As employers contemplate their benefits offerings for 2016, they may want to look to local pharmacies for help in boosting employee satisfaction with their wellness benefits.

Customer satisfaction with pharmacies has remained relatively stable year over year, according to a J.D. Power survey of U.S. pharmacies released Monday, and one of the key satisfaction drivers is the availability of health testing and wellness services.

“As employers are thinking about things like vouchers for flu vaccines or some of the other types of access that they can grant their employees, mak[e] sure that they haven’t limited that type of access to a doctor’s office,” says Rick Johnson, director of the health care practice at J.D. Power. “For certain things, making sure that the employees can get those services taken care of at a pharmacy would make a lot of sense.”

Also see: Employers add drug plan tiers to address proliferation of specialty drugs

The study, now in its ninth year, measures customer satisfaction with brick and mortar — which includes chain drug stores, mass merchandisers and supermarkets — and mail order pharmacies. Satisfaction with brick and mortar pharmacies is measured across five factors: prescription ordering; store; cost competitiveness; non-pharmacist staff; and pharmacist. Satisfaction with mail order pharmacies is measured across four factors: cost competitiveness; prescription delivery; prescription ordering process; and customer service experience. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Overall satisfaction with supermarket pharmacies improves to 851 in 2015, up from 843 in 2014, while satisfaction with chain drug store pharmacies improves by two points to 842. Satisfaction with mail order pharmacies drops by two points to 820, and satisfaction with mass merchandiser pharmacies drops to 822 from 830. 

Among customers who use health testing and wellness services at their pharmacy, 63% indicate they “definitely will” recommend their pharmacy and 46% “strongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy.” Among customers who do not use health testing and wellness services at the pharmacy, only 55% “definitely will” recommend their pharmacy and 37% “strongly agree they feel loyal to their pharmacy.”

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