your patients and helping them to achieve optimal health. Before you can meet patients’ needs, though, you have to figure out what those needs are. Whether in a casual conversation or a scheduled appointment, your first priority is to listen. When you listen to patients, you can better determine their struggles, their goals, and how to get them on the path to health. In the process, you can build your rapport, strengthen your relationships, and demonstrate the care and compassion that all patients need.

Just as you listen to your patients, your pharmacy software system should listen to you. Your needs, just like your patients’, are constantly changing, and you need a vendor who will take the time to listen to you and help you find the right solutions in real-time. Good listening skills are one of the best indicators of a good customer support team, and customer support is one of the top considerations for pharmacists who are looking to buy a new software system. In this case, listening goes beyond being extending a polite gesture 一 it actually paves the way to success in your pharmacy.

When you are shopping for a new system, consider the qualities of a software vendor that cares about, and listens to, your needs. Then, compare your options and find the right fit for your pharmacy.

4 Key Considerations for Pharmacy Software Vendors

  1. Your software vendor listens to your problems 一 Whether you are new to a software or have been working with the same system for years, your experience will probably not be seamless 一 which is normal among all users. From experiencing issues with the interface to learning new features to finding glitches, you will more than likely experience problems with your software at some point; and you will need help to work through them.

When you face problems, a good vendor will take the time to sit with you, listen to you, and work with you to determine the cause. They will not brush over your concerns, rush your questions, or suggest a quick fix to an issue without helping you to understand what caused it and how to prevent it in the future. Instead, they will help you to voice your concerns and take the necessary steps to fix whatever is slowing you down. With a vendor that listens, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your software.

  1. They request your feedback 一 Your software vendor shouldn’t only listen to you when you ask for help. Instead, they should create opportunities to listen by requesting your input and asking for your feedback on a regular basis.

There are several ways that vendors can do this. For one, they can give you a specific contact to reach out to with comments, questions, and concerns about your experience with the software as a whole. Second, they can provide you with virtual tools, like feedback forms, that let you discuss your experiences in different categories. Third, they can ask you to complete customer satisfaction surveys or write reviews within the software or on outside platforms; and may even incentivize them.

Whatever the platform may be, the best vendors make it known that they value your input, and they give you the tools you need to share it.

  1. They ask how they can improve 一 In addition to asking for your feedback, good vendors specifically ask you for suggestions. They don’t simply take the praises you leave on feedback forms and forego the rest of your concerns. Rather, they make it a point to ask the hard questions and figure out how to improve their operations, their support, and their software as a whole.

From talking to you on the phone to asking you on an online platform, the best vendors know that you are their most valuable asset in improving their technology 一 and they call on you to help them. When it comes to making these improvements, strong listening skills benefit both you and your vendor.

  1. They take action 一 Of all the ways that a software vendor can show you that they’re listening, though, action is the most important. Nothing demonstrates that your vendor cares about you and your needs more than what they do to make your pharmacy’s operations smoother and your life easier.

This means that when you have difficulties with your software, they make it a point to give you easy-to-understand, easy-to-implement solutions. When you have feedback to give or suggestions to offer, they use it as a blueprint to improve. In other words, they not only listen to your needs but work to meet them.

Let Listening Guide Your Decision

A vendor’s willingness to listen (and to act) is one of the best indications of whether or not they will be a good choice for your pharmacy. Vendors who listen create better relationships, exhibit stronger support, and maintain pharmacies that are more equipped to meet their patients’ needs. When you compare pharmacy software systems, don’t neglect this important consideration.

If you want to make the most out of your practice, pick a vendor who listens.