Pharmacies Continue to Drive High Levels of Customer Satisfaction


Even as market disruptors such as Amazon raise concerns, pharmacies prove that the services they provide yield valuable patient experiences.

The pharmacy industry continues to deliver high levels of customer satisfaction through the services they provide, according to the JD Power 2018 US Pharmacy Study.

The US Pharmacy Study measures customer satisfaction with their pharmacy experience across major chain drug stores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, and mail-order pharmacies. The findings can help pharmacies identify critical factors that enhance consumer experience and optimize pharmacist impact, according to JD Power.

With organizations such as Amazon emerging as disruptors in the health care space, pharmacies must look to set themselves apart from their competitors. In June, Amazon announced its jump into the mail-order market with the acquisition of online pharmacy startup PillPack. With its previous purchase of Whole Foods, the online retail giant could enter the brick-and-mortar arena as well.

“The retail pharmacy business has been in the spotlight ever since Amazon announced in June 2018 that it’s getting into the space,” Greg Truex, senior director and health care practice leader at JD Power, said in a press release. “Amazon, or any other organization looking to disrupt the $100 billion US mail order pharmacy market, will have their work cut out for them.”

The 2018 study shows that retail pharmacy businesses continue to shine when it comes to engaging patient-centric services that drive satisfaction. The results are based on responses from 10,749 pharmacy customers who filled a prescription during the 3 months prior to the survey period of May to June 2018.

According to the findings, the average customer satisfaction score for brick-and-mortar pharmacies and mail-order compared favorably with other high-scoring industries, such as direct banks, property and casualty insurance companies, and full-service investment advisors. Brick-and-mortar pharmacies scored 847 on a 1000-point scale, mail-order scored 857, and supermarkets scored highest among pharmacy segments with 863.

Health and wellness services were reported as a key driver of overall customer satisfaction among brick-and-mortar pharmacies. According to the study, the availability of these services was associated with a 66-point improvement in overall satisfaction, and such services are currently present in 86% of chain drug stores, 83% of supermarket pharmacies, and 75% of mass merchandiser pharmacies.

For mail-order pharmacies, on-time delivery emerged as a priority for consumers. According to the study, delivering prescriptions on time was associated with a 78-point increase in overall customer satisfaction. An additional 42 points for overall customer satisfaction were reported for prescriptions received within 5 days of completing an order.

The study highlights friendly, engaging service as a major contributor to customer satisfaction as well. For brick-and-mortar pharmacies, being greeted in a friendly manner by non-pharmacist staff was associated with a 64-point increase in satisfaction. In the mail-order segment, a “thank you” from pharmacist staff resulted in a 17-point increase in satisfaction.

The study also ranked the pharmacy business in each segment with the highest customer satisfaction.

  • Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranked highest overall among brick-and-mortar chain drug stores with a score of 903. Health Mart (860) ranked second and Rite Aid Pharmacy (846) ranked third.
  • Sam’s Club ranked highest overall among brick-and-mortar mass merchandiser pharmacies with a score of 892. Costco (860) ranked second and CVS/pharmacy inside Target (859) ranked third.
  • Wegmans ranked highest overall among brick-and-mortar supermarket pharmacies with a score of 906. H-E-B (897) ranked second and Publix (891) ranked third.
  • Humana Pharmacy ranked highest overall in mail-order with a score of 885. Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy (866) ranked second and Express Scripts (862) ranked third.

As health care delivery continues to transform, pharmacies must ensure that their services are driving an enhanced patient experience.


US Pharmacies Raise Bar for Customer Satisfaction, Setting Stage for Fierce Competition in Digital/Mail Order Market, JD Power Finds [news release]. JD Power’s website. Accessed August 30, 2018

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