Survey: Target pharmacies beat competitors in customer satisfaction

By Maryalene LaPonsie on October 10th, 2011

Three minutes is the magic number for pharmacy customers. According to the 2011 U.S. National Pharmacy Study issued by J.D. Power and Associates, pharmacy customers expect to be served in less than three minutes. Any wait time longer than that is associated with a significant drop in customer satisfaction.

Fast service, personalized care

The 2011 study highlights a trend toward increased customer service in pharmacies across the nation. In particular, customer expectations for wait times have changed. While the 2010 study found customer satisfaction changed dramatically when wait times hit seven minutes, the 2011 study saw satisfaction impacted at the three-minute mark.

"Customers are expecting more from their brick-and-mortar pharmacy--not just in terms of wait time, but also in terms of contact with the pharmacist and pharmacy staff," says Rick Millard, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

Survey respondents who were able to talk with a pharmacist in a private area reported the highest levels of satisfaction.

Top pharmacies for customer satisfaction

As part of the survey, J.D. Power and Associates considered factors affecting service at brick-and-mortar as well as mail-order pharmacies. The results were then ranked on a 1,000-point scale.

Within the segment of mass merchandisers, Target came out on top for a fifth consecutive year. It earned a score of 846.

Publix, categorized in the supermarket segment, earned the top score in its segment and the overall highest ranking with a score of 867. Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Health Mark tied for the top pharmacies in the drug store segment with a score of 851.

Other high-scoring pharmacies include both national and regional chains:

  • Wegmans - 848
  • Sam's Club - 837
  • Costco - 834
  • Winn-Dixie - 834
  • Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy - 831

Customer satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies

Among mail-order pharmacies, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy was ranked highest in customer satisfaction for the third straight year with a score of 848. Humana RightSourceRX came in second with a score of 840, and Express Scripts was third at 813.

Overall, the study noted customer satisfaction for mail-order pharmacies had declined. This decline is largely attributed to reduced satisfaction with ordering and delivery.

"In an era when online retailers like Amazon and Zappos have set new standards for speed and convenience, customers are looking for more efficiency in their pharmacy transactions, as well," says Millard. "There's a clear opportunity for mail-order pharmacies to improve on the logistical aspects of the transaction."

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