Community pharmacies are people-pleasers: Roy Morgan

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Australia’s community pharmacies are people-pleasers, proving they know what customers want, says a spokesperson for Roy Morgan Research.

For the third consecutive year, Guardian Pharmacy took out the Chemist/Pharmacy of the Year title for 2014, with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 92%.

Snapping at its heels were Chemmart, which scored just over 91%, as well as Chemist Warehouse and Soul Pattinson (both just under 91%).

Considering that 10,000,000 Australians (more than half the population) made at least one purchase from a pharmacy in any given four weeks last year, these consistently high levels of satisfaction are especially noteworthy, says Roy Morgan.

While 58% of total chemist customers are women, they are not always more satisfied than their male counterparts. For example, Guardian’s female customers outnumber male shoppers by two to one, but a higher proportion of men were satisfied with the service they received: 94% vs 91%. Discount Drug Stores’ male customers also recorded higher satisfaction levels (88%) than women who shopped there (85%).


“They say you can’t please everyone all of the time, but Australian chemists come close,” says Roy Morgan group account director Angela Smith.

“Our final customer satisfaction results for pharmacies/chemists last year were generally in the upper-80s and above, testament to the high standards of this tightly regulated retail category.

“Guardian and Chemmart both promote their brand as having a strong focus on health services, advice and wellbeing. Their expert staff provide a level of personal engagement that would contribute to levels of satisfaction and trust among their customers.

“It’s intriguing to note that Guardian, whose customer base is only about one third male, satisfies this group more than its greater number of female shoppers, while Chemmart — which has a 40-60 split between men and women — has a higher satisfaction level among its larger, female customer-base.

“With its strategy of low prices and warehouse-style shop fronts, Chemist Warehouse is attracting more customers than ever (with visitation growing from 2,810,000 to 4,886,000 shoppers per average four weeks between 2010 and 2014) and it appears that they are doing well – keeping them happy.

“A wide range of cosmetics, as well as skincare and haircare products, not to mention in-store beauty advisors, has built Priceline’s reputation as a one-stop beauty shop. This is undoubtedly the reason for the chain’s particularly high satisfaction levels among its female shoppers. On the other hand, its sister brand Soul Pattinson has higher satisfaction among its male patrons.

“In this incredibly competitive market, it’s vital for chemists/pharmacies to know exactly who their customers are, and how to cater for their specific expectations, attitudes and preferences, or their satisfaction levels may suffer.”

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