How to Get More Online Reviews for Your Pharmacy

A few words can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to bringing in business to your pharmacy. With a few clicks on a screen, a quick clacking of a keyboard, and a simple “send” button, patients can share their experiences at your pharmacy — for better or for worse. What’s more important, though, is that other people can read those reviews, then use them to fuel their buying decisions.

We’ve always looked to other people to get input, but in the digital age, we trust strangers — even when they’re behind a screen — to influence our purchases. In fact, 79% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.

Whether you want to get a new gadget, try out a new restaurant, or check out a new  venue, you look online to find out if it’s worth your while. Your patients are no different, looking to reviews to decide if they should do business with you.

In this case, patients rely on the input of others to help them decide where to fill scripts, where to get services, and where to share their health journeys.

It’s important, then, that you run your business right and earn a good reputation. With a better reputation, you’re bound to get more patients in your front doors. Earning a good reputation requires a combination of exceptional care, competitive prices, and a community atmosphere —  but a reputation doesn’t always equal a review.

How can you translate positive experiences into powerful patient reviews?

All you have to do is ask.

Why Are Online Reviews Important?

If you aren’t already sold on the idea that reviews matter, check out these statistics:

  • A 2020 BrightLocal study found that 87% of customers read online reviews before visiting local businesses — meaning that before they step into your store, your customers have probably already done some digging

  • A 2021 study found that 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product and 94% of all purchases are made for products with an average rating of 4 stars and above — meaning that the quality of your products and services matter

  • A 2019 study found that 61% of U.S. online shoppers said the quantity of reviews was important to them — meaning that, for your patients, quality and quantity make a winning combination

To the majority of customers, reviews matter, no matter where they’re spread across the Internet. In general, though, reviews can be found in a few places.

Where Do Patients Leave Reviews?

From Facebook groups to forums, most people — and most patients — leave reviews on one of the following platforms:

1. Google

Google is, and continues to be, the #1 review site for all businesses, including your pharmacy. When potential patients type in your pharmacy on Google, they’re likely going to see a list of Google Reviews alongside your listing. To keep tabs on these reviews, create a Google Business Profile and never miss any input coming in.

2. Facebook

Aside from Google, Facebook is the next best review site on the Internet. On your pharmacy’s Facebook profile, patients can leave reviews and share their experiences; so just like you do with Google, make sure that you keep tabs on all of your Facebook reviews.

3. Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a platform managed by the federal government that lets customers share their experiences with all types of businesses, including pharmacies. The BBB compiles these reviews and uses the information to create a BBB Rating, which can be as high as A+ and as low as an F. Make sure to keep track of your BBB Rating to get a better feel for your patients’ perception of your pharmacy.

4. Third-party review sites

Some third-party websites, like Consumer Reports and BestReviews, also allow customers to leave reviews. When you’re looking out for reviews, don’t neglect lesser-known sites.

5. Your website

Some pharmacies give patients the option to share their input on the site itself. If you choose to do this, make sure that you keep tabs on any incoming reviews and respond in a timely manner.

By now, you know that you should handle existing reviews with professionalism and respect: responding to comments, considering feedback carefully, weighing constructive criticism, and letting patients’ experience guide your decision-making.

But how can you get those reviews rolling in in the first place?

How Do You Ask for a Review?

It can be tricky to make the ask, especially if you’re just starting out. It might feel awkward at first, but asking for reviews is essential to getting more. To make the process easier, try out a few techniques and figure out what your patients respond best to. Maybe it’s a face-to-face conversation. Maybe it’s an email. Maybe it’s a reward.

No matter how you choose to do it, make sure that asking for reviews is part of your marketing strategy. It’s worth the risk to get the extra exposure for your pharmacy.

Not sure how to start? Try out any of these options:

1. Ask in person

If you can work the ask into a conversation, you can get a feel for how patients respond to review requests. Asking in person can also feel more personal to the patient, which can increase the chance you’ll get a review. As you’re checking a patient out at the point-of-sale or wrapping up a counseling session, try to see if you can work reviews into the conversation

2. Hang up signage

If you aren’t comfortable asking in person (or if it isn’t the right time), you can still get your point across in person by using flyers, posters, or other signage asking for reviews. Use eye-catching colors and a strong call to action to get the best results.

3. Ask on social media

If you’re looking to get the word out in the digital world, take to your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more) to ask patients to drop a few words on the preferred review platform. Pro tip: if you show that you’re responsive to reviews, you’ll likely get more of them.

4. Send a follow-up message

For an easier way to work reviews into workflow, set up a system that sends follow-up messages to your patients after picking up a prescription, getting a vaccine, or having any other service performed at your pharmacy. Make sure to personalize the message so that your patient doesn’t feel like just another number.

5. Offer rewards for leaving a review

If you have a hard time getting patients to leave reviews on their own, try to incentivize the opportunity. While you can’t reward patients for giving you a positive review (per Google’s guidelines), you can reward them for offering an unbiased one. Incentives might include discounts, free products, or a big-ticket item giveaway. Who wouldn’t write a quick review in exchange for a reward?

Turn Your Reputation Into Reviews

Online reviews are essential to your business. With more and more patients taking to the online space, it’s important that you create a good reputation and that you turn that reputation into reviews. It doesn’t matter how great your pharmacy is if no one knows about it — so don’t be afraid to make the ask.

At the end of the day, it’ll only benefit your business.