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How to Ask Patients for Reviews and Referrals Without Sounding Pushy

Posted on Apr 28, 2022 by Solutionreach

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    Patient referrals and online reviews are two of the most important tools to grow your healthcare practice. Getting a patient to recommend a friend or family member can seem like a rarity—but it doesn’t have to be.

    Along the same lines, you don’t want to pass up opportunities to get your happy patients to leave your practice an online review. That’s because 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they would a referral from a friend. 

    Actively asking patients for referrals and online reviews can be a key (not to mention affordable) way to attract more patients to your practice. But if you don’t have a policy or plan in place to have staff ask for referrals and reviews, it can be uncomfortable at first, at least until it’s become a routine part of their patient interaction. That’s why it’s helpful to have some starters on how to ask patients for review and how to get patients to leave reviews.

    How and when you ask for a patient referral or online review is up to you, but there are certainly some times that are better than others. Using the tips below, you and your staff can learn to ask your patients for their help without making them feel pressured or awkward.

    1. Ask Your Long-Term, Loyal Patients

     Every practice has at least a handful of patients who’ve been with them for as long as you can remember (maybe since you opened!), and with whom they’ve developed a great rapport. These patients have remained loyal because they value the care they receive from you. This makes them perfect candidates to approach about referring their friends and family members or leaving an online review of your practice.

    You can introduce the topic by saying you wish you had more patients like this person, and mentioning that you’d love to help their family and friends if they are looking for a provider like you. Without asking in a high-pressure way, you’ve made your patient aware that you’d like them to refer others to you. If they can't think of anyone, ask if they might be willing to leave a review online. The majority of patients say they would leave a review if asked, but hardly any are!

    2. Accepting Compliments

    When a patient has a good experience and offers praise or thanks, the natural consequence is that he or she will share their story with others. When the patient thanks you, accept the praise graciously and encourage them to share their experience with others by way of a referral or review.

    You can even make light of it a bit. “When your friends tell you how bad their experience was, you can send them my way.” The light-hearted approach removes the pressure, but you can be sure their positive word-of-mouth story will spread your name to others.

    3. Follow a Script

    Here is a sample script you can follow, but feel free to alter it to suit your own style:

    Patient: “I really love your office. Your staff is so helpful and friendly.”

    You (acknowledge the compliment) : “Thank you! I’m very proud of the great team we have."

    (provide a quality statement): "It’s our goal to provide a positive experience for patients like you who appreciate what we do here."

    (make a transition statement): "Not everyone has a positive experience like this with their healthcare providers."

    (time to ask for the favor): "If you have any family members or friends who might appreciate the same experience you’ve had, we would love for you to recommend them to us. We would really enjoy giving them the same kind of service you’ve had. Or you could even just leave a review. That would be amazing as well. We sure appreciate you.”

    4. Use Technology to Do the Job for You

    Today's digital tools give you the ability to send patients texts or emails requesting online reviews or referrals without ever having to say a word.

    For example, check out SR Reputation Engine. With SR Reputation Engine, anyone in your practice can send a text with a clickable link to leave a review. Your patients simply follow the link to leave a review on your preferred review website. You can also use our technology to request referrals. In every newsletter or email, include a link for patients to send their friends a recommendation to you. It's easy and surprisingly effective. 

    5. Offer Incentives to Staff

    We saved one of the best methods for last! Sometimes the best way to get reviews and referrals is by offering a reward for participating. Perhaps you could offer movie tickets for each online review or something bigger for each person referred who becomes a new patient. Play around with your rewards. Sometimes a $10 Starbucks gift card works as well as a $50 Amazon card. You could also put all the names of people who participate into a drawing for a big reward. Your staff can be included in the incentive program. Offer rewards for every online review or referral they are able to get from patients. To make sure you are staying within Medicare guidelines when offering an incentive, check out this article

    And there you have it! Five simple approaches to make asking for—and getting—patient referrals and reviews that much easier!

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    To learn more about how to get more online reviews that can help you attract new patients and and expand your practice, check out the guide “Online Review Management: Top Hacks to Get Your Practice More 5-Star Reviews and More Patients.”

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