Will tech take the place of speaking with pharmacists face-to-face?
Customer satisfaction levels in the U.S. pharmacy industry are high and that is largely due to interactions with pharmacists, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Pharmacy Study released earlier this week.
“As technology companies promise to change the way Americans address their pharmacy needs, our data suggests that changing such entrenched behavior will be an uphill battle,” said Greg Truex, managing director of health intelligence at J.D. Power, in a statement.
“Customers enjoy visiting their brick-and-mortar pharmacy and they get a great deal of satisfaction from speaking directly with pharmacists,” said Mr. Truex. “However, the potential for technology disruption is there. Although the frequency of use of digital solutions is low, early adopters are showing high levels of satisfaction.”
Eighty-nine percent of customers report engaging in face-to-face interactions with pharmacists and staff. Those who use mail order pharmacies, while not speaking face-to-face with pharmacists, use email and chats and report similar levels of satisfaction with those engagements.
The study found that only about 20 percent of pharmacy customers make use of mobile apps. Those who do, however, report satisfaction levels as much as 23 points higher than those who do not.
The number of topics covered in interactions with pharmacies is a key indicator of customer satisfaction levels, according to the 12,000+ people who participated in the study. Satisfaction levels are above 940 (on a scale to 1,000) when four or more topics are discussed, while that number drops to 917 based on two and 884 on one.
The J.D. Power study found that Good Neighbor Pharmacy (914), Health Mart (893) and Rite Aid (865) ranked highest for customer satisfaction among drugstore chains based on a scale of one to 1,000.
Sam’s Club (890), Costco (879) and CVS/pharmacy inside Target (869) were the top three chains for mass merchandiser pharmacies.
Wegmans (915) was tops among supermarkets and pharmacies overall. Publix (897) and Winn-Dixie (896) also graded out well among consumers.
Mail order pharmacies received high marks, as well, with Humana Pharmacy (900), Kaiser Permanente (886) and OptumRX (869) leading the way.
- Pharmacy Customers Slow to Adopt Digital Offerings but Satisfaction Increases When They Do, J.D. Power Finds – J.D. Power
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the need for face-to-face interactions with pharmacists and pharmacy staff will increase or decrease in the future as pharmacies roll out a greater number of health services? In what ways do you expect technology to change how Americans interact with pharmacies in the years ahead?