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5 Ways to successfully gather online reviews for your healthcare practice

Article

The more reviews you get, the more likely you are to bring in new patients.

Someone posting a four star review on a laptop | © Blue Planet Studios - stock.adobe.com

© Blue Planet Studios - stock.adobe.com

Patients often rely on Google searches to find a healthcare provider, and the number of positive reviews your practice has determines how well you’ll rank when searched. The more reviews you get, the more likely you are to bring in new patients.

Whether you’re a small practice trying to boost your online presence or a large healthcare provider aiming to expand your customer base, here are five ways to win more reviews for your practice and attract more patients over time.

1. Request feedback from satisfied patients.

Once you’ve established a relationship with your patient, one of the best ways to get a review is to ask for one in person. After their appointment, ask how everything was while they’re checking out and filling out final paperwork. If their response is positive, then ask if they can leave you a review.

When you’re asking them in person, have something for them to scan like a card with a QR code that directs them to your Google review page. Or tell them you’ll be sending an email and/or text asking for their feedback.

It’s important to make getting to your review page as straightforward and accessible as possible, since most people don’t want to take the time figuring out how to navigate the review process. Asking in person increases the overall chances of the patient opening your review request later.

2. Send review request emails to previous patients.

Requesting reviews over email is a tried and tested method. It’s important to keep your message short and sweet, especially if you’re wanting valuable Google reviews that prospective patients will be reading.

The timing is vital, and you should send out a review request when the experience is still fresh in their minds. Use the short window after an appointment to send your email, something simple like:

"[First Name],

Thanks for trusting us to take care of you! Please leave us a review on Google to tell us how we did: [URL]. If you have any additional questions or needs, let us know!

Thanks again,

[Provider Name]"

Experiment with different subject lines to see what works best for you. Sometimes it helps to address the patient by name in the subject line, but you can also write things like “How did we do?” or “Got a minute to share your experience with [Provider Name]?”

3. Use texting to request reviews.

70% of people say texting is the fastest way to reach them, making it an effective channel for your practice to request and receive reviews.

Before you start texting patients, be sure that you’re registered with a HIPAA-compliant text messaging platform, and that you’ve received expressed consent to text them. Patients can agree to receive texts from you by signing a physical or digital form, or by texting your practice themselves.

Once that’s taken care of, you can start texting patients for reviews. Draft a brief text under 160 characters, such as:

"[First Name], thanks for visiting us today. Reviews help us and help people find the best care. Mind leaving us one? [URL]"

Keep pre-made text templates at hand to help you save time when reaching out to multiple patients. This is also important for keeping communications consistent across employees—that’s a big deal in healthcare.

An efficient HIPAA-compliant texting software enables you to reach out to patients for one-to-one communications, and some of them even offer review management capabilities. That way, you can earn, track, and respond to online reviews all in one place.

4. Leverage social media to encourage reviews.

Drum up reviews by maintaining an active presence on your social media platforms. Facebook is a popular place for people to ask their friends and family for recommendations, and you want to engage with everyone who tags your practice in their posts or comments, or on your own posts. You can also prompt patients to share their good experiences with you on social media, depending on what they feel comfortable with sharing.

If customers are praising and referencing you as a recommendation, you have an opportunity to transform that into a review. From there, it’s as easy as asking:

“We’re so glad you enjoyed your experience with us! Would you mind sharing your kind words on our review page? [URL] It’ll help us and others out. Thank you!”

You can direct people to your Facebook Reviews page, which is easiest since it’s already within the platform, or you can direct them to another reviews page.

An active social media presence gives you a higher chance of reaching a bigger audience, including potential patients who might be searching for a local practice. Word of mouth is powerful, and when potential customers see your business page brimming with positive reviews and social proof, they’ll be more likely to choose you.

5. Respond to every review–both positive and negative.

Successfully gathering reviews includes responding to patients to thank them or take negative feedback constructively. Replying to reviews gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your patient-first approach—especially since most people expect healthcare practices to acknowledge feedback.

With positive feedback, be sure to thank the patient, use personalized language, and recognize what you’re doing to make them happy.

With negative feedback, you should maintain the same positive decorum while empathizing with their frustration. Demonstrate that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to resolve their issue. The quicker you are to resolve a problem, the more you stand a chance at gaining repeat visits from them.

By showing patients that you care about what they have to say, it can encourage additional reviews, enhance ratings, and establish your practice as a reliable choice. In turn, this has the power to strengthen relationships with existing patients, and even attract prospective patients.

The key to reviews: Ask!

Don’t feel like you’ve got to start all the above items at once. Try one or two that you feel the most comfortable with, and as you master each one, layer on the rest. No matter what, though, the first step to getting positive online reviews is to ask!

Jessica Ayre is a content marketing specialist at Text Request, a HIPAA-compliant business texting solution. If your practice wants to start texting customers, Text Request can give you all the tools and resources you need to create a safe and successful text messaging strategy.

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