Although mail-order pharmacies once held a customer satisfaction advantage over brick and mortar pharmacies — primarily due to perceived cost competitiveness — satisfaction with brick and mortar pharmacies continues to increase at a faster pace, according to a new study from J.D. Power.
- Although customer satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies improves to 797 index points on a 1,000-point scale in 2013, up from 792 in 2012, satisfaction with brick and mortar pharmacies increases by 23 points during the same time period, now averaging 837 points.
- While mail order had a seven-point advantage in perceived cost competitiveness over brick and mortar in 2011, in 2013 it is at a 20-point disadvantage in the cost factor.
- The percentage of customers who indicate refilling prescriptions at a brick and mortar pharmacy has increased to 61% in 2013—up from 58% three years ago.
"For the most part, the widening gap in satisfaction has more to do with improved satisfaction in the brick and mortar segment than declining satisfaction in mail order," said Scott Hawkins, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power. "For mail-order pharmacies, it's important to combine high-tech with high-touch. Not only does the online experience need to keep technological pace with other retail sites that pharmacy customers visit, but customer service opportunities that provide personal connections are essential as well."
In the brick and mortar segment, Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranks highest among chain drug store pharmacies; Target ranks highest among mass merchandiser pharmacies; and Publix ranks highest among supermarket pharmacies. In the mail-order segment, Kaiser Permanente Mail Pharmacy ranks highest.[Source: "2013 U.S. Pharmacy Study." J.D. Power. 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 Oct. 2013.]