Communicate Clearly To Your Customers Or Don’t Complain


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cvsI was out of town recently and received the SMS notification that my prescription was ready for pick up at CVS pharmacy.

I knew I wouldn’t be back to pick it up for over 7 days.

I learned this the hard way a few months ago where I simply figured CVS would keep my prescription there and I could pick it up at my convenience. On the 8th day however, they had put it back on the shelf and gave me attitude when I arrived to pick it up.

So, to avoid that situation again, I called and talked to the pharmacy, informing them that I would be there to pick it up on April 22nd. The person on the phone seemed rather busy and I almost felt like my call would just be swept under the table.

Flash forward to the 7th day, this morning, when I went to the store to pick it up.

The pharmacist locates my prescription and tilts her head while reading the note written in pen on the front of the bag:

Patient will pick up on Tuesday, 4/22.

She then looks at me and says with a smile, “WOW! You actually picked up your prescription on the day you said you would. Thank you!

I laugh and say, “Well, I learned the hard way recently and didn’t want to go through that again…

She replies, “Ah yeah, they shelved it, didn’t they? Sorry about that. But, thank you for calling and for picking it up on the date you said. You are one of the few that actually do this.

The remainder of my check out was her sharing stories of customers that don’t do this and then get very angry when their prescription wasn’t ready.

While I didn’t go into much detail, of course the customer service wheels began to spin in my mind.

If this is such a big problem and frustration for the CVS Pharmacy, why don’t they implement a policy to inform and empower their customers about the time frame? For example, they could:

  • Hang the policy on the wall in the store
  • Write out the policy on the prescription itself or their receipt to warn the customer for their next visit
  • Make a menu option on their call tree specifically for people who may need to do this
  • Implement customer empowerment as a part of every new customer “training” when they drop off their prescription for the first time at the store

There are many more ways that they can communicate this with their customers. Can you think of some?

Ultimately, without this policy, CVS fails in communicating with their customers, which just leads to angry people and frustrated employees.

CVS may not be able to change their time frame to keep prescriptions on the floor but they could at least communicate to their customers.

While yes, the customer should be responsible for this and own up to the date/time they specify for pick up or be mindful of the time frame, the time frame itself needs to be told to customers ahead of time. I didn’t ask the pharmacist about this during my visit but I may just do so next time I visit the store.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jenny Dempsey
Jenny is Consumer Experience Manager for Apeel Sciences and FruitStand with more than 15 years of customer service experience. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on


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