Many practices can identify with the terrifying moment when you get an email from Yelp saying that your practice has received a new review. You’re sitting in your office chair, hanging in the balance of either honor or shame. Did a patient write complimentary comments about your service and how much they loved your practice or did they leave a scathing review saying how rude your office staff was to them?  It’s challenging to manage negative reviews, especially in the instances where the patient was upset over something you could not control. People are exponentially more likely to provide feedback on something they either absolutely love or absolutely loathe, while the likelihood of comments coming from someone who had an “okay” experience is very low.

This means, you need to take every effort to provide each patient with a flawless experience to promote more positive reviews. The best way to do so is to brand your patient experience. Adding small touch-points to your patient process can make a huge difference in perception. Simple changes such as personally introducing a patient to each staff member they will meet with, can go a long way. Additionally, you could exchange paper robes for terry cloth ones or give patients slippers to protect their feet from chilly floors in the winter.

Things like that are what people remember when they leave your office. If they had to wait an extra 15 minutes because your schedule was running behind, then have coupons available as an apology. Whenever you travel Southwest Airlines for instance, if your flight gets delayed they offer complimentary adult beverages as collateral. (You’re not alone if you find yourself wishing for a flight delay every once in a while.)

To elicit positive responses, you can recruit the help of your staff. It likely happens everyday, that a patient says something positive in passing about their time at your practice. You can take those opportunities to remind patients that they can go online and review your practice.

You might think that websites like Yelp, Facebook and Google’s review pages don’t matter, but patients are becoming increasingly better consumers of their own care. They are turning to the Internet to find information on their physicians, treatments and procedures.   In some statistics provided by Fluency Media, it was determined that 85% of Millennials and 78% of Baby Boomers are searching for health topics online. Take the appropriate steps to improve your patient experience while promoting positive reviews and you will be able to capture the attention of more patients and improve your reach!

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