Studies show that 80% of people will go online to look at your website and reviews about you before ever making that first appointment. So, it stands to reason that the perception of how your practice appears online is the greatest determinant in the decision of a prospective patient.
These 8 out of 10 people looking at reviews trust them as much or more than the word-of-mouth referrals that we as doctors used to depend on for the success of our practice. Studies also show that 92% of patients actually read the reviews on various online rating sites.
So, how can you proactively get Stellar reviews online?
7 Tips to Getting Stellar Reviews
- Ask- The time to ask patients to review your practice online is right after they have seen you at the office. They are engaged, satisfied and trust that you have given them the service they needed and wanted. Seven out of ten people said that if asked, they would leave a review. Bear in mind that you will ask only the patients that are content. Have an established process in your office by which the office staff can approach the subject and “make the ask”.
- Make it Easy– send a text to your satisfied patients while they are still in the office. The request for a review will appear right on their phone. Include a link to the review page so that you eliminate the frustration of finding the page that you want the review to appear on.
- Keep it Current– The office process should be a consistent one, not just an initial request. Sixty-three percent of consumers are more apt to use services from businesses that have current or recent reviews.
- Stake Your Claim– Many online rating sites including Yelp, create pages for doctors and their practices by virtue of the location regardless of your input. By taking control of your practice page, you can assert the information on it, interact with readers and respond to the reviews that are on it.
- Turn the Negatives to Positives– Use the opportunity to respond to negatives immediately in a positive manner. Think of this as a chance to find out what problems arose and how you can prevent them in the future. Seek out the facts in the situation, apologize and offer follow up. Do not try to take a defensive stance. That will not alter the view of a dissatisfied patient. The thing is, the negative review can be buried in an avalanche of the positive reviews that appear after. (Reviews are listed chronologically)
- Act Quickly– Respond to reviews within 1-3 days. Studies show that 78% of viewers say that reading responses to online reviews gives them the feeling that the practice cares about their patients.
- Be Analytical- Track your reviews. Sign up for a management tool that shows you the review enabling you to respond to it. I recommend Google Alert which is free and easy to use.
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