Discount Drug Stores (DDS) announced a host of customer service transformations at their 2016 national conference in Sydney this week. These included new initiatives to maximise their professional services offering, and dispensary workflow innovations allowing pharmacists to spend more time with customers.
Having achieved year-on-year growth in its dollar GP, against a market trend of decline and despite PBS reform, DDS sees improvements to customer service as an opportunity to build on their success in 2015.
Discount Drug Stores Executive General Manager Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas says it has been a challenging year for the pharmacy industry but DDS is adapting its service offering and embracing innovation and technology to better serve their customers.
“We have always placed significant emphasis on our professional services to deliver strong healthcare advice to our customers, and with the recent PBS reforms putting more focus onto professional services, we will continue to help our pharmacists find new ways to spend more time with our customers,”
The company is investing in a Nostra Data analytics platform to help report store performance, and announced a partnership with Next Level, which offers dispensary workflow training and innovations, designed to enable pharmacists to spend more time on the shop floor with their customers.
The company also announced an extensive marketing push to be rolled out this year, offering franchisees a strong pharmacy brand with both buying power and media spend backing their investment.
“Discount Drug Stores is one of a handful of true retail pharmacy brands who are comprehensively marketing to consumers. This is a distinct difference to the many banner groups who are either not marketing to consumers at all, or are actually pulling back on what little marketing spend they do invest in. We continue to invest heavily not just in traditional avenues like our new TV campaigns, but are also diversifying our marketing mix and introducing new channels such as YouTube, magazine, and retargeted advertising.” Mr Kuskopf-Dallas said.
Mr Kuskopf-Dallas said with the strength of Sigma behind them, they have also been able to explore innovative marketing opportunities such as their successful InfoHealth TV campaigns, and provide franchisees with access to a host of new business services.
“Sigma’s backing enables us to provide corporate services including financing, human resources and learning and development expertise to Discount Drug Stores franchisees, providing vital business support so franchisees can spend less time in the books and more time on providing excellent service to customers,”
“We’re also delighted through the Sigma corporate strength to launch a new sleep apnoea service to members, in partnership with APSS.” Mr Kuskopf-Dallas added.
As well as transforming customer service, DDS donated over $37,000 to charity and announced the sponsorship of two new puppies for Assistance Dogs Australia, having already raised over $237,700 for charities since 2012.
For more information on Discount Drug Stores, please visit www.discountdrugstores.com.au.