How long is too long for a customer to be placed on hold?  What if the customer is a pharmacist trying to resolve a technology-related issue that is affecting business operations?

The answer, of course, is that any time spent on hold is too long for a busy pharmacist.  Which is why, a few years ago, pharmacy technology company PrimeRx set out to dramatically improve its customer service offerings, so that callers would receive faster assistance, with significantly less time spent on hold, and inquiries quickly routed to the appropriate trained technician.

The results have been impressive.  So impressive, that the company was honored in April 2024 with a prestigious Silver Stevie Award®, as part of the annual American Business Awards Program.  The awards are given in recognition of businesses that distinguish themselves in a wide range of categories.  PrimeRx was recognized in the “customer service & call center category,” with a specific focus on its contact center operations.

“We are a technology company,” noted PrimeRx President and CEO Ketan Mehta, “and our job is to make our pharmacy customers’ lives easier.”  Customer service, he added, should be a “pleasant and satisfying experience,” rather than the time-consuming, painful undertaking it too often becomes.

Mehta and his team came to believe that PrimeRx could do better in providing customers with an exceptional customer service experience.  “We essentially broke the system down and rebuilt it,” he explained.  “We looked at areas that were working well, and those that were not as efficient.  We talked to our customers about what they wanted in a top tier call center, and of course, we examined the role technology could have in facilitating the process.”

Key Upgrades to Our Customer Service Experience

Specific upgrades to the PrimeRx customer service experience include:

  • Investments in personnel. This includes a focus on maintaining senior customer service agents while attracting new hires who demonstrate strong aptitude in both technology and service.
  • Training protocols. New training practices have been implemented whereby all agents receive weekly “refresher” instruction, along with detailed information about all system upgrades and modifications.
  • Investments in system infrastructure. The company upgraded its telephony system so that customer calls are quickly routed to the appropriate agent.  Callers spend a minimal amount of time on hold, and mid-call transfers are kept to a minimum.
  • Multiple entry points. Customers have options for accessing the contact center, based on personal preference.  This includes direct access through the PrimeRx website, either via live chat or by submitting an email.  A pharmacist also has the option to call the contact center directly via an 800 number.

Once the changes were implemented, the PrimeRx team waited to see how customers would react.  Fortunately, it didn’t take long for results to show they were on the right track.

Results From Upgraded Customer Service

First came an upward trajectory in key performance metrics which showed significant internal improvement, along with an overall rating that exceeded national call center averages:

  • The critically important service level (SLA), which refers to the time it takes for a call to be answered, improved by 28% over the 2022-2023 time period.
  • The average “talk time” per call fell by 3.7%, indicating that agents were becoming more proficient at identifying customer issues.
  • The abandonment rate, which indicates the number of customers who hang up before a call is answered, fell from a high of 12% during 2022, to a more satisfying 2.6% by the end of 2023.
  • Feedback provided by 2023 call center users showed an average satisfaction rate of 84%. This was very heartening since any score above 50% is considered excellent.
  • Pharmacy users also showed their satisfaction via positive Google reviews, which averaged 4.7 stars during 2023, up from 3.2 stars during 2022.

The biggest validation though, would come in the form of personal feedback – actual observations offered by pharmacists about their experiences.  A few examples include:

  • “PrimeRx respects the urgency when a pharmacist calls for help,” said Geneva Chen, owner of Portola Pharmacy located in Los Angeles, CA. Chen describes her pharmacy as a “very small operation,” with staffing kept to a minimum.  As such, she relies on PrimeRx to keep pharmacy processes moving.  She says that when a glitch happens, she holds her breath and calls the PrimeRx contact center.

“I have never been disappointed,” she says. “Calls are always answered right away by a professional, courteous service representative.  Sometimes the person who answers the call doesn’t have a solution readily available, and has to consult with a supervisor, but I always get a resolution within an acceptable time frame.”

  • “It’s truly amazing customer service,” offered Hitesh Patel, co-owner of the Rapps Pharmacy Group which has three pharmacies located across New Jersey. “Sometimes I’ve called either with a question about how something worked, or with a suggestion about how to improve functionality.  Each time, PrimeRx took my suggestions seriously and came back with an improved solution.  You don’t get that level of service too often.”
  • Sherri Leon, manager of Philadelphia-area Whitemarsh Pharmacy, calls the PrimeRx contact center “at least once a day, usually during business hours.” While the reasons for her inquiries vary, she says she has never been disappointed.  “I’ve had 100 percent of my issues resolved fully and quickly,” she adds, noting that customer service technicians often go the extra mile to explain additional PrimeRx™ features – features she didn’t even know existed.  “Frankly, I don’t have time to dig into the system and uncover every capability,” she explains.  “I’m grateful to the customer service team for making me aware of these additional features.”

Why Trust PrimeRx for Customer Service Excellence

As these testimonials make clear, technology has become a core part of today’s busy pharmacy, with pharmacists readily crediting their management systems for automating workflows, managing patient records and prescriptions, and facilitating countless other processes. But when something doesn’t quite work the way it should, or when a question arises, pharmacists have little time to spare in finding a solution.

PrimeRx has responded with improved call center features, and a renewed commitment to service excellence. It is, CEO Mehta says, “a top-notch solution for our world class customers.”