The pharmacy business has become very competitive of late with the rise of discount chemists across Australia. Has quality of service been forgotten in the pharmaceutical price wars? Consumers certainly think so when it comes to pharmacy chains. In a recent survey conducted by Canstar Blue, Blooms the Chemist came out on top amongst the eight major pharmacy chains.
News.com.au’s Frank Chung broke the story on the 17th of July, 2015:
“Consumer research company Canstar Blue’s survey of nearly 3000 Australians has revealed customer service is by far the key driver of pharmacy satisfaction, with 31 per cent listing it as the most important factor. Value for money (17 per cent) was a distant second consideration, followed by availability of a pharmacist (16 per cent), range of health products (14 per cent), advice provided (13 per cent) and range of beauty products (5 per cent).”
Low prices don’t seem to be winning the hearts of consumers. Budget chemist Chemist Warehouse ranked 7th and Terry White Chemist has been stung with a last place ranking (11th) amongst consumers.
On average, the weight-loss-made-famous pharmacy chain giant received an average of 3 out of 5 stars from shoppers:
“Terry White was rated the lowest out of all 11 pharmacy chains, scoring three stars in all eight categories. Soul Pattinson, Priceline, My Chemist and Chemist Warehouse also received lacklustre star ratings for overall satisfaction.”
Another discount retailer managed to gain third place, so what makes a great pharmacy? Apparently it is about balance:
“… Canstar Blue head Megan Doyle. “A lot of factors come into play when you visit your local pharmacy and if any of them are lacking, customers are going to be disappointed. Striking the perfect balance between quality products, great service and advice, and pharmacist availability, is the challenge facing the big pharmacy chains.”
While younger and less financially equipped consumers may be satisfied with less service in exchange for lower prices, the survey highlights that quality customer service is still important to a majority of shoppers.