If Your Patients are Grumpy on Sundays and Happy on Thursdays, That May be Usual

March 6, 2017

If your patients are grumpy on Sundays and happy on Thursdays, you may not be alone.

A new study finds that your customers are probably happiest on Thursdays and grumpiest on Sundays.

The study, conducted by HappyOrNot, found that customer satisfaction is higher on weekdays, and then drops lower on the weekends. While Thursday brought the highest levels of customer satisfaction, Friday is the best day in terms of patient satisfaction and the number of customers served, while Sunday is the worst day with the lowest number of customers and lowest customer satisfaction rate.

The study collected data from 136 pharmacies across the world and used 5.2 million patient satisfaction feedbacks, and provides valuable insight for pharmacists looking to both understand and increase levels of customer satisfaction. The pharmacies were located in Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Canada. Over 50 of the pharmacies were located in the United States, but the results were consistent from country to country.

Up next: What you can learn from this feedback

 

To collect the data, feedback terminals from HappyOrNot were used. These wireless terminals transmit data via SIM card to a database, and are generally placed in an easy-to-spot part of the store. They contain only four buttons: smiley or frowny faces designed to allow the customer to quickly and easily indicate their level of satisfaction with their visit that day. The data can then be analyzed by the pharmacy owner. HappyOrNot has been used by over 3000 organizations in more than 100 countries to provide tens of millions of feedback responses, and they serve both small clients and large clients such as

HappyOrNotTerminal Source:happy-or-not.comMcDonald’s and Ikea

The problem for many pharmacists attempting to collect customer satisfaction surveys was the relatively low feedback response rate. In one example, a pharmacy used written surveys around the store as their means of gauging customer satisfaction, but received very few responses, and mainly negative ones.

Related article: Health Mart, Publix pharmacies top customer-satisfaction rankings

However, the data provided by HappyOrNot was surprising to many pharmacists, according to Johnelee Dizon, Marketing Director, Americas for HappyOrNot. Pharmacists were “surprised about the feedback, because they don’t usually hear from satisfied customers,” and hear mainly from people with negative experiences, which leads many to believe their customer satisfaction is lower. The key to the HappyOrNot data is the simplicity of their feedback terminal, designed to maximize the number of customers-both happy and unhappy-that respond.

Overall satisfaction for pharmacies was very high. HappyOrNot found that the benchmark for customer satisfaction in retail stores overall is 85%, but it is much higher in pharmacies-94.6%. This is because “the expectation is higher [for the] level of service that pharmacies provide” said Dizon. Customers have high expectations for a pharmacy, but it appears that these expectations are, overall, being met in most pharmacies.

Related article: Interaction with pharmacist key to patient satisfaction: J.D. Power study

The data also show that in 2016, customer satisfaction steadily increased month by month­-with a brief dip from May through July-from 88.8% to 94.1%.

What do these data mean for pharmacists?

 Though customer satisfaction rates do seem to be consistently high in pharmacies, they can always be higher, and more customers can always be served.

For pharmacies with high levels of customer satisfaction, the “common denominator was if they had the culture of customers-first attitude” said Dizon. This attitude “reflected in their customer satisfaction scores.” Simply being willing to adopt this customer-first posture helped many pharmacies increase their customer satisfaction over time.

 

Barry Klein, RpH, MS Pharmacy Management President of Klein’s Pharmacy and Medical Equipment Company in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, OH, said in an interview that he is always looking to improve customer satisfaction in his stores because “customer satisfaction is so important to any retail business.”

The biggest driver in increasing customer satisfaction for Klein was his staff members being more aware of customer satisfaction levels. “The most important thing for the staff is that customer service is always being monitored” he said. He stressed that because the staff members knew that customer satisfaction was being constantly monitored, they were more focused on providing an excellent customer experience. He said that if any of his stores drop below 90% satisfaction, the manager of that store is responsible for looking into what went wrong that week and what can be improved.

Read more: Pharmacy staff can impact retail pharmacy experience

He says that the data is valuable because it allows his staff and managers to track it down to days or even hours to pinpoint what needs to be improved at very specific times. He added that it was because of the anonymity of the feedback terminal that he received enough responses to make the data valuable.

However, as Dizon stressed, a customer-first attitude does not imply an employee-last attitude. Rather, “employee satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with customer satisfaction.” This is true regardless of profession.

“Engaged employees create engaged customers,” Rhett Majoria, RPh, Co-owner and Chief Pharmacist of the Majoria Drugs chain in Louisiana said. “At the store level, the presence of feedback terminals made everyone more aware of their interactions with customers, especially since we post the weekly results on our staff board and discuss results in our meetings. Also, any time we hit 100% in customer satisfaction, we email the staff and it serves as a ‘great job’ dopamine hit!”

Related article: How to Deal with an Angry Customer

Klein echoed this sentiment as well. He started a competition with his stores to see which store could achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction, and once a quarter the highest store wins a prize, like choosing a place to all go out together.

In addition to employing a customer-first attitude, HappyOrNot made a series of recommendations for pharmacists to increase customer satisfaction. When looking to increase customer satisfaction, consider factors like:

  • Staff friendliness

  • Wait time

  • Having knowledgeable and informative staff

  • Readiness of medication or its generic brand

  • Ease of refill

  • Cost competitiveness

  • Wellness center or preventive care options

So what should pharmacists take away from this? Founder and CEO of HappyOrNot, Heikki Väänänen summed it up: “Many of our clients acknowledge that measuring, tracking, and improving customer experiences is a worthy goal as it boosts loyalty, drives higher conversions and, ultimately, increases revenue.”

 “They also realize that in order to improve quality, increase market share, optimize service, they must align all aspects of the organization in an effort to improve and manage performance.”