They’re not your grandma’s drugstore anymore; pharmacies are now offering a variety of in-store and mobile services that make it much easier to stay healthy, according to ShopSmart (the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports).
Here are four of them:
Personalized packaging-Your pills (and other medications) can be put in individualized, daily packets so that you can tell at a glance that a dose was taken for that particular day. Many pharmacies (such as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club) also offer compounding (customizing a medication geared to your particular needs).
Clinics with extended hours-Some pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, offer in-store walk-in clinics staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants. No appointments are needed; many are open seven days a week, with extended evening and weekend hours.
Drone (Robot) home deliveries were launched this past summer by QuiQui, a San Francisco-based company.
For a fee of one dollar per delivery, plus the cost of your order, pharmacy orders can be delivered to customers by a hovering drone.
Private consultations with a pharmacist from your drugstore–Walgreens, for example, has a front-entry desk service in some of their stores. And many drugstores also offer a consultation area.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner items are now available in many drugstores (a welcome expansion from just a few snacks). Not only can you pick up essentials (like milk and bread), but also ice cream, cereal, pasta-and pasta sauces, a variety of canned and packaged goods, among others (some are even stocking produce and meat!). The purpose is to make your drugstore a “go-to” for products between your major supermarket trip (for example, the Family Dollar chain offers an amazing-and tasty-selection of “name” and house brand cookies, lunch meat, soups, canned meat, canned fish and other items; you can do practically all your grocery shopping at one place!
Do-it-yourself Customer Service
According to Consumer Reports, more companies going the way of do-it-yourself customer service-to their own customers.
The DIY economy has dramatically and rapidly changed industries, services and society. And the main reason many companies are doing this? To save money.
Here’s a few ideas about how to cope (bear in mind that although traditional customer service may be eroding, the same technology responsible also gives consumers more “say” than ever before:
User communities within a company’s site are a powerful way to get your consumer “voice” heard loud and clear-questions and comments can be posted and grievances can be filed about products and services (did you know that for each disgruntled customer posting, it reaches about 28 people?).
Internet forums (like Facebook and Twitter) are another similar way to get activate your concerns.
Pass those automated phone menus; try www.DialAHuman.com and www.GetHuman.com on how to get a live person.
Seek out the “big guns.” Go to the bottom of a company site’s home page and look for “corporate contacts“, “company information” and so forth (that’s where you’ll find contact info for reaching top management).
Sources: “8 surprising new perks at drugstores”-From Consumer Reports-The (Sunday) Vindicator, Oct. 12, 2014 and “Surviving do-it-yourself customer service”-From Consumer Reports-The (Sunday) Vindicator, Oct. 5, 2014