July 27, 2016
You may be wondering why getting positive online reviews is important for your pharmacy, and if it really does affect your business.
According to the 2015 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 92 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 68 percent said that positive reviews make them trust a business more.
As an independent community pharmacy, potential patients are already looking for reasons why they should choose your pharmacy over national chain pharmacies. The data from BrightLocal’s survey suggests they may turn to reviews first, to decide if they want to try your pharmacy.
It’s important to ensure your pharmacy has as many positive online reviews as possible, and that you address patients’ negative reviews and concerns. When potential patients do their research, they should find plenty of reasons to choose your pharmacy.
Monitor your reviews
In order to monitor your reviews, you first need to figure out which websites contain reviews of your pharmacy. There are a number of websites where patients can leave reviews, such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google, to name a few. Once you’ve identified the sites that matter for your pharmacy, you can check reviews on a weekly basis to get an idea of how you’re doing and to respond to reviewers.
Make sure your online profiles are up-to-date
When potential patients research your pharmacy online, they’re relying on your profiles, including social media sites and review websites, to be completed with accurate information. It’s important that your location, hours of operation and other details are up-to-date. If a patient who researches your profile finds incorrect hours, they may visit your pharmacy when you’re closed, which could prompt a negative review.
Show that patient reviews are important to you
When patients leave positive reviews, it positively affects your pharmacy’s presence on review websites. For example, the more positive reviews you have will help to offset the few negative reviews, and to increase your overall rating on that site.
Encourage positive reviews by showing patients that their feedback is important to you. For example, send follow-up emails or verbally communicate with patients about their experience at your pharmacy. If a patient knows that her opinion matters to you, it may increase the likelihood of her writing a positive review.
Respond to negative reviews
Leaving patients’ feedback unanswered is never a good idea. You should always respond to negative reviews in a professional and polite manner, thanking them for their feedback. Keep in mind that other patients reviewing the site will see your public response. Acknowledge any concerns a patient has and offer to make things right, reassuring him that you will make improvements in the future.
Respond to positive reviews
When you respond to patients’ positive reviews, it can only benefit your pharmacy further. If a happy patient writes about your pharmacy, be sure to thank her and engage in conversation about her experience, if possible. Showing your gratitude will make patients even happier, and may increase the likelihood of referrals.
Ask patients to write reviews
Many review sites have guidelines that businesses must follow, and asking a patient to write a review about your pharmacy may violate these. Instead, try reminding patients to check out your pharmacy on a certain site without actually asking them to leave a review.
Incentivize patients to write reviews
Offering your patients something in return for writing a review about your pharmacy is a huge no-no. Not only does it violate review website policies, it could potentially violate the rules enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Instead of risking patients writing reviews that are invalid or a liability, stick to the do’s outlined above to increase positive reviews.
Set up a review station at your pharmacy
Asking patients to review your business on a device set up in your pharmacy is often considered a violation of review site guidelines. In addition, the reviews posted from that device may be flagged as fake or suspect by review sites. Avoid damaging your pharmacy’s reputation on these sites by giving patients a reason to write positive reviews on their own time.
Understanding why patients choose your pharmacy can help you to encourage positive reviews. Check out these four reasons patients choose independent community pharmacies.