About 13,855 pharmacies in the United Kingdom ensure a secure supply of medicines every day. Supply gaps and digitalization present new challenges for many pharmacists.
Information and communication are key to reach a high customer satisfaction. People like to get a fast response to their questions and digitalization is a good way to achieve this.
One thing is clear: the future is digital and messaging will play a crucial role in it.
WhatsApp in the Pharmacy: Commercial Guidelines & GDPR
Yes, pharmacies are allowed to use WhatsApp. How WhatsApp Business may be used is specified in the commercial guidelines.
Since October 25, 2022, almost all business functions of the WhatsApp Messenger are available to pharmacies.
Pharmacies can now use all customer communication functions, including sending messages to customers, since the end of October. You may still not use the catalog function and Facebook Commerce Messenger.
However, whether the use is GDPR-compliant depends on which WhatsApp business solution is used. In principle, two options are available to all companies: the WhatsApp Business app and the WhatsApp Business API. The app can be installed on the smartphone itself and is free of charge. Access to WhatsApp's official interface is available to pharmacies via platforms such as Superchat.
In principle, all messages sent via WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted. However, using the WhatsApp business app for pharmacies is problematic, as the app can access different data on the smartphone.
By installing it, you allow the app to access any contact data. In addition, WhatsApp Business collects important metadata (e.g. IP address or location), which also counts as personal data. Thus, the WhatsApp Business app does not meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation.
As mentioned above, you cannot use the API just like that. It does not have its own user interface and is not available in the app store. Easy access to the official WhatsApp API is available to pharmacies via platforms such as Superchat. Neither the WhatsApp API, nor Superchat, access personal contacts of the smartphone or metadata.
In addition, an order processing contract is concluded. Every company that has personal data processed on behalf - i.e. by a service provider must conclude this. WhatsApp Business API is the only secure and compliant solution for using the messenger in pharmacies while following data protection rules.
This is how Pharmacies are using Superchat
To find out how important messengers are for pharmacies, we took a closer look at pharmacies' internal usage data. We examined the data of all pharmacies that actively used Superchat between January 1 and December 15 in 2022.
Personal data or anything similar was not considered for the study. It simply looks at how pharmacies are using Superchat's messaging platform. The following figures illustrate how important messaging is in this industry:
Check out this success story 👉 After a long struggle: easyApotheke Duderstadt goes for Superchat & WhatsApp Business
3 Examples of how to use WhatsApp in your Pharmacy
Receive pre-orders with WhatsApp
Not every medication is in stock. Special medications or items with high demand often need to be ordered.
If customers go to the pharmacy and the product they need is not available at the moment, it's frustrating for everyone. In the worst case, the customer decides to go to another pharmacy or tries to get the product online.
The solution 👉 Offer pre-orders via WhatsApp Business. Customers can check whether the product is even in stock from home or directly after a doctor's appointment.
Customers simply send a message or a picture of the product. Employees then check the availability of the item and place the order if necessary. As soon as the item is ready for pickup, the person gets a notification via WhatsApp.
The biggest advantage is the simple dispatch of the message. Customers can already check from home whether the desired product or medication is in stock. When picking up the product - if necessary - the prescription of the product can be shown.
Inform customers by using the WhatsApp Newsletter
Building a real bond with customers is becoming increasingly difficult. In addition, local pharmacies are competing with low-cost providers from the internet. The challenge is to build proximity to customers even in digital times.
The solution 👉 Actively inform customers about product availability and news. With WhatsApp API and Superchat's campaign feature, you can easily create newsletters that will definitely reach your customers. When is the WhatsApp newsletter useful for pharmacies?
Possible examples of use for pharmacies:
- Inform about changes in business hours, e.g. during the Christmas season.
- To draw attention to the availability of products (e.g. Corona rapid tests for home).
- Provide information on specific topics that are seasonally important.
Pharmacies offer entry points for the newsletter in various places. Displays in the pharmacy or flyers with a WhatsApp QR code lead subscribers directly to the registration via a WhatsApp chat. This provides the opportunity to build up a customer base for various topics.
Inform customers that this is a newsletter. It can only be sent with the clear consent of the recipients. In addition, there should be a way to unsubscribe from the newsletter. Opt-in options, for example, can be managed directly via the Superchat platform.
Generate authentic Google Reviews
Customers listen to what other customers have to say. Around 85 percent of people trust online reviews. So it's really important to collect authentic and positive customer reviews.
The most important rating portal is Google. If patients are looking for a pharmacy nearby, the route usually leads directly via Google Maps. There, users can see the most important information, such as the location, as well as the reviews of other customers.
In addition, genuine and positive reviews improve the ranking in local search results. But how do you get customers to leave a Google review?
The solution 👉 Send review invitations via WhatsApp. By using a WhatsApp template, you can easily ask your existing customers to leave a Google review. The Google rating link can be created via Superchat's free generator.
are you satisfied with our service? If so, we would be very pleased to receive a positive review from you:
Read this valuable information 👉 Google My Business - All information at a glance
Conclusion: Everyone uses WhatsApp - so should you
It's a fact: customers want to chat with businesses, and that includes pharmacies. Why? The inhibition threshold to send a message is low. Especially when it comes to questions that require quick answers.
74.8% of all internet users in the UK between the ages 16 to 64 are using WhatsApp every month. In the UK, 57.1 million people use social media. WhatsApp is the most popular messenger service among people of all age groups.
Pharmacies can use the WhatsApp API to contact both young and older people. This method follows GDPR regulations and is also future-proof.
Why Pharmacists choose Superchat
- WhatsApp and more: Superchat brings structure to your communication and combines the most important communication channels for you.
- The messaging platform helps to reduce the number of daily phone calls, empowering your employees to focus on customers on-site.
- WhatsApp offers customers a convenient way to pre-order prescriptions from home or directly after visiting a doctor
- For questions about medications or concerns, customers can reach you quickly
Does Superchat fit your company?
- Do you want to digitize your pharmacy and offer your customers easy contact options?
- Are you concerned about GDPR-compliant customer communication, e.g. WhatsApp?
- Do you want to improve the relationship with your customers and reach new prospects at the same time?
- Are online reviews relevant to you, but have not yet managed to implement a process that works permanently?
Did you answer Yes to at least one of the questions? Then try Superchat for yourself or book a free consultation appointment directly with a messaging expert for pharmacies.