One of the most common questions Doctors and Office Managers ask is "How can our practice get more reviews?"
There is no doubt that reviews and testimonials across highly authoritative sites like Health Grades, Vitals, Google, Facebook, and Yelp have a tremendous impact on your online visibility.
Online reviews have in many ways become the new word of mouth referral. Instead of calling up my friend to ask what doctor she likes I can see what the doctor is liked by hundreds or thousands of people. Social proof and validation is something marketers have been leveraging for years. Whether it's a snippet on a page to help boost form submissions or QVC taking calls from strangers to talk about how much they love their new vacuum cleaner.
With that sort of impact on customer decision making you might think reviews come naturally for a busy practice. You would be wrong.
Less than 25% of consumers have never left an online review. And the majority of online reviews come from 25-34 year olds. Which depending on your specialty, may not be your most common demographic.
Not only is it an important part of a patients decision making process when searching for a provider, but it also means it's your job to give the extra nudge to get your practice more reviews.
When you start receiving more reviews you will inevitably have someone leave a negative review. Don't panic. This can actually be a good thing.
According to marketing software company Vendasta, 95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don't see bad scores. The negative review makes your business look more "real". It also gives you a chance to show your true colors and respond to the negativity in a thoughtful respectful manner.
Depending on your specialty and location this may differ, but this list is pretty consistent across healthcare.
Your practice is probably listed or has received reviews on other sites as well, like RateMds.com, DoctorReviews.com. While you can't ignore these, your focus should be on the short list of the most common sites your patients visit. Pick one or two review sites and focus on building a strong reputation before moving on to the next
For example, for 3 months push patients to Google My Business to leave feedback. After you have received 20 reviews, move on to Facebook.
In short, your practice needs to make gathering genuine reviews an integral part of its marketing strategy. It will increase your visibility and improve your new patient conversions.