With RingCentral’s Contact Centre, the UK’s largest online pharmacy found the right prescription for cost-effective customer support
“Since we moved to RingCentral Contact Centre, our support advisors are able to handle more customer enquiries in less time—and our customer satisfaction scores have never been higher.” Andy Williams, Director of Clinical and Customer Care.
A Trusted Source of Home-Delivered Medications Across the UK
Pharmacy2U is one of those rare organizations that can legitimately claim to have made a positive impact on societal health. As the UK’s first internet-based pharmacy, the company introduced a convenient and affordable way for UK residents to have medications delivered to their homes.
Today, thanks to its continued innovations and outstanding service, Pharmacy2U is the country’s largest online pharmacy.
There are many reasons that more than 600,000 customers choose Pharmacy2U. The company’s customer support centre and mobile app make it easy to order medications and have them delivered to the patient’s door—or, with patient permission, even to their letterbox.
Also, because of the company’s size, Pharmacy2U can offer customers medications for an average of nearly 20% less than high street pharmacies charge.
But Pharmacy2U’s true differentiators are the company’s technological innovations—including its mobile ordering app, the ability to electronically request repeat prescriptions, and a prescription-synchronization feature to help make sure patients are ordering and taking their medicines appropriately.
During the pandemic Pharmacy2U is also helping get the country moving again, setting up over 20 vaccination sites across the UK and responsible for 1 in every 170 vaccinations being administered.
With such a commitment to both technological innovation and creating an outstanding customer experience, Pharmacy2U’s Customer Care team upgraded its telecommunications solution to RingCentral Contact Centre.
An IT Communications Challenge That Was Becoming Acute
Although technically categorized as a retail service, ordering prescription medication can generate many more questions—and require more handholding—than buying other products.
Andy Williams, Pharmacy2U’s Director of Clinical and Customer Care, notes that the company receives enquiries from 40% of its customers every month. Without the right communications platform, managing those enquiries was becoming a challenge.
“We had our support advisors on several different platforms, none of which were linked to the others,” says Andy. “Calls came in through a PBX. We had some members of the team responding to customer emails on our corporate email client. And we were using a different system for advisors to fax order requests to doctors.”
“We still send 10,000 faxes a day. Moving to RingCentral Contact Centre is saving us a small fortune in this area alone, because for the first time ever, those faxes are free of charge to us.” Andy Williams, Director of Clinical and Customer Care.
As Andy explains, moving in and out of these various communication systems throughout the day created inefficiencies for the customer care team.
He also points out that because they had no real-time visibility into traffic across these channels, or into the team’s workload, his managers couldn’t effectively allocate resources.
“We could never see the whole picture,” Andy notes. “We were constantly saying things like, ‘It seems like email enquiries are going up, so let’s put more advisors on email.’ We were just reacting, never really getting the chance to be strategic and proactive, to make sure we were always providing an outstanding customer experience.”
The Key Ingredients for an Improved Customer Care Operation
With the integrated Unified Communications and Contact Centre solution from RingCentral, now the whole business can use the same platform with the flexibility of having different licences for different roles helping to save costs.
Andy’s team also managed to resolve those issues facing the customer care team. The most significant improvement, he explains, resulted from being able to pull all the team’s traffic channels into a unified platform—and even add a new channel while they were at it.
“Now we have all of our advisors using a single environment for customer phone calls, emails, faxes, and online chat, which we hadn’t used before,” says Andy. “Contact Centre gives us so much more control and flexibility. We can allow advisors to engage in multiple chats concurrently, we can prioritize chats over emails—the efficiencies we’ve gained from that feature alone are amazing.”
The reporting and analytics also helps drive optimization and ultimately save costs as Andy reflects “Our managers can now monitor everything that’s happening in real time or analyse the stats later.
“This gives us clarity to focus on what the core contact reasons from the customer are—enabling us to automate and reduce customer contacts where possible to improve the agent and customer experience.
“Testament to the success we’ve had from this is that now just 10% of our customers contact us monthly, that’s a 30% reduction on where we were previously.”
“Without RingCentral’s partnership, we probably would have needed double the contact centre we’ve got but we’re handling three to four times as many interactions with the same number of agents.” Andy Williams, Director of Clinical and Customer Care.
The Ideal Call Centre Solution for a Pandemic
If the decision to migrate Pharmacy2U’s customer care department to RingCentral Contact Centre was a good one three years ago, it had to appear downright brilliant by March 2020.
Because the cloud-based solution let the team’s support advisors log in to call queues from anywhere, using any device, Andy’s team was able to transition the staff home without any trouble, even though the company had no history of remote work.
“We decided to move about 90% of the customer care staff home, and we were able to do it seamlessly because of RingCentral Contact Centre,” he says.
And when his team decided to make a major change in the staff’s home-based workstations, Andy points out that RingCentral proved a helpful partner.
“We originally sent everyone home not just with laptops but also desk phones that we purchased from RingCentral,” he says.
“But when we realized our advisors could log into Contact Centre from the softphone app on their laptops, RingCentral let us return the physical phones right away, and didn’t stick us with a long-term bill. That’s the type of thing few companies do, and it’s what makes RingCentral a great partner.”
Following this success, Andy is confident of a flexible working approach going forward.
“We are looking forward to having employees back in the office but will continue to operate a hybrid model to allow employees to be at home for a few days a week, which we never would have thought was possible without the service we have with RingCentral.”
With Pharmacy2U becoming a key part in the vaccination drive across the UK, RingCentral has also helped enable the organization to keep up with the rapid pace of change.
As Andy says, “Our vaccination sites are temporary and often move location—having a flexible cloud-based communications solution enables us to meet demand without the need for hardwire engineering each time.”
“The auto dialler is fantastic for broadcasting important messages to thousands of customers at once. We’ve used it to send updates about medications in the past. But with COVID, it proved invaluable at helping us relay key information to our customers without having to dial them one at a time.” Andy Williams, Director of Clinical and Customer Care.