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
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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.