How to ask patients for reviews in person

Training your staff to ask patients for feedback and reviews is one of the best ways to get it. It is important to prepare a script for the front desk, set up an incentives structure, and review progress daily.

Prepare your staff

So, you have decided that reviews are important and you have set a goal for how many patients you should ask for feedback per day. The next step is agreeing to a simple script that you will use for asking for patient reviews.

A simple script for asking for patient reviews

First, encourage transparent patient feedback instead of asking directly for reviews. For example, instead of saying “Can you review us online?” try this:

Front Desk: Would you leave feedback about your experience today because it would help us improve our practice? Would that be okay?
Patient: Yeah, that’s fine.
Front Deck: Thank you. You can complete the review on your smartphone or our tablet. You can go to [insert URL of your patient review form] to begin. [Front Desk points the patient to a brochure which displays the URL.]

The psychology behind your patient feedback script

This script features the word “because” as it leads to automatic compliance for most people when the stakes are low. A 1978 study conducted by Harvard’s Ellen Langer showed that stating the word “because” when asking for a small favor increases compliance by over 56%. In Langer’s case, requests were being made to use a copier but clinicians can get similar results with patient feedback as long as it is easy for the patient. Finally, you are giving the patient a way out (“Would that be okay?”) by not phrasing it as a demand, which hinders compliance.

Compliance will further increase if you have the clinician mention the option to leave feedback before directing the patient to checkout. The checkout person can state the script before or after their typical checkout procedures (e.g. scheduling a follow up).

Rewarding staff for asking for patient reviews

Once your staff is given training for how to get patients reviews, encourage them to ask. Offer them a reward for hitting their patient feedback goal by the end of the day or week. It is more productive to incentivize than to force staff to get reviews. Someone asking for feedback with a polite smile will be more successful than one with a scornful frown.

  • An extra 30 minutes of break time
  • A small financial bonus
  • A gift card
  • A high five (don’t underestimate genuine appreciation!)

Practice how to get patient reviews regularly

After agreeing upon a template for how to get patient reviews, have a few rehearsals before implementing your process. Role playing can be a little bit awkward at first, but everyone will appreciate it once positive patient reviews start pouring in. You can pair your patient feedback request training up with financial policy scripting and role playing for added benefits.

If possible, set up an end of day recap to gather:

  1. The number of patient feedback requests made by your staff
  2. The number of patients who left public reviews
  3. The average daily score of those reviews

You can also use technology to automate a daily report sent to you and your colleagues with these metrics.

Read More from this Series

About the Author
Jon founded meddkit.com to help private healthcare businesses get more consistent appointment, improve their web presence, and reduce technology stress. Jon is a certified Project Management Professional and has spent a decade helping healthcare providers with technology. Jon lives near Philadelphia, PA and is an avid reader, outdoorsman, and tech geek.