Consumers turn to the internet to find everything from dinner recipes to sports equipment. It’s no wonder they also turn to online searches to find a doctor. The internet has revolutionized the way patients find a new healthcare provider, and online searches are a significant part of the mix.
Ensuring your private practice healthcare business has an online presence complete with reviews is key to standing out from the competition. 90% of consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Making reviews a focus of your marketing strategy will help drive new business to your website and your facility.
Getting online reviews for your business is easier than you think. In this article we’ll discuss the importance of online reviews and then dive into how your practice can get more positive reviews in a professional and reliable manner.
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Why Online Reviews Are Vital
From cell phones to dentists, it’s rare that a person makes their decision before reading a few online reviews first. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Whatever your industry, a positive online presence gives you several key advantages. This is why it’s becoming a key part of branding.
The internet has allowed patients to research their potential providers, with particular attention to reviews. Focusing on reviews is a great way to drive new patient numbers while also keeping tabs on your overall customer service experience.
Encouraging patients to share their experiences with your office and staff is a terrific way to open communication. Learn how your patients feel about the office, the staff, wait times, and whether they felt welcome. Use this information to better your practice and deliver the best treatment possible. Here are some tips to get started.
Establish Credibility on the Correct Sites
First, it’s important to know which review websites are best for your healthcare practice. You can create a business profile stating your phone number, website link, and the specific services you offer patients. Some of these sites include:
- Google My Business
Be sure to keep your information up to date. Always adjust your business hours and contact for holidays or closings. Visiting these profiles will also allow you to see any reviews that have been added since your last visit. Be sure to make reading reviews a weekly task so you can address any that may be less than perfect.
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Assess Your Current Online Reviews
You may already have business profiles with some of the sites listed above. Be sure to check these sites to see if you have any reviews you haven’t seen. There may be glowing reviews from current patients that would be great to share with your staff.
If there are any negative reviews, be sure to address them. It’s important to offer an apology first, and a solution second. This can be tailored to the specific issue. Consumers pay attention to negative reviews and will notice if they go unanswered.
Encourage Patients to Leave a Review
It’s great to get into a habit of asking every patient how their visit was. Understanding a patient’s experience is key to building a relationship with them. Hearing about a positive experience can be a great morale booster for the team. If the patient expresses any negativity towards their visit, you can address it at that time.
It’s also a great segue into asking for a review. If a patient tells you how great an experience they had, ask them if they would be willing to share. You can simply say ‘I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. We would love you to share your experience online. It would be great for people to see how much you love it here.’ Many will be inclined to do so if you just ask.
You want to avoid offering discounts or prizes in return for reviews, as this is generally unethical and prohibited. However, you can mention that your most glowing reviews will be shared on your website or newsletter to encourage reviews.
Be specific about where you want patients to post reviews. You can even hand out little ‘Thank you for your business’ cards with a reminder to publish a review. Tell the patient you want them to be honest about their experience as it makes your practice better and helps other patients.
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Respond To All Reviews
It’s important to acknowledge those that took the time out to review your practice. Whether good or bad, you should answer each one.
A positive review can be met with a simple ‘Thank you so much for your review!.’ A negative review can be addressed in several ways depending on the situation. It’s important to acknowledge each one and offer a solution. Give the reviewer a number to call to discuss the issue and come to a resolution.
66% of patients said it’s important that healthcare providers answer negative reviews. Taking the time to address each review is a straightforward way to show potential patients you care. The more interaction they see from your business, the more trust you will build with them.
Take the information from negative reviews and use it to help make changes. This is the perfect chance to remind everyone at the practice that they influence how patients remember their visits. You don’t want to be that clinic where patients rave about the wonderful bedside manner of the doctors but can’t stand the gruff receptionist or vice versa.
Showcase Outstanding Reviews Online
A 5-star review can be worth much more than just a happy patient. Share these reviews across your social media platforms to market to new patients. You can highlight one or two in your monthly newsletter.
Be sure to feature top reviews on your website. New patients can easily see them and go from being prospective patients to happy established ones.
The best way to ensure that you receive positive customer reviews is by providing customer experiences that exceed expectations. Deliver an exceptional experience to earn a glowing recommendation.
Use reviews to grow and learn more about your patients and your practice will benefit too.
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