6 Methods For Healthcare Providers To Turn Great Service Into Great Reviews

January 22nd, 2015 by Search Influence University

As society continues to evolve into a highly mobile culture, we see how heavily online reviews influence the selection of a practice or practitioner. In fact, among patients who look for online reviews of doctors, an estimated one-third reported choosing a physician based on good ratings, according to a national survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Most people trust an online review just as much as they trust a personal referral from a close friend or family member. Maintaining a positive online reputation is essential, because while your healthcare practice cannot control what patients write, you can control your response to their reviews.

People Hate Us On Yelp Image - Search Influence

The medical industry is highly competitive, so the more positive reviews your business obtains, the more likely it is that your business will be found online. The success of your business heavily weighs on online reviews, so you’ll need to learn how to effectively ask for reviews from your customers. Here are six methods to encourage your customers to leave reviews.

Make Writing Reviews Simple For Everyone

Most people, unless they have a negative experience to share, will not make the extra effort to leave your practice a review. You need to make it as easy as possible for your patients to leave a review for your company, and you can do this by adding links to your review profiles in multiple places, such as in a follow-up email, on a thank-you page, etc.

Get Listed On The Top Business Review Sites

Everyone has their preferred review sites, so it is necessary to have a strong online presence across the most popular ones. All profiles and listings need to be consistent and include as much current information about the practice as you can squeeze in (photos, certifications, awards, degrees, etc.).

Business Review Sites For Health Industry Pie Charts Image - Search Influence

Healthcare providers should have a listing on the following directories:

  1. Yelp
  2. Healthgrades
  3. Google+ Local
  4. Vitals
  5. RealSelf
  6. RateMDs
  7. Facebook
  8. Twitter
  9. LinkedIn

Ask customers to leave a review on their favorite site—never pressure them to write reviews on multiple sites.

Be Genuine While Asking For Reviews

Let your customers know that you would appreciate it if they could take a few moments of their time to share their experience on one of your company’s review sites, as their opinion matters not only to the company, but also to other customers. You can do this by saying something as simple as, “Do you read online reviews? We do, and so do other customers. That’s why we’d love it if you would take a few moments to review your experience.” Just be honest; the worst answer you will get is a “no.”

Never Pressure A Patient For Reviews

You should always request that patients rate their experiences, but never make them feel pressured to leave a review. Even if a customer is extremely satisfied with your services, writing an online review may be the last thing on their mind. However, if a client had a great experience with your business, they will probably be happy to share their thoughts when prompted. The best approach is to simply ask your most satisfied customers to add their positive feedback to one of your business review sites.

Consider Your Customers

If your customers are millennials, consider yourself lucky! Most millennials are already comfortable with sites that allow users to share experiences online, and they will likely be happy to share their thoughts on your business without much prompting. Bombarding customers under the age of 25 with requests to post a review will probably push them away. However, if you have older or less social media-savvy customers, they may require direct prompting.

Software Advice, a company that reviews practice management software, conducted a study to better understand online reviews and the processes of researching and writing these reviews. This study found that the largest age group of patients using online reviews ranges from ages 25–34, with males being 25% more likely to leave a review than females.

Alt Text - Percent Of Patients Using Online Reviews By Age Bar Graph Image - Search Influence

Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews

While your overall goal is to gather good reviews, unsatisfied reviewers will inevitably make their way online to air their bad experiences. Bad reviews aren’t necessarily a business-killer; it’s how you handle the negative review or situation that defines the impact it will have on your business.

Take note of negative reviews and respond to the criticism in a non-defensive manner. This can be done with a standard, generic reply that thanks the reviewer for the comment. Always ask the complaining patient to contact you directly so that you can further resolve his or her dissatisfaction offline.

Take a negative review as an opportunity to better your customer service and your facility. Many negative patient reviews involve simple issues that can easily be resolved: long waiting times, issues with billing practices, lack of parking spaces, etc. If your complaints are targeting things that can easily be fixed, take advantage of this useful feedback to better your practice.

Provide And Deliver Top-Quality Customer Service

At the end of the day, the best path to having great reviews is to offer a great product and customer experience. If you’re doing everything you can to create a remarkable experience for your customers, there’s no harm in reminding them about the importance of sharing reviews.

Image Sources:

Most Used and Most Trusted Reviews Chart and Patients Using Online Reviews By Age Graph

People Hate Us on Yelp