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How to ask for patient reviews in person — without feeling icky

Patient reviews are an important component of reputation management for doctors, yet many doctors feel uncomfortable asking for them.

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Patient reviews are an important part of a doctor’s online reputation management strategy. In fact, 72 percent of patients use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor, according to Software Advice.

Despite the benefits of online reviews, many doctors and their staff don’t ask patients to write them, because they feel uncomfortable. However, online reviews are a crucial component of every healthcare reputation management strategy, so you can’t afford not to ask.

It’s time to ditch the negative stigma you’ve attached to the act of requesting online reviews. Here are a few tips to broach the subject when talking with patients in person.

5 tips to request patient reviews in-person without feeling self-conscious

Ask when receiving praise

No doubt, patients compliment you on a regular basis. Instead of keeping these kind words between the two of you, take this as your cue to ask for a review.

People enjoy sharing positive recommendations with others, so they’ll likely be happy to oblige. Considering 86 percent of people read reviews for local businesses, according to BrightLocal, praise from a satisfied patient can hold serious clout.

Read: 7 ideas to drive patient love for better online reputation management

Inquire about their experience with your practice

For three quarters of physicians, residents, and medical students, helping patients is a top reason they decided to pursue a career in medicine, according to the American Medical Association. No doubt you fall into this group, and requesting patient reviews can actually help you provide better care.

At the end of the patient’s visit, ask questions such as “Were you able to easily schedule your appointment today?” or “Have I addressed all of your concerns?” If the feedback is positive, ask them to share their experience with others by writing a review. Take note of any negative comments and use them to improve in the future.

Also see: 4 ways patient feedback can help improve your healthcare practice

Be proud of the care you provide

For nearly one quarter of physicians (24 percent) being very good at their job is the most rewarding part of practicing medicine, according to Medscape. You can relate to this, because you take pride in providing your patients with the best possible care.

Part of doctor reputation management is believing in yourself. If you’re not confident enough in your abilities as a caregiver to ask for patient reviews, you can’t expect to receive them.

Think about all the people you’ve helped this week alone. Use this to boost your confidence before asking a patient to write an online review.

Focus on what you have to gain

Online reputation management for doctors isn’t just about achieving a high star rating. On average, people require 40 reviews to believe a business’s star rating is accurate, according to BrightLocal.

If you only have a few online reviews, prospective patients will likely be unsure about the legitimacy of your practice. Allow this to serve as your motivation to ask as many patients as possible to write reviews.

Related: 5 positive payoffs to negative patient reviews

Realize writing reviews is commonplace

You might feel uneasy about asking people to review your practice, but it’s likely second nature to them. When consumers are asked to leave a review, 70 percent have done so, according to BrightLocal.

Chances are, your patients frequently leave reviews for other local businesses, so they’ll be happy to write one for your practice. Try writing a few for businesses you frequent to understand the simplicity of the process.

When you know you’re doing the best you can to serve patients, asking them to review your practice shouldn’t feel wrong. People put a lot of stock in online reviews, so as long as you’re confident in the care you’re providing, don’t think twice about requesting genuine feedback.

Did you know? One-third of healthcare and dental practices fail at collecting patient feedback. Learn more in this PatientPop blog post.

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