Clicks is South Africa’s leading pharmacy, health and beauty retailer with more than 640 stores, over 500 of which have in-store pharmacies. Clicks targets customers in the middle to upper income markets (LSM 6-10) and offers customers exceptional value for money in convenient and appealing formats.
The Clicks ClubCard loyalty programme is one of the largest in South Africa with over 7.5 million active members. Their vision is to be the customers first choice in the South African pharmacy, health and beauty retail space.
Clicks reached a point where they realised they needed to understand their customer experience better, specially relating to pharmacy queuing. They received feedback from customers on why the queueing experience wasn’t seamless.
Based on this they started the journey simply by trying to get a better understanding of how long customers are waiting in the queue, what their experience was like, and what their expectation was in terms of an acceptable waiting time.
With this information, they began to look for a solution to improve their customer flow and experience.
Management embarked on a mission to improve the queuing experience by making it easier for customers to enter the queue by taking a ticket and then either taking a seat (without worrying about where they are in the queue) or continuing to shop within the store while they wait to be called.
Service Systems was approached to assist with implementing a solution that best suited Clicks’ needs. The system had to be cost-effective due to the number of stores that would need to come onboard.
Managing the Queue
The ticket issue kiosk is a simple to use touch screen that gives the customer the option to choose what they are there for: Self Medication, Prescriptions or Collections.
It includes an SMS facility which offers customers an SMS when they are close to the front of the queue so they can continue shopping.
Reduced Pressure of Queueing
Customers are free to browse the store or keep themselves occupied comfortably while they wait for assistance. Staff are able to focus on servicing customers needs instead of having to keep track of who’s next in line.
Besides a paper ticket being issued when a customer joins the queue, an SMS option becomes
available automatically when the queue length and waiting time become excessive.
Customers are able to browse the store and continue shopping while they wait to be assisted by a pharmacist.
Counter Notification Light
Counter-top lights flash green when calling the next customer and shines green when serving. When a ticket is closed the light turns blue to indicate that the counter is not in use.
This makes it easy for customers to see where to go.
Queue Call Pads
Each dispensary counter is fitted with a low-tech wireless stand-alone call pad which gives the pharmacist the ability to call the next waiting ticket as well as place them back in the queue if they have not arrived when being called, reducing pressure on both staff and shopping customers.
Queue Status Display
A simple LED display is mounted behind the dispensary area, providing visibility to staff of
how many customers are waiting in each queue.
Should a queue become too long, eg. Prescriptions, the pharmacy manager may assign additional staff to call from that queue only – in order to reduce waiting times and improve the customer experience.
Detailed Statistical Reporting
Informative reports show KPI stats at a glance as well as trended information by date, period, and location.
Reports are generated on a daily, weekly, monthly or as frequently as required and sent via email or viewed on our web dashboard. This aggregated information gives management valuable information to strategically maintain exceptional service levels at all times.
Head office can now see the analytics for each store which transformed by the manner in which staff scheduling and engagement with management takes place.
Maximum and acceptable waiting time thresholds are set for all stores. Should customers in any store breach the maximum waiting time, an alert is sent to the branch manager and relevant area and regional managers notifying them of the issue, giving them the opportunity to act quickly and manage the situation.
Overall Improvements & Benefits
The distraction from waiting enhances the customers experience which is conducive to extended store browsing.
Clicks has observed an increase in basket spend within weeks of each store coming online, as well as a reduction in queuing-related complaints.
Due to the reduced waiting area in an effort to stimulate shopping-while-you-wait, Clicks is able to maximise merchandising space. The calculated return on investment for this project made the decision to move forward with a group rollout effortless.
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