Increasing The Value Of Your Refill Reminder Call

The other day, I got a refill reminder call from my pharmacy. The call came to my home number and simply stated that your prescription is ready.

Thanks…BUT what prescription. Mine? My wife’s? My kid’s?

If mine, was it the one I stopped taking? Or was it the second fill or an anti-biotic that we switched since it wasn’t working?

Did they even have the right phone number? (They never said anyone’s name in the message.)

I was confused and annoyed. I don’t think this type of message is helpful.

IMHO…the ideal refill reminder call should be something like the following:

  • This is pharmacy X calling for George Van Antwerp. Please have him call us back.
  • Thanks for calling back in. Please enter (or say) your prescription number or date of birth.
  • We have a prescription for drug X ready to refill for you. Will you be coming to pick it up in the next 2 days?
  • (If no) Do you intend to refill it?
    • (If no) Why not? (and then address the barrier)
    • (If yes) When should we call you back to remind you?

This would minimize me calling the pharmacy to follow-up on the call. It would cut down on abandonment. It would also address adherence by capturing and addressing any barriers in the interactive call.  [Of course, you have to manage HIPAA and several other constraints to achieve this, but it is possible.]

Creating an interactive and effective communication is the type of work we do at Silverlink (campaign design, scripting, segmentation, behavioral economics, communication execution, analytics). Like many others, we’re seeing refill reminders move from blast calls to interactive calls and expanding to SMS, mobile apps, and e-mail. Ultimately, it’s about figuring out the patient’s preference and the right way to “nudge” them to refill at the lowest cost per success. And, it works. You can see more at our adherence site – https://adherence.silverlink.com.

  • What voice should you use?
  • When should you call?
  • Should you e-mail then call?
  • Should you call then send a text?
  • Should you talk about their condition and stress the value of adherence?
  • What’s important to the patient about being adherent?
  • What is their previous pattern of refills?
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