Healthcare organizations nowadays can’t run away from the impact of their online reviews on their reputation.
A recent study from MobiHealthNews showed that 95 percent of U.S. adults trust online ratings and reviews, and 70 percent of them said that they heavily rely on online reputations when choosing their doctors.
Online healthcare reviews serve as proof of the quality of your services. These reviews can influence potential patients when choosing and booking an appointment with a healthcare provider.
If you’re a healthcare provider looking to increase your patient base, online reviews can play an important role to help your healthcare business succeed. Here’s why:
Patients Will Trust You Based on Your Digital Credibility
Many people rely on online reviews to form an opinion about a business or an institution.
Consumers tend to believe most of what they read on online platforms, especially when it comes to health information.
If you want to stay competitive in the healthcare industry, managing your digital credibility well is a must.
According to BrightLocal’s survey, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as their friends’ recommendations. An average consumer also reads 10 reviews before deciding whether to trust a business or not.
Your Online Reviews Can Make You Acquire or Lose More Patients
Online reviews are a make-it or break-it opportunity for any business. Your potential customers will typically check your top reviews first before booking a consultation with you.
In recent research, 60% of consumers say that negative reviews make them not want to pursue a business. Only 14% of consumers nowadays would still book an appointment with a business that has a 1-2 star rating.
If your recent reviews are all negative, they will easily view your services negatively, without even scrolling through the reviews that you’re most proud of.
Building a reputation strategy to monitor the standing of your patient satisfaction rate is a must. You will need to be more proactive in making your existing patients happy with your services to get more positive new reviews.
Negative Reviews May Come up More Often
Google and other search engines recommend highly-rated medical institutions first to anyone searching for a good healthcare provider.
However, negative reviews may come up more often than you would expect. As healthcare professionals, you don’t want potential patients to have a wrong impression of your service because of these impactful reviews.
Managing these negative reviews efficiently and professionally is key if you want search engines to highlight your positive patient reviews more. It will also increase your online credibility and lead to better patient conversions.
3 Tips on How to Encourage Customers to Write Reviews
Some patients need a little encouragement to give their honest reviews. Here are some tips on how you can have them write their reviews for you:
Explain to Them Why Reviews Are Important to You
Customer feedback is always essential in a customer-business relationship, especially in healthcare. However, not all patients see the value of their reviews so they wouldn’t initiate writing one unless you ask them.
Letting them know the importance of their reviews will make them realize that you highly value feedback and that you use them to improve your services.
Aside from their experience, encourage them to include in their reviews some tips for your future patients about your booking system, directions to your clinic, and other helpful reminders.
This will also establish a special connection between your current and incoming patients.
Keep Your Forms Simple
Lengthy and complicated feedback forms often discourage customers from answering.
When you ask a patient for their reviews, you are simply asking them for a favor. It’s better to keep your forms short and simple so they wouldn’t have to exert too much of their time and effort.
The lengthier your forms are, the more disappointments you might receive. It’s best to just include the important things that you need to know about the experience, such as:
Their satisfaction rate,
Specific issues they encountered
Your room for improvements, and
The likelihood that they’d recommend you to other people
Give a Shout Out on Social Media
You can also encourage your patients to share their experiences on social media!
Simply ask them to follow you on your social media sites and invite them to leave a review or get in touch to share their experience. Let them know that you care for them and that you value their thoughts and feelings about your services.
They’d appreciate your friendly request and your will to continuously engage with your patients. Just be careful not to post any sensitive patient information on social media to avoid violating HIPPA laws.
8 Helpful Ways to Get Good Patient Reviews
Nobody would want to entrust their health conditions to a doctor with bad credibility.
Having high-quality facilities and technologies, well-trained staff, and even creating credible and strong brand campaigns – these are just some of the many ways you do to provide a good patient experience.
With all these steps, a good reputation online will surely follow.
Positive Reviews Come From Satisfying Customer Experience
A happy patient is a healthy patient.
As health practitioners, your patients’ lives are always in your hands. Everyone will benefit if you aim for the best patient care and service that you can provide.
Good patient reviews come from satisfactory experiences. When your patient satisfaction increases, the overall reputation of your hospital and staff organically increases as well.
Many factors can affect your patient’s satisfaction, from the moment they enter your hospital until they say goodbye to you and your staff.
Online reviews nowadays include ratings on your staff’s attitude, hospital facilities, prices of your products and services, quality of your services, and their overall patient experience. Providing extra attention to these factors will help you gain their trust and positive reviews.
Directly Asking Them for Their Feedback
How can we serve you better? Tell us about your experience!
The idea behind patient reviews isn’t to create stress and damage to your institution. In fact, the goal is the opposite. By asking your patients for their feedback on their experience with your practice, you will get more ideas on your next steps towards improvements.
Your patients will also appreciate you for taking the time to know their opinions as well. And when they like your services, they will also post their reviews online.
Respond to Reviews Quickly
After leaving a review, most consumers would expect a response from you within the next 6 hours.
A quick response will make them realize that you truly care about them and that their satisfaction is one of your priorities.
Handle Negative Reviews Professionally
There may be some emotionally-charged complaints online that are often unjustified, but don’t let them stress you out even more. Instead, take these reviews as something you can learn from.
Set some time to respond to their concerns calmly and professionally. Offer possible solutions or compensations to resolve the conflict.
When an unhappy patient sees your efforts to resolve things, chances are, they would change their mind and their reviews. Most of your unhappy customers will return to your business if you manage to resolve their issues quickly and efficiently.
Highlight the Positive
Be proactive in collecting and sharing positive patient reviews. Reach out to patients who gave your practice satisfactory ratings and ask them if they’d be willing to write or record a testimonial.
Highlighting your good ratings and testimonials on your home page will also boost the interest of your potential patients. These testimonials will convince more people to book an appointment with you when they visit your website.
Build a Strong Online Profile
Patients visit multiple doctor review websites to either find a good healthcare provider or write a review about their recent medical service experience.
Building a strong profile on these doctor review sites will help you improve your online visibility, boost your patient feedback, and convert more patients.
Make sure to update your business information and offer more options for communication on your profile.
An incorrect or outdated profile gives a bad first impression to your profile visitors who are looking for a healthcare provider, and it might convince them to look for another one.
Comply to HIPAA
When managing reviews, it is extremely important to make sure that you continue to adhere to the guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Sharing any private and sensitive information of your patients without their consent will cause you further damage.
Even if the patient published their own health information in their review, that doesn’t permit you to post more of their information when you respond.
We recommend that you settle the conflict offline. Reach out to your patients privately via phone call or e-mail to discuss their concerns and offer solutions to resolve the conflict.
Let the Experts Help You Manage Your Online Reviews
Fortunately, there are many online tools now that can help you effectively manage your patient reviews.
After every appointment, these tools or software will automatically send emails to ask your patients to leave their review online regarding their experience and concerns.
Many medical providers also hire a healthcare digital marketing agency to help them with their overall digital presence, including online reviews and marketing. As a result, these practices also get better patient conversions.
Embrace the Digital Age as a Healthcare Professionals
Hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals shouldn’t shy away from their patient’s reviews online. Instead, promoting online feedback to your patients should be part of your post-appointment activities.
A good patient-doctor relationship is a result of good patient-doctor communication. The Internet is here for us to achieve these things easier.
Embrace and take advantage of these digital innovations to maintain a stable reputation in the healthcare scene.
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