Journal of Health and Medical Sciences
Published: 30 January 2021
Customers’ Perspectives of Service Quality in Community Pharmacies in Nigeria: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Maduabuchi R. Ihekoronye, Kanayo P. Osemene, Wilson O. Erhun, Margaret O. Afolabi
Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
Download Full-Text Pdf
Keywords: Customer Loyalty, Pharmacy Services, Quality Improvement, Service Quality, Nigeria
Background: There is a growing need to understand the determinants of service quality in community pharmacy from the viewpoint of customers. Objectives: The study explored customer perspectives of pharmacy services using quality indicators and proposed a path for quality improvement. Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was conducted on 704 conveniently selected customers of community pharmacies between August and October, 2019. The exit survey examined customer expectations compared to actual services received. Questionnaire items were drawn from service quality domains of reliability, assurance, tangibles, equity, and responsiveness. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize demographic characteristics of respondents. To explore gaps between expected and perceived service quality, each domain was subjected to a pairwise t-test. Results: Customers’ response rate was 91.2% (n = 642) while their mean age was 52.1±3.55 years. Majority 60% (n = 259) were females, 62.5% (n = 401) had spent five years or less as customers of individual pharmacies. There was significant gap between expected and perceived service quality (t =13.55, p = 0.047). Domains of responsiveness (t = 162.67, p = 0.004) and reliability (t = 27.96, p = 0.023) contributed significantly to this gap with responsiveness being disproportionately impactful. Conclusion: There was significant gap between customer expectations of responsiveness and reliability of pharmacy teams and service fulfilment. This demands improved willingness to prioritize customer needs, serving them promptly, accurately, and as promised.
Abu-Alhaija, A.S., Yusuf, R.N.R., Hashim, H. & Jaharuddin, N.S.(2018). Determinants of Customer Loyalty: A Review and Future Directions. Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Science, 12(7): 106-111. DOI: 10.22587/ajbas.2018.12.7.17
Al-Ali, M.H., Bazin, N.E.N. & Shamsuddin, S.M.(2015). Key determinants of customer satisfaction: Evidence from Malaysian grocery stores. Journal of Theoretical & Applied Information Technology, 74 (3): 286-299
Al-Mhasnah, A.M., Salleh, F., Afthanorhan, A. & Ghazali, P.L. (2018). The relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction among Jordanian healthcare sector. Magagement Science Letters, 8(12): 1413-1420; doi: 10.5267/j.msl.2018.10.003
Ascarza, E., Fader, P.S. & Hardie, B.G. (2017). Marketing models for the customer-centric firm. In Handbook of marketing decision models (pp. 297-329). New York: Springer
Aziz, M.M., Ji, W., Masood, I., Farooq, M., Malik, M.Z., Chang, J., Jiang, M., Atif, N. & Fang, Y. (2018). Patient satisfaction with community pharmacies services: A cross-sectional survey from Punjab, Pakistan. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health 15:2914; doi:10.3390/ijerph15122914
Batalden, P.B. & Davidoff, F. (2007). What is “quality improvement” and how can it transform healthcare? BMJ Quality & Safety 16: 2–3
Butt, M.M. & Cyril de Run, E. (2010). Private Healthcare Quality: Applying a SERVQUAL model. International Journal of Healthcare Quality Assurance 23(7): 658-673
Ghotbabadi, A.R., Feiz, S. & Baharun, R. (2015). Service quality measurements: A review. International Journal of Academic Research in Business & Social Sciences, 1: 267-286
Good Pharmacy Practice (2012). Joint FIP/WHO Guidelines on GPP: Standards for Quality of Pharmacy Services. International Pharmaceutical Federation, available online: accessed 10 July, 2019.
Gronroos, C. A (1984). Service Quality Model and its Marketing Implications, European Journal of Marketing, 18(4):36-44
Gurl, D., Blankart, K, & Stargardt, T.(2019). Service quality and perceived customer value in community pharmacies, Health Services Management Research, 32 (1): 36-48, doi.org/10.1177/0951484818761730
Harwood, T. & Garry, T. (2008). Relationship Marketing: Perspectives, Dimensions and Contexts (1st Ed.) Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education
Holdford, D. & Schulz, R. (1999). Effect of technical and functional quality on patient perceptions of pharmaceutical service quality. Pharmaceutical Research, 16:1344–1351
Ihekoronye, M.R., Osemene, K.P., Erhun, W.O. & Afolabi, M.O. (2020). Qualitative analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of professional services by community pharmacies in Nigeria. Journal of Health & Medical Sciences, 3(4): 437-448; doi: 10.31014/aior.1994.03.04.138
Jayaprakash, G., Rajan, M.L. & Shivam, P. (2009). Consumer views of community pharmacy services in Bangalore city, India. Pharm Pract (Granada). 7(3): 157–162
Lee, S., Godwin, O.P. & Kim, K. (2015). Predictive factors of patient satisfaction with pharmacy services in South Korea: a cross-sectional study of national level data. PLOS One; 10: e0142269.
Luk, Sh. T.K. & Layton, R. (2002). Perception Gaps in customer expectations: Managers versus service providers and customers. The Service Industries Journal, 22(2): 109-128.
Mortimer, G., Grimmer, L. & Fazal-E-Hasan, S. (2019). Examining consumer purchase intentions of non-prescription medicines in supermarkets and community pharmacies. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 27(3):232-240 doi: 10.1111/ijpp.12494.
Moulin, J.C., Sabater-Hernandez, D., Fernandez-Llimos, F. & Benrimoi, S.I. (2013). Defining professional services in community pharmacy. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy, 9(6):989-995.
Ong, S.C., Thakumar, A.V., Ooi, G.S., Shafie, A.A. & Hassali, M.A.A. (2020). Perspectives of the public on the consumption of unregistered health products in Malaysia. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, doi: 10.1111/ijpp.12673
Oparah, A.C. & Kikanme, L.C. (2006). Consumer satisfaction with community pharmacies in Warri, Nigeria. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy, 2: 499–511. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2006.02.004.
Osemene, K.P. & Ihekoronye, R.M. (2019). Relationship marketing practices in community pharmacies in Southwestern Nigeria, East and Central African Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22: 13-19
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. & Berry, L.L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of Marketing, 49:41–50.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithml, V.A, & Berry, L. (1994). Reassessment of expectations as a comparison standard in measuring service quality: implications for further research. Journal of Marketing, 58:111
Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, (2019). List of Registered Community Pharmacies in Nigeria. Available at ,pcn.gov.ng accessed 10th April, 2019
Ross, L.A. (2013). Quality improvement in health care: opportunities and responsibilities for pharmacists. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 47: 1206–1209
Tipton, D. (2009). Customer Service; in, Pharmacy Management, Essentials for all practice settings, eds., Desselle, SP, Zgarrick DP; 2nd Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill Medical, p 189
White, L. & Klinner. C. (2012). Service quality in community pharmacy: an exploration of determinants. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy 8: 122–132
Xu, T. (2002). Choice of and overall satisfaction with pharmacies among a community-dwelling elderly population. Medical Care 40:1283–1293.