For Bush Inn pharmacy dispensary manager Ken Sheat posting signs in Mandarin and Cantonese was a logical step towards better-catering to the service’s demographic.
The initiative is in line with the Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group’s Pharmacy Environment Checklist 2018, which was pulled together by the Pharmacy Service Level Alliance.
Feedback from customers identified key changes pharmacies could make to become more consumer friendly.
Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group liaison pharmacist Robyn Harris was tasked with delivering the checklist to pharmacists.
It was then up to the individual pharmacies on how they went about implementing the principles.
“The good thing about this checklist is it can remind people that it can be the little things that can make the biggest difference,” says Robyn.
“I think we often make assumptions about what people like and for a long time, pharmacy made the assumption that people didn’t want to see white coats anymore, but then when talking to people, most people wanted to see the pharmacist identified,” says Robyn.
For Sheat, the principles helped to guide his customer-focus.
“Most of these things, we had been doing here anyway,” he says.
“But we have a large mandarin and Cantonese-speaking population, so we made that our focus.”
As well as offering signs in Mandarin, the pharmacy has a Mandarin speaker on staff and offers online payment providers, Alipay and Wepay.
Prescription services are offered in Mandarin and Sheat has also learnt a few words in Mandarin.
“Our customers feel greatly appreciated, if you do actually take the time to acknowledge them in their own language. It really makes them feel valued. You see the smiles and the grins,” he says.
Robyn says she has noticed Ken going the extra mile, in many aspects of his work.
“He has a really nice rapport with customers and is able to reflect on things they say.”
Ken has been a pharmacist for 17 years and dispensary manager for ten years.