Live Chat in Online Pharmacies: Benefits and Common Issues

If you're a regular customer from online pharmacies, you might have been assisted on a pharmacy's website through live chat support. Even though online pharmacies are one of the most recent sectors of eCommerce, they are already one of the sectors with greater legal restrictions. The legitimacy of an online pharmacy is one of the biggest concerns from customers buying online.

Task for the online pharmacies to communicate this legitimacy and trustworthiness to their visitors. Live chat can be a useful tool for online pharmacies to increase both their sales as well as their customer satisfaction. Let's take a look at the workings of live chat in this booming industry.

1. Typical questions/chats in online pharmacies

One of the main benefits of answering questions about products in an online pharmacy vs answering them in an offline one, is that you have more time to look up the exact answers. Next to that, by using standard responses you can strongly reduce the amount of human error in your communications. Furthermore, all conversations are documented and saved, so claims about faulty communications can easily be checked. These tend to be the recurring chat themes in online pharmacies:


Always indicated in the product description of course, but hearing it from a person reinforces the trust and memory. When something is not clear, direct feedback can be given. "So it says apply 3 times daily, do I have to apply it thickly?" "No, very thin is fine. And make sure your skin is dry when applying."

Side Effects and Risks

These are often added in the description of the product, but people feel more comfortable when hearing it from a real person. Or the customer has a special condition and wants to check whether this could have any additional effect. A quick knowledge database check allows the service operator to give a solid and calming response.

Combining Products

Mixing medicinal products is can be dangerous and have side effects not predicted beforehand. Explicit communication about these issues is very important. To make sure the product you are selling will be successful, customers might want to ask about its effect in combination with other products. Through live chat pharmacy agents can ask these sort of questions and quickly address customers pain points.

Advise on Medical Issues

A pharmaceutical support agent can never replace a doctor in terms of advice and expertise in the matter and specific disease of the patient. Nevertheless, agents are properly trained about the products being used and are generally knowledgeable about them. In some cases they are fully capable of addressing customers’ medical questions and provide some insightful advice.

However, it is important to keep in mind that not every subject should be discussed over the chat and boundaries related to medical opinion must be closely monitored.

2. General benefits of live chat for pharmaceutics

Earn Legitimacy

As previously mentioned, one of the main struggles for online pharmacies to stand out from the crowd is to become legitimate representatives. To do so, they don’t only need to check all the legal requirements but also gain customer’s respect and authority.

Live chat can be a tool used by online pharmacies to gain such customer legitimacy. From a customer point of view, the ability to speak directly to the agents, asking questions about the products or issues and obtaining - what may seem - truthful legitimate answers, in real-time and without leaving your webpage, is a great way to start building up on your website legitimacy.

Become Personal and increase trustworthiness

Still related to the previous point, after being seen by customers as a legitimate store, you need to start building up your trustworthiness in order to stand out from your competitors. Credibility includes being seen as a sector authority and someone whose customers turn to when they want to make up their minds about something.

Building up trust is a process that requires engaging with your customers in a personal relationship. They need to know you, know your product or service and be able to distinguish it from the others.

Live chat can address this by giving you the unique opportunity to reach out to anyone who is wandering around your website and invite them into a chat with you. This can evolve to a close relationship, improve customers trust and achieve higher credibility for your online store.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

If there is one thing customers hate more than having problems it is having to wait to see them fixed. Customers especially hate to wait when they are trying to reach companies via customer support channels - being your contact centre or your helpdesk.

With live chat you can react upon this issue by providing customers an instant answer to their questions, on-site and real-time. It makes a difference to be supported instantly and there is a direct reflection of instant support service on every online company’s sales.

Increase Support Productivity

During a chat, a live chat operator, in this case your pharmaceutical agent on duty, can do several other things while still keeping best standards in support. With Userlike’s productivity features such as macros, operators can substantially reduce the time it takes them to answer each customer, while also increasing the number of responded claims in less time.

Complementary Products Offered

Patients pain or problem can be fought using many different products. In fact, combining products can be one of the best ways to deal more effectively with a certain problem. During a chat, agents can try to understand customer’s trouble and recommend other products to complement their initial prescription. Another situation is the customer, for itself, pointing out additional problems he is experiencing and not related to the primary motive for coming to your website.

This simple opportunity to access more information about your customer allows you to increase your support possibilities but also your sales and revenues to a point where other technologies alone wouldn’t be able to.

If you own an online pharmacy and you are thinking about the possibility to integrate live chat, why not giving a try to our 14 Days Free Trial ? During this period you can see the results it brings by yourself and take your support to the next level.