Reputation is everything in business, and in today’s digital era this includes your online standing. When choosing a new healthcare provider, people have plenty of options, so many browse the internet to find the practice with the best reviews.
An overwhelming 82 percent of U.S. adults read online customer ratings or reviews before making a purchase decision, according to 2016 data from the Pew Research Center. More than half (54 percent) focus on the extremely negative ones, so unkind words can actually hurt your practice.
If you’re trying to attract new patients, it’s time to take control of your online reputation. Here are four ways to generate reviews with an effective patient feedback system.
Send a quick survey
Your patients are busy people. They don’t have time to complete a lengthy post-visit questionnaire, so make giving feedback easy.
After each visit, send a short patient satisfaction survey via text or email. Serving as a post-appointment follow-up of sorts, promptly reaching out allows you to connect with them while the visit is still fresh in their mind.
The key to attracting new patients — and retaining existing ones — is finding out what people liked and disliked about their visit. Everyone won’t complete the survey, but automatically sending one to each person incites a higher response rate.
Handle issues privately
You strive to provide patients with the first-class service, but no healthcare practice is perfect all the time. In fact, 62.4 percent of providers have had at least one patient post a negative review online about their practice, according to our 2018 Online Reputation Management Survey.
When you have a robust patient feedback system in place, you’re able to learn about the problem before the person writes a negative review online. This allows you to manage the issue offline, so it doesn’t play out in a public sphere.
Taking the time to rectify the issue will make the patient feel valued. When it has been resolved, it’s possible they’ll write you a positive review that will help attract new patients.
Invite patients to share
People like to voice their thoughts and opinions. When patients have a positive experience with your practice, many are happy to write a review, but need a little push.
Results of the recent PatientPop survey revealed that 52 percent of healthcare providers ask patients to share their experience online. However, 71.3 percent of practices receive reviews from no more than 5 percent of their patients.
Clearly, most providers aren’t using an effective patient feedback system. Investing in a tool that invites patients to post reviews and makes it easy to do so will generate a higher response rate.
For prospective new patients, nothing weighs greater than the opinions of those currently under your care. Positive reviews build trust. If patients sing your praises, readers will be more inclined to call you, instead of a competitor without those reviews.
Send friendly reminders
Feedback from existing patients is a fantastic way to attract new patients, so if you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying. Give people multiple opportunities to respond to your patient satisfaction survey, because their opinions matter.
Let patients know how important it is for them to complete the survey and how much you truly appreciate their taking the time to do it. Even those who truly intended to fill it out on the first try can easily forget, so a gentle nudge can make all the difference.
Getting a handle on your online reputation management is a must for attracting new patients. People put a lot of stock in online reviews, so giving current patients a voice can seriously boost your practice.
Want more tips on online reputation management? Check out the blog “How to respond to negative reviews and fix your online reputation.”