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DSN webinar sizes up how retailers can deliver efficient, customer-friendly vaccination experience

The webinar with TTEC and LivePerson highlighted how retailers and pharmacies can leverage messaging and AI to deliver an effortless vaccination experience.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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How can retailers and pharmacies utilize messaging and AI to deliver an effortless, safe, and efficient vaccination experience? That was the topic of a webinar held Monday by Drug Store News, presented by TTEC and LivePerson. It featured Paul Ignasinski, TTEC senior vice president of consumer experience design and value engineering, as well as Adam Canter, LivePerson senior vice president of Americas. 

The full webinar can be viewed on-demand here.

Ignasinski and Canter said that customers are hungry for an efficient convenient way to get vaccinated and that retailers and pharmacies need to deliver better, more effective messaging, fill the information void, and provide education. They also need an efficient scheduling solution that is a safe, no-touch process for consumers.

“The right consumer experience is critical here,” said Ignasinki, who noted, that COVID will be with us for some time. “We see this as not a 2021 exercise," he said. "Our focus is on the longer-term, elegant solution-- we need to get the experience right.”

Canter said that while we are in a better place with regards to vaccine availability, there is an information void on the part of consumers. “There’s a challenge around the customer communication side," he said. "There’s a set of information consumers need to get at any given time. The benefit of messaging is that it’s an ongoing dialogue. It allows consumers to get that information, making sure when they have that intent to get the vaccine, they get the information, and it’s comfortable, accurate and they can act on it.”

Ignasinski advised retailers and pharmacies that ongoing education is key because consumers who are seeking vaccines, want to know many things, such as what has changed, what has developed, do they need a reminder for their second dose, are side effects being reported?

“When we think about the ideal vaccination experience, it needs to be built to scale. We saw in October, the vaccines were becoming a reality. We thought about it as no different from any other experience we deliver for any brand. It’s about being able to generate proactive awareness, for consumers to get appointment number one and then two. Awareness is critical in digital channels. People are on their phones all the time. We can generate proactive awareness, knowing when supply is coming, for people who registered, to get the vaccine," Ignasinki said.

Finally, Canter said that according to a survey last year, 85% of consumers wanted to use digital messaging channels to communicate with businesses. "Consumers of all ages are looking to have messaging channels to communicate with pharmacies, businesses, and hospitals. We’ve seen with pharmacies and healthcare providers, you can offer a solution that sends that SMS conversation. You press 5, and get SMS. You’re taking that consumer into a messaging experience. Once they got that information they will come back and use SMS as a channel of choice for the next piece of information."

Finally Canter said that AI in the automation component is key. "Leveraging automation to drive the prequestions consumers have, analyzing that data, understand the intent, were we able to resolve, how well did the conversation go? It's about building a rich automation experience, and enjoying that conversation and not having to call back in. It’s looking at what is the right phased approach to getting this set up. As you and the consumer get more comfortable with the channel, you can scale it up and make it more robust for consumers' needs," he said.