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Common mistakes doctors make when requesting patient reviews

Patient reviews are an important component of healthcare reputation management.

patient-reviews-mistakes

If your medical practice doesn’t have many patient reviews, you’re not alone. Surprisingly, 71.3 percent of providers receive reviews from just 5 percent or fewer of their patients, according to the PatientPop 2018 Healthcare Providers Survey Report: Online Reputation Management.

The problem is, 86 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses, according to BrightLocal. Furthermore, people read an average of 10 reviews before feeling like they can trust a business.

Clearly, not having enough patient reviews can negatively impact your online reputation. Here’s a look at possible reasons why patients aren’t taking the time to review your practice.

Stop making these mistakes and get more patient reviews

Not asking for patient reviews

More than three-quarters of healthcare providers (80.3 percent) believe healthcare reputation management is important, according to PatientPop. Chances are, you share this sentiment, but might be afraid to ask patients to write a review.

It’s time to stop feeling self-conscious about this, because the vast majority of patients are willing to write reviews. Most (86 percent) people would consider leaving a review for a business, according to BrightLocal, and 59 percent — 80 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds — have written a review for a local business.

A patient review report: One-third of practices fail at feedback

Asking for patient reviews at the wrong time

In life, timing is everything. This includes finding the right time to send patient satisfaction surveys.

The best surveys invite patients to share their positive experiences on your website, but if they’re sent at the wrong cadence, they won’t be completed. Avoid this by using an automated service to send your questionnaires, so you’ll always time it right.

Check out: Manage online reputation with a patient feedback system that works

Not asking for patient reviews in person

Digital tools like surveys are great, but you shouldn’t rely on them entirely. People often feel more compelled to write reviews after receiving a face-to-face request.

In fact, 70 percent of consumers who have been asked to leave reviews agreed to do so and actually did it, according to BrightLocal. Therefore, you’ll likely  garner more patient reviews by simply requesting one before leaving the exam room.

Relying on gimmicks

You might think entering patients in a drawing or offering a discount will entice them to write reviews, but it could backfire. If they assume they won’t win the prize anyway or aren’t interested in the discounted service, they probably won’t bother.

Furthermore, local review sites like Google strongly discourage businesses from compensating reviewers in any way, because this could persuade them to leave false or misleading reviews, thereby skewing perceptions.

When patients are satisfied with the care they receive, most are happy to write a review. You’re an excellent provider, so stop trying to disguise the fact that you’d like a review and just ask for it straight up.

Download: Medical marketing mistakes doctors don’t even know they’re making

Failing to capitalize on the situation

Your patients probably give you plenty of opportunities to ask for a review, so seize the moment. When someone compliments your care, thank them, and take that as your cue to request a review.

Happy patients are proud to write reviews, because they truly believe they’ve found the best possible provider. Achieving high patient satisfaction is something to be proud of, so use it to your advantage.

Treating patient reviews as an afterthought

Patient reviews hold serious weight. In fact, 91 percent of consumers aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.

Clearly, gathering as many reviews as possible is essential to your online reputation, so make it a priority. Create a game plan with your staff and work together to get as many patients as possible to review your practice.

Asking your staff to assist in this process is great, but don’t place the bulk of the burden on them. More than 44 percent of practices with a healthcare reputation management program plan to ask current employees to spend more time on these tasks, according to PatientPop. Support staff experiences high levels of burnout, so make sure you’re doing plenty of work to further the cause.

You might like: 3 signs your front office staff is burnt out — and how to help

Modern patients like to be informed, so the importance of reviews cannot be emphasized enough. Follow the advice above to stop making mistakes keeping you from maximizing the number of reviews written by your patients.

Want more information on the topic of patient reviews? Check out the blog post “The importance of online reviews for healthcare practices.”

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