Recently, at the PDS trade show in Orlando, FL our team talked about online reviews in relation to promoting the services that your pharmacy offers such as FLAVORx. According to Reputation Management, people are most likely to leave a positive review, but they leave those reviews for altruistic reasons - to help others make good decisions – the millennial generation specifically shares retail experiences through social networks and sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Why does this matter to pharmacies? Well, because the differentiator in pharmacy is the service you receive. So to any pharmacy that wants to be known as the best in their community, reviews matter and you should have a strategy to collect them from your loyal customers.
FOUR EASY WAYS TO COLLECT ONLINE REVIEWS
Verify your business
When you set up your My Business listing on Google, they often send “Review us on Google” stickers, many businesses display this in front windows near the entrance for some extra visibility. Personally, I often notice these stickers (Yelp has them available too and can be requested here) and think it's great when companies know when people are talking about them online.
Add a Call to Action on your website or on your Receipts
Depending on the layout of your website, you could leave a call to action button with a link to one of the review sites. Some businesses also add a small ask at the bottom of receipts with a link to your business page(s) on Google or Yelp, which if possible, is a nice way to get the ask in to the customer for a review.
Say thank you
Be sure to thank people who leave you great reviews and respond professionally to those who might be more critical. Responding to your online reviews is a great way to boost your credibility online and respond to any negative reviews. In a few cases, I’ve left negative reviews of experiences at restaurants or hotels and management has often reached out apologizing and thanking me for the feedback so that they can train their team to be better. Those are the businesses I go back to and give a second chance to win my loyalty.
Favor for a Flavor
While some frown upon giving free stuff away for a review, many of our pharmacies have loved boosting their image with our Favor for a Flavor program - which is when customers leave a review in exchange for a free flavor. It helps them not only gather some online reviews and some online mentions, but also helps let their customers know they have an additional service to help make medicine time less stressful. It’s win, win and many of our customers are successful with this program.
Finally, avoid astroturfing
Astroturfing is most common on Yelp, Google and Amazon – and Yelp admitted back in 2013 that nearly a quarter of its reviews could be fake. Many SEO firms helped small businesses create online profiles and then paid for reviews from freelance writers (often times foreign) to boost the positive reviews. Some businesses do this on their own, and often it's done in response to increased competition in their area or to strengthen a weak reputation/unflattering reviews. Be sure to encourage online reviews from everyone (not just the customers getting a free flavor). Many sites have cracked down on astroturfing and as long as you’re not paying customers or rewarding them for only leaving positive reviews, you’ll be fine.
Tell us, how do you collect online reviews from customers?