JP POWER Rx customer satisfaction survey released

Independents come in first AGAIN and mail order slipped even lower than last year….

J.D. Power news release:

“Satisfaction among customers using mail order pharmacies to fill their prescriptions continues to decline, falling significantly below customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies…

“Overall satisfaction with mail order pharmacies averages 792 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2012, which is 22 points below the average overall satisfaction score for brick and mortar pharmacies this year, and 14 points lower than in 2011. The brick and mortar segment includes chain drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchandisers. This marks the second consecutive year of significant declines in customer satisfaction with mail order pharmacies. In contrast, overall satisfaction with brick and mortar pharmacies has held steady year over year, with an average score of 814 in 2012, a slight decrease from 818 in 2011.”

It is important to note that leading the “chain drug stores” segment is Health Mart with a score of 848 on that 1,000-point scale. Good Neighbor Pharmacy and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy rank second in a tie with a score of 843 each. All three, of course, are independently owned and operated and many are our members. The average for the chain drug store brick and mortar segment was 799.

The average in customer satisfaction for mail order was 792. Medco came in at 780, Express Scripts at 775, and Caremark at 763. “The study finds only a slight increase in the proportion of customers who indicate they are required to use mail ordering for repeat or maintenance prescriptions, compared with 2011 (42% vs. 41%, respectively),” the release said. “However, overall satisfaction among customers who elect to use mail order pharmacies is significantly higher than among those who are required to use them (810 vs. 768, respectively). In addition, satisfaction with the cost competitiveness of mail order pharmacies among customers who are not required to use them is 773, compared with 714 among mandatory customers.”

This is the sixth year of the study. It is based on responses from 12,700 pharmacy customers who filled a prescription during the three months prior to July and August 2012, when the survey went into the field.

For brick and mortar pharmacies customer satisfaction is measured on the prescription ordering and pick-up process; store; cost competitiveness; non-pharmacist staff; and pharmacist. For mail order the measurements are cost competitiveness; prescription delivery; prescription ordering; and customer service.

“The erosion in customer satisfaction with mail order pharmacies may foretell challenges to their business model, as prior to 2011 customer satisfaction was more equivalent to the brick and mortar experience,” said Rick Millard, senior director of the health care practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Acceptance of mail order programs grew by offering customers convenience and lower costs. While this has been a successful approach, the mail order business needs to continue to adapt to meet customers’ increasing expectations.”

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