JD Powers & Associates released the results of its annual national pharmacy study emphasizing customers' cost issues. Of the 12,300 customers polled who had filled prescriptions during a three-month period prior to the survey, satisfaction was rated in chain stores, mass merchandising companies, supermarkets, and mail-order pharmacies. Ultimately the survey showed more savings in mail-order prescriptions, but customer service outweighed saving money.
Based on the study of consumers, highly satisfied customers generated $227.00 in additional prescription revenues. According to Jim Dougherty, director of the health care practice at JD Powers & Associates, "Customer service still trumps price even in an environment where cost has become increasingly important."
Value comes in service, and customers talk about their great experiences and their bad experiences; they share with everyone and either way we are all traveling billboards which can make a huge impact on any local brick and mortar business. Since pharmacies can be critical to lives of people, reliability and availability counts. People most likely will choose a pharmacy close to where they live or work since no one wants to trek across town if they're ill and need a prescription. Service hours are important; at least 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM and preferably be open similar hours on the weekends.
Consumers look for personal attention with insurance companies and co-payments; what's included in my plan, or what's not included. If a pharmacy accepts many different insurance companies, it's more likely a consumer will have an easier time should their own insurance company change. Even Medicare Part D needs to be interpreted at times with a knowledgeable customer service agent to figure out what plan works with what prescription. People with no insurance are just as concerned with customer service, since many pharmacies offer generic drugs at a very low price or offer price matching from one pharmacy to another. It's not always obvious and well-advertised, so the personal attention approach is desirable.
With the strict adherence to HIPAA compliance (right to privacy act), private consultations can avoid those "embarrassing" prescriptions and a client gets a private consultation. Yes, it's the friendly personal customer service people still choose when the pharmacy will call your insurance company or your doctor to clarify questions or dosage. Customers like to know the name of at least one pharmacist they deal with and can comfortably ask a pharmacist health questions without having to call their physicians.