The Importance of Customer Reviews and How to Maximize Your Ratings
As a pharmacist, you’re tirelessly working to ensure your pharmacy is the best it can be. However, it’s easy to miss out on certain marketing initiatives, namely reviews, that can boost your business. Customer reviews are a key factor in shaping your customer base and ultimately determining your independent pharmacy’s success.
Reviews will determine if on-the-fence customers will choose to go to your pharmacy.
You’re a local business, so it’s important to have the voices of your community heard — and you’ll want those voices to be positive ones.
More reviews can give your independent pharmacy a boost in Internet traction, making it likely for customers to see your business with a Google search. More eyes mean more potential customers.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important?
If you aren't sold on the power of reviews, consider these statistics:
Brightlocal’s 2022 Consumer Review Survey found that 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. 80% of consumers were found “likely” or “highly likely” to leave a review if their initial negative experience turned into a positive one.
Over time, reviews build up, giving your business a more developed and (hopefully) sunnier reputation. No longer will you be the new, up-and-coming pharmacy grasping at straws for vaccine quotas.
You’ll be a known and trusted part of the community where people can confidently go for their medical needs.
You’re going to need all the help you can get, so here are a few ways to make your pharmacy the talk of the town — for all the right reasons.
How to Ask Customers for Reviews
1. Know Your Pharmacy Software
The first step in creating a refined patient experience is running your pharmacy efficiently. The best tool to help you do this is your pharmacy management system.
No program is perfect and pharmacy software is no exception, so knowing its small quirks and knowing how to bypass those quirks can save you — and your customers — some precious time.
Making the customer’s experience as quick and painless as possible will encourage them to not only come back but tell others about your pharmacy.
Word of mouth is a powerful factor in your pharmacy’s success, so make sure that the word around the street is a good one, and it all begins with the customer experience.
If you're in the market for a new pharmacy software system or looking to switch to a new one, look to our Compare Software page.
2. Know Who to Ask
Knowing who to push your reviews to can also boost your pharmacy’s ratings.
Don’t ask a customer to leave a review after you had to tell them their prior authorization request got declined or their medication is now on backorder. Look for the customers who seem happy to see you and appreciate your help.
This goes double for those who you go the extra mile for. Some prescriptions require frustrating amounts of red tape to cut through, whether in the form of NDC-specific coverage or finally getting ahold of a doctor after countless refill requests.
Customers will appreciate your efforts and dedication to getting that one single prescription to go through, so absolutely tell them how they can get their appreciation heard, as well as your hard work.
3. Reach Out to Reviewers — The Good and the Bad
Reviews are a great way to see which areas you’re excelling in and which ones need more attention.
This especially applies to negative reviews. No pharmacy is perfect, so you’ll will inevitably encounter patients or prescriptions that simply fall through for one reason or another.
Though it might feel uncomfortable, reaching out to those angry patients is a vital way to improve your operations. You can get some perspective from someone outside the pharmacy bubble and see the situation with more empathy. You can understand their frustrations and vow to not repeat those mistakes thereafter.
Reaching out to angry customers also has the added benefit of showing them that you care about how your pharmacy treats its customers. Ask them what you can do to make it right and listen to their suggestions.
In the same BrightLocal survey, 55% of consumers said they have a positive opinion of a local business when the business owner responds to reviews.
Acknowledging your mistakes is a sign of strength and confidence, and frustrated customers will appreciate that their comments are being truly heard.
If you play your cards right, that once-disgruntled person will leave a glowing endorsement of your independent pharmacy. All you have to do is try.
4. Give Incentives (Ones that People Actually Want)
Sometimes customers won’t fill leave reviews out of the goodness out of their hearts. That’s why, in this case, it’s helpful to use incentives.
Several chains, for example, offer a chance to win a $1,000 gift card when customers fill out a survey. Sure, it’s unlikely customers will win — but the mere possibility of winning such an item gives them 1,000 reasons to do it.
Things might be a little trickier if you’re a newer independent pharmacy. Odds are you don’t have $1,000 to spare. Still, there are ways you can incentivize your customers to give feedback.
Try coupons. If you’re a pharmacy inside a grocery store, strike up a deal with the store manager to have a completed survey be a coupon for a customer’s next shopping trip.
It’ll entice the customer to not only leave a review but give them more incentive to come back to the store, helping you slowly make a loyal customer out of them.
5. Keep Pushing
By now, you know you should avoid asking angry customers for surveys. However, some customers aren’t angry — but they aren’t overly enthusiastic, either.
The average customer is not going to shower you with praise or lambast your independent pharmacy on the Internet, but you can still take the time to ask them what they think.
Tell them to fill out a survey if they think your service was fast, courteous, and efficient.
You can also tell them that the company’s higher-ups listen to customer feedback, ensuring that their opinions matter. Who knows? They could give you a perfect score, or give you something to work on in the future.
Shoot For the (5 or 10) Stars
At the end of the day, your independent pharmacy’s workflow, efficiency, and customer satisfaction will ultimately determine your customer reviews.
Yes, a bit of strategy goes into maximizing those scores; but it will be all for nothing if your pharmacy isn’t up to snuff.
Asking customers to fill out a survey means asking them to take time out of their day, to generate good word of mouth. It’s essential to meet them halfway by having your pharmacy work as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
In short, give your customers something to rave about, and the rest will fall into place.