WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Despite the numerous changes occurring in the health care industry, customer satisfaction with pharmacies remains relatively stable, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Pharmacy Study.
The study, in its ninth year, measures customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar — which includes chain drug stores, discounters and supermarkets — and mail-order pharmacies. Satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies is measured across five factors: prescription ordering; store; cost competitiveness; non-pharmacist staff; and pharmacist. Satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies is measured across four factors: cost competitiveness; prescription delivery; prescription ordering process; and customer service experience. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Overall satisfaction with supermarket pharmacies improves to 851 in 2015, up from 843 in 2014, while satisfaction with chain drug store pharmacies improves by two points to 842. Satisfaction with mail order pharmacies drops by 2 points to 820, and satisfaction with mass merchandiser pharmacies drops to 822 from 830.
“The health care industry has undergone tremendous changes in recent years, and more changes are coming, so stable customer satisfaction with pharmacies is very positive,” said Rick Johnson, director of the health care practice at J.D. Power. “Pharmacies serve as a benchmark for other entities in the health care ecosystem, as they continue to have the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the health care industry, demonstrating that focusing on customer satisfaction is good for both patients and businesses.”
In the brick-and-mortar segment, Good Neighbor Pharmacy (876) ranks highest among chain drug store pharmacies, followed by Health Mart (871) and Medicine Shoppe International Inc. (861). Target Corp. (858) ranks highest among mass merchandiser pharmacies, followed by Sam’s Club (847) and Meijer Inc. (842). Wegmans Food Markets Inc. (887) ranks highest among supermarket pharmacies, followed by Publix Super Markets Inc. (871) and H-E-B (866).
In the mail order segment, Humana Pharmacy (875) ranks highest, followed by Kaiser Permanente Mail Pharmacy (866) and Express Scripts (824).
The study finds that the simple step of asking customers whether they would like to speak with a pharmacist causes overall satisfaction to improve by 54 points. Also, when customers perceive their conversations are handled with discretion and a private area for discussions is provided, satisfaction rises by 99 points.
Moreover, customers who speak with a pharmacist are significantly more likely to purchase other items from the pharmacy and demonstrate higher loyalty rates: While 44% of customers who speak with a pharmacist “strongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy,” only 35% of those who do not speak with a pharmacist say the same.
On average, customers of brick-and-mortar pharmacies pay $23 out of pocket for prescriptions in 2015, up slightly from $22 in 2014. Customers of mail-order pharmacies pay an average of $32 for out-of-pocket prescription costs, down from $35 in 2014.