Customer satisfaction at a selected retail pharmacy chain in the greater Durban area
South Africa is experiencing an expansion of pharmacy chains. Globalization and deregulations have increased competition within the retail pharmacy sector. In this highly competitive sector, the most important strategy for a pharmacy chain to obtain customer satisfaction and maintain market profitability is attributed to customer-focus. The pharmacy chain needs to ensure that the customer remains the cornerstone of their business strategy and that they are able to â€œdelightâ€ the customer. Customer satisfaction has many benefits for the pharmacy chain, such as higher revenues, higher customer retention and increased market shares. Superior service quality and customer satisfaction must be promoted and maintained in order for the pharmacy chain to be the pharmacy of choice. The aim of this study is to measure levels of customer satisfaction at a selected pharmacy chain within the greater Durban area. The instrument to assess the customer’s expectations and perceptions of customer satisfaction is the SERVQUAL questionnaire, measuring expectations and perceptions according to five quality dimensions. These quality dimensions include tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. Four hundred customers were surveyed using the SERVQUAL questionnaire. The respondents were selected using non-probability sampling within which convenience sampling was applied. Data is analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Conclusions and recommendations are drawn from the literature and the findings of the study. The study shows that customers’ expectations exceeded their perceptions on the five service quality dimensions used in the SERVQUAL questionnaire. Improvements are necessary in certain customer satisfaction dimensions. Therefore, it is recommended that the selected retail pharmacy chain attend to these gaps and ensure that necessary strategies are implemented in order to offer superior customer service in the face of growing competition.