Helping pharmacies manage incoming calls

Helping pharmacies to manage incoming calls (from Paul)

Helping pharmacies manage incoming calls

Pharmacies in England are about to get busier. As the Government seeks to restore access to primary care, pharmacies will be taking some of the burden off GPs’ surgeries.

This will have all sorts of effects – including a big increase to the number of calls they have to handle. As telecoms specialists, we can provide the technology to help you manage. But before we get there, a bit of background …

What’s changing for pharmacies?

Pharmacies will be given the authority to issue prescriptions for seven common ailments. They will also be the first port of call for some tests, as well as oral contraceptives.

This is all part of NHS England’s Modern General Practice Access initiative. The point of the scheme is to improve access to GPs, and a big part of the plan involves transferring some of their workload elsewhere – including to pharmacies.

What are the consequences?

One important implication for pharmacies is this: they are highly likely to receive more inbound calls, especially in the morning. This is in addition to a general increase in workload due to heightened responsibilities.

There will also be access to funding to boost resources. But still, these are difficult times for the sector. According to the BBC, the number of local chemists has dropped to its lowest level since 2015 as rising costs and reduced funding bite.

At pharmacies face this change, efficiency will really matter, and the way you handle calls – and that’s exactly what our technology can help with.

What will help with the increase in calls?

Lots of smaller pharmacies get by with little more than a single landline. This is fine if you make and take a handful of calls per day, but it simply won’t be enough to cope with high volumes.

With higher call volumes, you need a phone system that will do the following:

  • Guide callers to the right person/department
  • Manage expectations when people are on hold or waiting to get through
  • Allow for quick, efficient management of all calls
  • Record calls for monitoring and training purposes

That’s exactly what we at One Connectivity specialise in providing. We have many years of experience delivering phone systems and other telecom services. We know the technology inside out, and we know how to help make our customers more efficient.

On top of that, we’re dedicated to providing the best service possible. With our knowledge and commitment to our customers, we can help make these changes easier to manage. Here are three ways we can help.

1.     More efficiency

Phone calls are just one part of your work – but your phone system affects every part of your work. If you can’t get to calls in good time, this makes for disgruntled callers. If your calls take too long, this takes you away from other parts of your work.

How can we help with the balance? By providing a high-quality, cost-effective, user-friendly phone system customised to your exact needs. You’ll be able to queue and route calls effectively, while tasks like transferring calls and putting them on hold will be exceptionally easy. We can even provide tools like analytics, which present key call stats in easy-to-read format. That will allow you to make smarter decisions about how you fine-tune your call handling, to ensure you can help the maximum number of people possible.

By shaving seconds off every call, you’ll shave off hours in the long run – making you more efficient and better equipped for the increased workload you face.

2.     Better caller experience

We can provide an auto-attendant – AKA a virtual receptionist that helps guide callers to the right person. For instance, the call menu could include an option for new prescription requests. You can direct these calls to people with the authority to issue prescriptions only.

This is known as skills-based call routing, and it ensures that callers don’t get misdirected. This results in better service for them, and less wasted time for you.

We can also provide encrypted call recording. Not only will this be crucial for compliance purposes as you cope with more responsibilities over prescriptions, but you can also use recordings to train your team in best practices with call handling. As you receive more calls, this will be even more important.

3.     Futureproof

Did you know that traditional landlines are on the way out? BT Openreach is phasing out the infrastructure that underpins landlines. By 2025, all calls will have to be routed online. The process is called the ISDN/PSTN switch-off. So, if you’re not routing calls online already, you will need to make the change soon anyway!

The two technologies that make this possible are called VoIP and SIP. We are specialists in both, with the ability to switch you over seamlessly. This makes you futureproof, so you don’t get caught out by obsolete technology.

4.     Cutting-edge additional features

For smaller, independent pharmacies, a simple setup may be enough. But what if you have more than one site? What if you have an admin office, and some senior or office-based people who work from home? More complex working environments require more tailored communication options. That’s what we can provide.

For instance, we can offer the ability to make video calls and talk over a secure instant messaging services – all as part of your phone system. This is known as unified communications. What’s great is that it allows for internal video calls and instant messaging discussions as well as customer contact, and all on the same platform.

One Connectivity – the communications partner that’s on your side

Different pharmacies have different needs when it comes to communication technology. But they will all be facing the same increase in workload, especially on the phones. To manage this, you need a partner with the knowledge and service standards to provide a solution to suit you.

One Connectivity can help. We’re renowned for our service, and we would be delighted to help. To find out more, get in touch today.

Get a quote from us
Step 1 of 4

How many phones do you need?

Use the slider to select how many phones you require in your business