November 25, 2020
Patients who feel like they are receiving great customer service are more likely to become repeat visitors at your pharmacy. And they’re more likely to spread the word, recruiting more patients through your doors.
But what makes customer service so great? You can talk to patients while they are in the store, or read online reviews to get a general sense of what people are saying about you. You might hope that if you train your pharmacy staff to be friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful, that patients will naturally approve of your customer service, but if you want to make customer service one of your key performance indicators, you have to find a way to quantify it.
These metrics can help you track your patients’ overall satisfaction with the service at your pharmacy, whether you’re gaining or losing patients, and whether your products and services are easy to use.
One of the best metrics for measuring how satisfied your patients are with your products and services is the Net Promoter Score, or NPS. Finding out your pharmacy’s NPS is simple: you just have to ask your patients how likely they are to recommend the pharmacy to friends and family on a scale of 0 to 10.
Patients who rate your pharmacy highly — a 9 or 10 — are considered promoters. They are your most loyal patients and will do the heavy lifting when it comes to spreading the good word about your pharmacy.
Those who give a rating of 7 or 8 are considered passives. They probably won’t say anything bad about your pharmacy, but they probably aren’t actively promoting it.
People who give a rating of 6 or below are categorized as detractors.” They either aren’t that impressed with the service they received at your pharmacy and might spread those negative thoughts around.
To find your net promoter score, you take your “promoters” and “detractors” and plug them into this formula:
Net Promoter Score = Percentage of Promoters – Percentage of Detractors
You’ll end up with a result between -100 and 100. A negative score means that more people are unhappy with your service than happy with it, and the opposite means you have more satisfied patients than dissatisfied ones.
Your NPS is a straightforward metric that is easy to communicate to staff members and measure over time as you aim to improve your customer service.
The CSAT — or customer satisfaction score — is another straightforward metric you can use to measure how happy pharmacy patients are with the service they received.
Like the NPS, you measure the CSAT by asking patients a single question, but unlike the NPS, you can tailor the question to specific issues. So, “One a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with the process of getting a flu shot?” Or, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with the wait times at our pharmacy?”
Then, you’ll plug patients’ responses into this formula:
Customer Satisfaction Score = (Sum of All Scores / Sum of Maximum Possible Scores) x 100
The higher the result, the more satisfied with your customer service your patients are.
The CSAT is a great metric for measuring whether specific services and products your pharmacy offers are helping patients the way they are intended to.
On the flip side, because it’s only addressing one specific factor of pharmacy service, it’s not the best overall measure of customer satisfaction. If you’re wanting to get the big picture on customer satisfaction, the Net Promoter Score is still the best measure that.
If your products and services are difficult to use, that could decrease overall customer satisfaction and deter them from visiting your pharmacy. That’s where a customer effort score comes in.
When patients use a specific product or service, like your pharmacy app or drive-thru window, ask them how easy it was to get what they needed on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being very difficult and 5 being very easy.
There’s no special formula for this score, just collect scores and take an average. If your average score is low, then it’s a sign that you should ask patients more questions to figure out what’s tripping them up. Then, streamline the process and perform another customer effort survey to see if your score went up.
For your pharmacy to stay profitable, it needs to keep growing, so keeping track of your churn rate can help you know whether or not you’re retaining your patient base.
Churn rate measures whether you’re losing patients over time, so it’s important to assess it regularly, like on a month-to-month basis. Here’s how you calculate it:
Churn Rate = [(Number of Patients at Beginning of Month – Number of Patients at End of Month) / Number of Patients at Beginning of Month] x 100
With churn rate, a higher number means you’re losing patients, while a negative number means you’re gaining patients.
If you have a loyalty program for your patients, you can mine it for important information about your patients and their satisfaction with the loyalty program and your pharmacy.
The loyalty redemption rate measures the rate at which loyalty points are being redeemed, which tells you how engaged patients are with the program. If they see your loyalty program (and by extension, your pharmacy) as valuable, they will redeem points at a higher rate.
Measure your loyalty redemption rate using this formula:
Redemption Rate = (Number of Points Redeemed / Number of Points Issued) x 100
According to research by smile.io, an average loyalty program has a redemption rate of 13.67 percent. If your redemption rate is below that, you can improve participation by introducing more ways to earn points, making your rewards more enticing, or reminding patients to use them when they shop.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The member-owned company serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited (formerly VAWD) warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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