By Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS – Digital Pharmacist Staff
Online reviews are becoming more important to customers as they decide which businesses to visit.
According to Statista, “31 percent of internet users regularly read online reviews to check out the quality of the business.” That means digital is now a requirement to compete in the marketplace. Luckily for local pharmacies, there are options for collecting reviews.
However, one important question remains: How do pharmacies and local business owners take control of their online reviews?
In many cases, it can seem like businesses are powerless over internet users who take to Yelp or Facebook to express their discontent. But you can take steps to manage your online reputation.Here’s our quick guide to reputation management:
1) Do not be afraid of reviews.
Customer reviews are powerful, so don’t shy away from them.
Many pharmacy owners have told us they are afraid to ask for reviews because of the possibility of getting a bad review. But in reality, the chances for a great review are high.
If you strive to offer excellent customer service and health care, the good reviews will always outweigh the bad ones. Just know that there will always be some negative reviews. Knowing this can help ease your anxiety.
Our pharmacies that ask for customer reviews see overwhelmingly positive reviews and feedback. Don’t sell yourself short — start asking for reviews.
2) Ask for reviews.
Take some time to think about all the ways you can ask for reviews and identify the best times to do so.
Here are a few ideas:
- Ask your customers for reviews when they check out.
- Place a frame or table tent in your store — especially at the checkout counter — that asks for reviews and tells customers how they can easily leave a review. Here’s an example of the wording you could use: “Our team works hard for our patients every day! We would love to know what we did right. Like us on Facebook and leave us a review on Google and Facebook.”
- Ask when your customers refill their medications on your mobile app.
- On your pharmacy website, ask for a review, and include links for Google or Facebook for them to leave a review. Make leaving a review as easy as possible.
3) Respond to all reviews (especially the negative ones).
When faced with an angry customer, it’s best to address their concerns head-on. Respond online via the same means they submitted their review (Yelp, Facebook, etc.). This allows customers to feel heard and is a public record of you responding to criticism.
Your customers will forgive mistakes — just own up to them and prove why you’re still the best around.
It is critical to respond to all reviews — especially the negative ones. When responding to reviews, make sure to respond as soon as possible.
If the review is a complaint, determine what can be done to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Even if solving the customer’s problem is complicated and may take a while, start off by responding to the comment and making them feel heard. You can ask the customer to connect with you off social media or acknowledge that you have received their comment and say you’re working to resolve the issue.
We are in an age where everyone is watching, so you responding quickly will show that you are indeed listening to your customers. And this goes without saying: Respond to the good comments, too.
You can use the following outline and examples to respond to negative reviews:
- Apologize for the action in question.
- Provide a way for the reviewer to contact you (take the conversation to the side).
- Be mindful of HIPAA. When responding, do not acknowledge that the customer was in the pharmacy, picking up certain medications, the price of the purchase, etc.
Hi <patient name>. Thank you for letting us know about this. Do you mind contacting us at <pharm email>? We’d like to look into this.
We apologize for your negative experience with us, and we take your feedback very seriously. Please contact us at <pharmacy email> if there is anything we can do to help.
4) Leverage your own reviews.
Sometimes, it can be hard to mitigate online reviews on platforms you don’t control. Additionally, many of the negative reviews will come from one-time customers, leaving an inaccurate representation of your customer base.
When your customers use the mobile app powered by Digital Pharmacist, they are prompted to rate the pharmacy and leave a short review. Voila. Now you have great customer reviews that you can use for your own marketing, rather than relying on Yelp or Facebook.
For help implementing patient-verified reviews or help with reputation management, give us a call at 877-959-7550 or email [email protected].