Good Reviews Create a Great First Impression
Studies have shown that 84% of consumers trust online reviews more than recommendations from colleagues or friends.
This means that your prospective patients will believe a positive (or the negative) review found online about your practice, and that they will connect with your practice with a certain, pre-determined set of expectations.
This can only be a good thing. When your site features mostly positive reviews, prospective, new patients will come to your practice with a positive attitude, full of hope. This can help strengthen the patient-physician relationship before you even connect face-to-face.
Reviews Can Boost Your Search Rankings
A recent study found online reviews to be one of the top 7 local search ranking factors in 2017. In other words, reviews can make or break the ranking of your practice in local search results.
Ask For the Review and Rating
The office-staff-to-patient request can be incredibly effective, particularly if the staff member has spent some time with the patient. Asking your patients for reviews in person can garner you up to 8 times more positive reviews than asking via other methods.
Ask via Email
Asking for reviews via email can be more challenging. There may be instances where you will not have a lot, if any, time with a patient after their appointment. In these situations, email may be your best and only option.
If you’re going to ask for reviews and ratings via email, you may want to pre-screen your patients via an internal survey before sending them an email asking them for a public review.
Where to Collect the Reviews?
Your practice should be utilizing an online Review and Rating collection tool, like Optimized360’s reputation management platform. Your emails to the patients can directly link to this review portal, and they will be able to easily post their reviews without the need to have additional online accounts, as is required by Google, Yelp and others. You will receive notifications when a new review is completed whether on your business listing page or a third-party review site.
What About Negative Reviews?
The Patient-Doctor Relationship Can Still Flourish
If you find a negative review or rating for your practice online, what is your first reaction? Far too many practices choose to ignore that patient and move on. But you could learn a great deal about your practice and your clients by making an effort to learn from your reviews and work towards providing a better experience for all.
Responding to your reviews in a HIPAA-compliant method, without communicating any patient-specific information, will help strengthen the patient-doctor relationship. Your prospective patients will recognize that you’re committed to enhancing the patients’ experience with your practice, plus you might even be able to win back patients that have left you in the past.
Here’s how to respond to all reviews and ratings:
- Thank the patient for their feedback. Keep it simple and positive. Do not disclose any patient information or details about their visit.
Invite the patient to contact you offline. There is nothing to gain by airing any differences where all can see. Keep it private, keep it civil.
Respond with a pre-crafted message. Take the time now to write a sincere and positive response you or your staff can immediately send the reviewer. This will help prevent emotions from clouding your communications.
Personally respond if possible. Whenever possible, you should respond personally to resolve any patient issues. If there was an error in billing, the to appropriate staff person connect with them and correct the mistake. If there was a long wait-time, let them know that your office plans to update systems for swifter processing and appointments
Your ultimate goal should be to persuade your patients that your practice is worth reviewing and reviewing in the posititve, and then get them to review you online.