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Getting Better Reviews for Your Pharmacy Could Be Easier Than You Think

Posted by Robert Walthall on Fri, Jun, 19, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

shutterstock_158254274In today's connected world, customer reviews have become an important factor for consumers as they shop for products and services – an updated, supercharged version of word-of-mouth advertising. That means good reviews are an important aspect of building the solid reputation that your independent pharmacy needs in order to develop a solid customer base. If your reviews aren't quite where you'd like them to be, improving them could be easier than you think.

Encourage Customers to Review Your Business

The unfortunate thing about consumer reviews is that people tend to be much more likely to voice negative opinions than positive ones. In other words, unhappy customers are more likely to write a review than are satisfied ones, giving them a disproportionate effect on the public perception of your business.

So how to counter this? By encouraging more customers to review your business. Chances are that one displeased customer out of the 100 or so that you served today is going to voice his or her opinion, but the other 99 may not think to do so without a friendly nudge. Placing a simple sign at the checkout counter can help – one that asks “Have you left us a review on (consumer rating site that lists your business)?”  An occasional promotion to encourage customers to express themselves may also be helpful – a special one-time discount for taking the time to post a review for instance.

Know – And Take Action On – The Most Common Reasons for Poor Reviews

When it comes to consumer reviews on pharmacies, there are a number of common threads to be found in negative reviews. The most common issues that inspire poor pharmacy reviews are long waiting times for prescriptions, feeling rushed or uncomfortable when communicating with pharmacists and other staff, a lack of personalized service that builds a trusting working relationship between patient and pharmacy, and delayed prescriptions due to out-of-stock incidents.

If you're seeing some of these common issues mentioned in your reviews, take action to resolve them. If long wait times are a problem, take a long, hard look at your pharmacy workflow. Are there inefficiencies that are making the dispensing process take longer than it should? Finding out where the hang-ups are in your pharmacy workflow and eliminating them can make a big difference in customer wait times – and therefore your customer reviews.

Improving the efficiency of pharmacy workflow can have a big impact on those other common complaints as well. Greater efficiency means spending less time on the same amount of behind-the-counter work, leaving more time for the type of personalized service that keeps customers happy. An efficient pharmacy workflow also reduces stress in the workplace – the stress that customers who comment on feeling rushed or uncomfortable as they are being served are picking up on as they interact with pharmacists and staff. Lastly, efficiency in inventory management – an essential, if often overlooked area of pharmacy workflow – can go a long ways towards preventing those out-of-stock incidents that are so often the subject of poor reviews.

All in all, the key to improving your pharmacy's reviews is customer service. Independent pharmacies have a big advantage in terms of the customer experience as compared to the big-box competition, and focusing on ways to further improve that experience can widen that advantage, keeping your current customers coming back as well as inspiring better reviews that help bring new ones into your business.

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Topics: pharmacy workflow

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