You know that patient reviews are essential to growing your practice, but you might not have the time or even the know-how to get started. No sweat! Doctor.com can help you kick-start a thriving review strategy with a few essential dos and don’ts.
- Waste your time agonizing over hundreds of sites or spending a ton of money on your own site. There are only a handful of players in the healthcare and business review space that matter most: Healthgrades, Yelp, and Google, to name a few. Why focus on these sites? They attract the most patient traffic and engagement and feature value-add functionality like one-click appointment requests.
- Incentivize or “game” reviews. Most sites penalize and/or delete reviews that were not written organically, and a lot of consumers can see right through “doctored” or planted reviews.1
- Use services that promise plentiful reviews but keep them trapped on one site (for more details check out “The Currency Of Patient Trust“). Patients can search for you from any platform — the more places your reviews are syndicated, the better your chance of bookings.
- Be intimidated by bad reviews. They’re a natural part of growing a business and an opportunity to show patients that you care about their feedback and experience. Not to mention 95% of consumers2 believe businesses without a single bad score are doctoring their feedback. That being said, don’t:
- Ignore bad reviews. 60% of patients feel it’s very or moderately important for doctors to post a response to a review.3 Heed this patient sentiment and respond to reviews professionally and politely (in compliance with HIPAA regulations). Also take the opportunity to gently educate the public on policies or call a patient directly to reach an understanding. We’ve compiled a handy cheat sheet on how to best respond to reviews (good and bad), which you can download for free here.
(Download your FREE eBook “Mastering Online Reviews to Become a 5-Star Practice“)
- Get on Yelp. Some doctors are intimidated by the potential for negative reviews, but the reality is that 78% of businesses on Yelp have a three-star rating or better4. Healthcare providers as an entity have an average rating of four stars.5 Positivity far outweighs negativity on Yelp, and with Yelp’s growing popularity (93% of patients who search Yelp for health/medical businesses make a purchase after searching6) in the healthcare sector, getting on Yelp to engage with its audience of 100M+ monthly users is an opportunity worth tapping into.
- Integrate with other directories and platforms. Google My Business, Yelp, Healthgrades, and Vitals are great starting points, but don’t stop there! Get your reviews on as many patient-facing sites as possible.
- Create more happy patients by improving your customer experience — from the moment patients search for care to the moment they leave your practice. Every touchpoint must drive trust and credibility: complete and accurate listing information at the point of search, easy appointment booking and rescheduling options, and high-quality service in the office.
- Make it easy to review you with a call to action for feedback on your website, email signature, and directory listings. In-office signage to the tune of “check us out on [review site!]” won’t hurt either.
- Keep reviews fresh. 73% of patients feel that reviews older than three months are no longer relevant.7 44% feel reviews are only relevant within one month8.
If nothing else, stay aware of your reviews online and strive to gather at least four a month. Even a handful of fresh reviews generated consistently from your happy customers can go a long way toward boosting your search ranking, your reputation, and the volume of patients walking through your door.
Online reviews are not your enemy, and having a stellar review program doesn’t have to be hard. Check out our free diagnostic tool to see how your practice looks to patients searching for you online today!