Online reviews are incredibly valuable in the healthcare marketplace. If you are reading this post, it is likely you are already aware of some of the benefits of online reviews. But if not, I list a few of the biggest so that we are all on the same page.
- Online reviews are a fairly significant part of the local search algorithm used by Google and Bing when determining how your practice should rank for local search terms like “Your City dentist” or “dentist in Your City.” While reviews aren’t the only factor, they do play an important role.
- They help users make decisions. In the old days, people would ask a trusted friend who they used for healthcare care. Today, those same verbal recommendations occur, but they are often happening on social media. Responses often come with tags or links connecting your practice’s website or Facebook profile directly with the person asking. Often, these users will dig deeper and a practice with many positive reviews is more likely to get the business. Also, Facebook will draw attention to other friends that have reviewed or like that business so it provides an additional opportunity for people to receive more peer validation of their choice of practice.
- Instead of asking a friend in person or on social media, potential patients will search the Internet for a practice in their area. When they have found potential candidates, the online reviews help them decided which practice is the best fit.
The advice, positive or negative, from a friend or even a stranger, has a great deal of influence over their selection of a provider. So how do practices get more reviews? Below we have outlined 3 quick tips for getting more reviews.
- Make it easy! Oftentimes we will find practices requesting reviews from patients but they aren’t indicating how or where the reviews should be made. We suggest creating a list of a variety of locations like Google, Yelp, BBB, or Bing where patients can leave reviews. The benefit to having a list is that many of your patients will have an account at one of the options already so they can choose the option that is the easiest for them. It is also helpful to provide links to the exact profiles. When it is just one-click-away, it’ll prevent users from getting distracted or confused during the process.
- Ask in person. We have found that asking a patient in person to leave an online review significantly increases the likelihood they will do so. It also opens up the opportunity for honest feedback if the patient had a lackluster experience. This approach could come from the practice, a hygienist, or the front desk scheduler. Having the campaign flyer listed in tip 1 helps to make sure that the person remembers to review your practice at a later date and time when they have the margin to do so.
- Ask when they have margin. Your patients are in a hurry to get out of the office. They may have good intentions to review your practice, but they may not have time immediately and once they get back to normal life they likely will forget about your conversation. Find a way to collect the email address of an interested patient and put them on a mailing list. Have the mailing list follow-up at about 7PM that evening with a personalized email, and then maybe again in about 5 days. This will give them a couple of nice friendly reminders at a time of day they are likely to have the margin to spend a few minutes helping your practice.
Bonus idea: Make it a part of your office exit, i.e. Exit Quizzer. We have developed a small quiz program that can be run on a computer in your office. When a user is waiting to complete their billing process you can have them answer a few short questions. If their overall response is positive, the system will give them the ability to provide an online review. It will display on screen some of the most popular locations for the user to provide a review and allow them to step through the process online on that machine while they’re still in the office. This system allows your practice to get real-time insight into your patient’s experience at the practice while also helping to generate online reviews. If you are interested in learning more about an Exit Quizzer subscription, you can contact us.
These are just a few ways to help increase your lead totals. Each practice is different and the flow of patients through your practice may impact how you implement these ideas. Hopefully, they will work as well for your practice as they have for our healthcare clients.