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Supporting vulnerable customers in the pharmacy

Working in a pharmacy, you are going to face vulnerable customers in store on a daily basis. Some customers know exactly what they need in store and it is a matter of fulfilling their prescriptions or purchasing over the counter products. Others may seem hesitant, nervous and need a little more help. This can certainly be the case for individuals looking to purchase a pregnancy or fertility test. Our tips aim to help you through a scenario where you meet a vulnerable customer, female or male, seeking help with pregnancy products.


Respect their privacy

Each individual is different. Some are more open than others about purchasing a pregnancy or fertility test, whilst some may seem distressed and even reluctant to ask about what they need. Respecting their privacy is essential, and their body language and behaviour will give you a gage on how much attention they want from you in store. Talk to them quietly and on a one-to-one basis, to avoid attention from other customers, and personally guide them towards the relevant products or even bring the products you recommend over to them at the till.



We do not know each individual’s situation or circumstances. Vulnerability cannot be defined by age, or limited to females only, as a male could be just as likely to come in to purchase a pregnancy or fertility test for another person. If a customer is visibly distressed, you should demonstrate empathy and compassion throughout their visit, and recognise the boundaries of your discussion. Be available to listen and show willing that we understand their emotions and can help them towards their moment of clarity. By showing no judgement we can make them feel more relaxed in the pharmacy environment.



The uncertainty of a pending pregnancy result can be very overwhelming. What to do next following clarity, will be on the individual’s mind. Sharing resources with them to consider their options may help to put them at ease. Every Early Bird Swift pregnancy test comes with a key information leaflet about pregnancy, contraception, relationships and sex. It also shares contact information for organisations and charities who can help people confidentially.

If you meet a customer of whom you are genuinely concerned for their welfare, confide in another member of staff and if necessary, contact the emergency services.

The advisory information supplied in our leaflets is also available here:


Vulnerable customers

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