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Turn around bad pharmacy reviews

Bad reviews

Pharmacists are known for eliciting positive reviews from patients and the public, who increasingly view their services as indispensable.

But even pharmacists are not immune from bad online reviews. Twitter, Facebook, Google Reviews and more have become forums for people to vent. And, despite that old saying that all publicity is good publicity, some reviews can lead to loss of business as patients and consumers take their business to another pharmacy.

How powerful are online reviews in influencing decisions? According to Qualtrics:

91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions, and 94% of consumers say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.

These are powerful numbers. So, how do you deal with customer online reviews while also running a successful pharmacy?

Keep your eye on the ball.

Designate specific staff members to manage your online presence, while also being personally involved. They should make sure you have a presence on social media platforms and update it regularly. If your pharmacy has a phone app, this is a useful and quick way to respond to patients and customers in a timely manner.

Develop a response strategy that your trained team members can use as a guide, with specific pharmacy-related situations and responses, to maintain consistent service standards.

You will often hear from patients and customers only if they have complaints. That's the nature of the online world.

So, how do you meet negative online reviews head-on?

Take immediate action.

Be prepared to respond to all online reviews of your pharmacy, the good, the bad and the ugly.

In the case of a negative review, your first instinct might be to deny, deflect and defend your position. But this is definitely the wrong response. Instead, put yourself in the reviewer's place. Address them personally by name if possible, acknowledge their issue and negative experience, take responsibility (even if you think you've done nothing wrong), and offer a pathway to making it right.

For instance, if it was a customer service issue, explain how you’re going to address it with your pharmacy staff and ensure the reviewer will have a better patient experience the next time they return to your store.

If pricing was the issue, encourage the reviewer to either call or visit the pharmacy so you can speak with them privately. Make no promises, but offer to resolve the issue personally. Whatever the resolution, make sure it’s clearly on display online so everyone who reads your response can see the level of personalized service they can expect from your pharmacy.

This is your opportunity to show that yours is a caring pharmacy and you take all comments seriously. If you're successful, the reviewer may even update or remove their negative review, especially if their issue is successfully resolved.

So it is possible to come back from negative online reviews, when brand authenticity is paired with transparency. Another approach that can be very effective is to take the conversation offline, by encouraging the guest to contact management directly to resolve the matter.

As long as people have access to online, they're going to make comments and offer reviews. It's your job to meet them where they live and put your best digital foot forward. And, don't be afraid to ask for reviews. You might be surprised at the positive responses you receive.


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