A lot of times clients have a hard time understanding why patient reviews are so important, but more than that why they need to be actively trying to get more if they already have a great reputation. There are lots of reasons why reviews are crucial for your healthcare organization.
Firstly, new patients won’t know a thing about your “great reputation” if they can’t find any reviews about your healthcare practice online that confirm it. Besides, almost every healthcare entity is rated and reviewed online, and prospective patients might find it suspicious that your particular practice has none.
Having your healthcare practice reviewed online will help to extend brand awareness, strengthen your reputation, and even boost your SEO. Cultivating online patient reviews is a process that takes time and effort, but here are 5 easy ways to get your healthcare practice reviewed online.
1. Have your practice and doctors on multiple review websites
Having your practice and all your physicians listed on multiple healthcare review websites will make it easier for the patients to find you and leave online reviews. This also increases your chances of a patient actually reviewing you because it gives them more opportunity. Every patient is different, you may have some who drop reviews on Facebook and others who prefer more traditional review sites like Healthgrades.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re on a variety of review sites, allowing patients to review you wherever they feel the most comfortable. Additionally, having your reviews on different websites will lead to higher trust and credibility, due to a diversity of review sources. There are many online review websites available, and it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to set up an account so patients can start reviewing your practice.
2. Ask your patients to leave a review right after the appointment
The sad reality is that most patients don’t plan on leaving a review unless they had a particularly bad experience and want to complain about it. If you know that the patient had a pleasant experience, ask them to review your healthcare practice right after the appointment so that the idea is planted in their mind early. Don’t wait until they get home and completely forget about you, catch them as soon as possible. You can have a tablet with a review form or simply a printed review form to hand out to the patients when they check out.
3. Send a follow-up email asking to leave an online review
If for some reason you weren’t able to get the patients’ reviews right after the appointment, make sure you send a follow-up email thanking them for their recent visit and asking them to review your practice online. Include direct links to your review websites so they can choose which website to leave their review at and immediately access your page. You probably will get fewer responses from an email communication, but it’s still a good way to receive online reviews across multiple review platforms.
4. Offer incentives to motivate your patients
If your patients are not responsive enough, think of different incentives motivating them to review your practice online. It’s important to cultivate honest reviews and make sure your patients know that you reward all reviews, as trying to drive positive reviews only would be extremely unethical. As an incentive, you can give away coupons, discounts, or even engage your patients who leave an online review in a giveaway contest. Whatever incentive you choose to use, be sure to check with your organization’s legal counsel to make sure that you’re not violating any laws!
5. Gather patient reviews through social media
Did you know that 42% of individuals viewing health information on social media look at health-related consumer reviews? On top of that, The Spark Report claims that 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. It means that gathering reviews through your social media accounts is crucial for your practice, as your prospective patients will be looking for those and 41% of them will actually shape their decision.
With that being said, next time you plan your social media calendar, include a post asking your patients to review your practice online. In fact, think about immersing this in your social media strategy and schedule posts facilitating social media reviews once or twice a month.
We understand that keeping up with all types of marketing objectives including social media and online reviews at the same time is quite a challenge. That’s why we are here to help! If you don’t have time or expertise and need someone with a solid healthcare marketing background, we can take a marketing headache off your plate and drive the results you are looking for.