The reputation of your medical practice is vital both for patient retention and for gaining new patients. Patient data has shown, reviews matter quite a bit.
- 88% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business
- 92% of consumers read online reviews
- 85% of patients that use reviews reported they would be at least moderately likely to chose one provider over another based on positive reviews
- 44% of people reported they would actually go to an out-of-network doctor if their reviews were better than those of in-network doctors
Getting more positive reviews is key to reputation management and growing your practice. So we have collected the most effective and completely ethical strategies to increase your 4 and 5-star reviews.
1. Make it easy to leave a review in the office
The ideal time to get a review is just before a patient leaves the office. Once they leave, they are less likely to take the time to review you or to recall how they felt about their visit.
You can encourage reviews to take place in your office by:
- Having an easily accessible and strong wifi connection
- Having a tablet or desktop available to use for a review
- Having simple instructions on how to leave a review available in the office
2. Ask for feedback in person
Once a patient visit is coming to an end, ask him or her how their experience was in person. This will benefit your practice in a number of ways.
- It will let you know who your satisfied patients are
- It will open the door for you to suggest a review to happy customers
- It will give you the opportunity to handle negative feedback before it turns into a public review
3. Don’t ask for reviews, suggest them
As with many things, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes the difference. Asking patients outright for reviews may lead to negative reviews, or to patients feeling uncomfortable with your practice.
Instead, take the time to listen to verbal feedback. Then if the patient had a good experience, thank them and let them know that if they are interested, reviews are always appreciated and make a big difference to your practice.
4. Don’t try and get a review from every patient
Requesting a review from everyone would be a huge task, and it would eventually annoy repeat patients. Instead, take a look at your schedule each day and choose a handful of patients to approach for a review.
This will help you to get reviews of all the services you offer. For example, if there is a procedure you specialize in but have not gotten any reviews for, you may want to focus on patients in that category.
Still, it is important to be open to verbal feedback before approaching the subject of reviews.
5. Ask open-ended questions
Get more meaningful reviews by asking open-ended questions on your review form. This will help people sort out their thoughts and give more detailed responses.
Some examples you might consider are:
- What makes our practice unique?
- What was the best part of working with our team?
- How did you feel about the quality of care provided?
6. Show patient testimonials in your office and on your website
Seeing reviews or testimonials can gain trust from potential new patients. It can also get people thinking about leaving their own feedback, opening the door for more reviews.
Do you have a handful of patients who you’ve worked closely with over the years? If you can find a couple of truly happy patients who wish to advocate for your practice, let them know you’re accepting patient testimonials for your website or office. Always be sure to receive written permission to use someone’s name or likeness.
7. Have review instructions cards on the checkout desk
If leaving a review is not easy to do, most people won’t go out of their way. By providing information on how to leave a review at checkout, you’re giving happy patients a physical reminder to review you. An added benefit of this more passive method is that this allows patients to be in control of the review process.
8. Focus on a single platform
Reviews on your website, Google, Facebook, and various review sites can quickly get become diluted. Focusing on one review platform will help you to consolidate your reviews and make the biggest impact.
Putting the time and energy into these ethical strategies to gain more reviews will be well worth your efforts. Not only will they help build people’s trust in your practice, they will help you have a better understanding of how to best serve your patients.