People's love of the internet can be witnessed by the growing number of reviews and subscribers on social media platforms. People prefer browsing the internet for every question and review sites act as a guide for them. For local businesses, BrightLocal says 97 percent of consumers read online reviews. This number should be enough to explain to you the importance of online reviews. Let’s understand why online reviews are important and how can you attract more positive reviews.
Why are patient reviews important?
Word of mouth. Your potential patients read reviews from existing patients for a clear view of your practice. Online reviews are digital word-of-mouth marketing where thousands of people read what’s said about you, thereby affecting your practice’s online reputation.
Personal recommendation. Since online reviews act as word-of-mouth marketing, people consider it as a personal recommendation. When a recommendation is posted by a friend, family, acquaintance or anyone in a patient’s network, it has a major impact. It can spread like wildfire with the help of social media channels. This chain of trust in recommendations keeps growing.
Lead generation. The positive reviews take the viewer to your practice website. Your potential patients want to learn more about you, your practice and services before they visit your practice. So you need to have a responsive and engaging website. Your webpage should have intricate design and different content forms such as blogs, infographics, videos, etc. to attract and retain a potential patient, leading to higher conversion rates.
To increase your online presence and build your online reputation, you need more reviews. Here's how to get more positive reviews.
1. Offer excellent service
Your service is the primary requisite for positive reviews. A patient happy with your treatment is sure to post a glowing review for your practice. Maybe you would need to request a patient to post a positive review, but it's worth it because a disappointed patient is sure to write harshly about your practice online. So, work on your service to get more positive reviews on all review platforms.
2. Conduct survey
Launch a survey to receive feedback from your existing patients. Keep it simple with limited questions that don’t take much time for a participant to answer. Even yes/no questions can help you work on your actions. This will give you a brief about your patients’ perception of your practice. Include a star rating system which can be presented on your website.
3. Ask for reviews
Going back to something from the first point, patients may say they don’t post reviews because they weren’t asked to. Ask your happy patients to post feedback about your practice online when they leave your practice. A simple request will not sound like pressuring your patients. If you are a new practice, you need more reviews to let people know about your practice and if you are not a newbie, you need positive reviews to defeat your competitors.
All of this helps you build the trust of patients in your practice. It increases the transparency of your services and strengthens your online reputation. Regularly monitor your online activities and have your website listed on third-party websites as a part of the citation. Track reviews received from various review sites and social media platforms. Handle any negative comments efficiently. Don’t panic! A negative comment is not the end of the world but a stepping stone to success.
A potential patient does not read more than 10 reviews or so to decide on visiting your practice. So it is necessary to manage your reputation and reviews. Make sure your top 10 reviews are positive.
Also, your reviews should be fresh, i.e. not more than three months old. According to Search Engine Land, 69 percent of people find a review older than three months irrelevant. The searcher finds current and positive reviews trust worthy and valuable.
Manish Chauhan is Digital Marketing Manager at myPracticeReputation which is an easy-to-use reputation management solution for physicians to help monitor, protect and promote their medical practices at all times in the simplest way possible.