Despite all of the changes in the health care industry, customer satisfaction with pharmacies has remained relatively stable, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Pharmacy Study. Pharmacy‰Ûªs Focus on Customer Satisfaction Sets the Bar for the Healthcare Industry. Pharmacy satisfaction is highest among the health care industry service providers ‰ÛÒ which is good for both patients and business.

The study, now in its ninth year, measures customer satisfaction with brick and mortar‰ÛÓwhich includes chain drug stores, mass merchandisers and supermarkets‰ÛÓand 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 2 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.

‰ÛÏThe health care industry has undergone tremendous changes in recent years, and more changes are coming, so stable customer satisfaction with pharmacies is very positive,‰Û said Rick Johnson, director of the health care practice at J.D. Power. ‰ÛÏPharmacies 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.‰Û

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff play a critical role in customer satisfaction. The study finds that the simple step of asking customers if they would like to speak with a pharmacist causes overall satisfaction to improve by 54 points. In addition, when customers perceive their conversations are handled with discretion and a private area for discussions is provided, satisfaction improves 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 ‰ÛÏstrongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy,‰Û only 35% of those who do not speak with a pharmacist say the same.

KEY FINDINGS

  • 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.
  • Among customers who use health testing and wellness services at their pharmacy, 63% indicate they ‰ÛÏdefinitely will‰Û recommend their pharmacy and 46% ‰ÛÏstrongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy.‰Û Among customers who do not use health testing and wellness services at the pharmacy, only 55% ‰ÛÏdefinitely will‰Û recommend their pharmacy and 37% ‰ÛÏstrongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy.‰Û
  • Offering health services can increase purchases of non-prescription items, as 60% of customers who use these services buy other merchandise at the pharmacy, while only 37% customers who don‰Ûªt use health services do so.
  • A majority (91%) of customers of brick-and-mortar pharmacies receive their prescription when or before promised.
  • Satisfaction for mail order and brick and mortar customers combined declines by 38 points when customers run out of medication before a refill is available.

In the mail order segment, Humana Pharmacy (875) ranks highest, followed by Kaiser Permanente Mail Pharmacy (866) and Express Scripts (824).

Rankings In the brick and mortar segment, Good Neighbor Pharmacy (876) ranks highest among chain drug store pharmacies, followed by Health Mart (871) and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy (861). Target (858) ranks highest among mass merchandiser pharmacies, followed by Sam‰Ûªs Club (847) and Meijer (842). Wegmans (887) ranks highest among supermarket pharmacies, followed by Publix (871) and H-E-B (866).

The 2015 U.S. Pharmacy Study is based on responses from 14,914 pharmacy customers who filled a new prescription or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period. The study was fielded in May and June 2015.

According to AudienceSCAN, 8.4% of U.S. adults get most of their prescriptions (for themselves or family) filled by mail order. 49% of this audience lives in a suburban area. 34% of mail orderers primarily use regular cell/mobile phones (not smartphones), so don’t waste your time with mobile ads or push notifications. 8.6% think TV is the best medium for health/medical information, but a close 8.3% think magazines are. No doubt they are checking their mailboxes: 60% took action after receiving ads/coupons in the mail.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.