If you’re not staying ahead of your online reputation management, you are falling behind. Reviews are a primary decision-making factor for new patients and are often how you make your first impression to potential patients: Almost three in every four patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new provider, according to Software Advice.
Most doctors understand the importance of online reputation management, but often find it challenging to encourage their patients to share feedback online. Inspire your patients to show love with the following seven tips.
Try these ways to boost patient feedback and engagement
1. Send patient satisfaction surveys following every visit
Email is a great way to stay engaged with your patients outside of your office and one of the easiest ways to request their feedback. Boost your online reputation by sending your patients a short survey following their visit. Give them the option to consent to share their feedback on your website, or direct them to post directly on an online review site.
Get started today by sending a feedback survey to patients you’ve seen in the last two weeks. Moving forward, try to send the survey as close to the original appointment time as possible, whether it be on a daily or weekly basis.
2. Set the expectation for feedback in person
When you’re interacting with a patient during the visit, tell them they will receive a patient survey or that someone will be reaching out to collect feedback from them. Try saying something like, “After your visit today, you’ll receive a feedback request from us, and we’d appreciate your honest opinion on your experience here.”
By setting the expectation, you’re affirming that you care about the quality of your patients’ experience, which will enhance your provider-patient relationship. If your patients know to expect it, they are more likely to share their feedback.
3. Send holiday-themed email campaigns
Sending your patients a holiday-themed email campaign is a great way to encourage them to post a review on an online review site. For example, for Valentine’s Day, you can ask your patients to “spread the love,” and direct them to submit a rating on Google My Business or Vitals.
A compelling email campaign should:
- Be short and easy to read
- Contain images or an engaging visual
- Include a clear call-to-action (CTA), or what you want your audience to do.
4. Host a social media contest
Use your social media channels to boost your online engagement. By growing your audience and engaging with your followers, you can elevate your online reputation and position yourself as a thought leader.
Try hosting a giveaway by encouraging people to like one of your posts and follow your channels. Incentivize new followers by entering them in a raffle and offering a prize that works for your practice, such as a promotional deal on your services, a giveaway, or a free consultation.
5. Ask grateful patients to participate in a testimonial for your website
As a provider, you are building relationships with your patients over time. Think about patients who have thanked you for easing their symptoms or treating their conditions. Next time you interact with them, ask them if they wouldn’t mind submitting a patient testimonial detailing their experience for your website. When doing this, make sure to keep HIPAA regulations in mind.
Not only will this help with your doctor reputation management, but it will help boost your website’s search engine optimization, as testimonials often include important keywords and generate fresh content for your website.
6. Engage with public feedback
A key component of online reputation management is responding to public reviews. Receiving a negative review is never a great feeling, but you can help diffuse the situation (and the blow to your online reputation) by publicly responding. According to Software Advice, 70 percent of patients believe it is very or moderately important for doctors to respond to negative reviews.
Although it is most critical to respond to negative reviews, you should respond to positive reviews as well, thanking people for their feedback and for taking the time to share their experience. Being responsive online encourages others to share feedback, because it shows patients and potential patients that you are actually reading their reviews and value their opinion.
In both cases, remember to keep HIPAA in mind. Don’t acknowledge reviewers as your patients, and do not reveal protected health information.
7. Use reputation management software that integrates with your EMR
When evaluating reputation management software, an important thing to consider is whether it is HIPAA-compliant, so that you can protect your patients’ privacy — and avoid some potential fines.
You may also consider choosing a software that integrates with your EMR scheduling system. A tool that integrates with your EMR can send automatic feedback requests to your entire patient base regardless within hours following their visit. A good reputation management tool will also send your patients periodic reminders via text or email.
PatientPop integrates with more than 60 EMRs (and counting) to help providers boost their online reputation and attract new patients.