If someone were to ask you to name the most important aspects of creating a successful practice, what would you tell them? Healthcare expertise? Overall efficiency? Number of patients seen per day? Yes, these are important. But, somewhat surprisingly, one of the most crucial pieces of running a great practice is your online profile. Yep...those pesky online reviews.
Great online reviews start with a great patient experience. When patients visit your office, it’s important for every member of the staff to do what they can to create a good experience. From the check-in process, to taking vital signs, to the time with the doctor, every team member can build a relationship with the patient. Engaging in a conversation about how a new patient found your practice or talking about a long-time patient’s kids or vacation plans can help patients connect with you as their provider and build a strong relationship.
Creating this kind of patient experience not only increases the loyalty patients feel toward your practice, but can also be a great step in encouraging patients to leave an online review for your practice.
Nearly 80 percent of patients read online reviews before choosing a new provider. Asking current patients to share their experience online can be a big step in attracting some of those potential new patients to your office. But sometimes asking for reviews can seem overwhelming. Your staff is already so busy with other tasks in the office and interacting with patients, adding one more thing to their workload can be that proverbial straw.
In many practices, the responsibility to ask patients for an online review lies with the staff who manage the front desk. While they are busy checking-in patients and scheduling follow-up appointments, they also have to remember to start a conversation about online reviews and encourage patients to write one for the practice. While this process can work, there is a good chance that your staff will get busy and not every patient will be asked to leave a review.
This is where patient communication software can be beneficial. At the end of the day, every patient who visited the office can receive an automated text message with an invitation to provide feedback. The text should have a customizable message and a clickable link.
An initial qualifying question gauges how satisfied the patient was and either directs them to leave a review on Google or Facebook or directs them to provide feedback to you. This helps ensure that only happy patients leave reviews. With this automated process you no longer have to rely on a specific staff member to ensure they ask each patient to leave a review, on top of everything else they are doing.
Of course your staff can and should encourage happy patients to leave a review, but automating the process ensures every patient is given the opportunity even if someone forgets to ask. And if your staff knows that every patient is going to be asked to review the practice, it gives them a little extra incentive to see what they can do to go above and beyond what patients expect of them. It may be a small change in the process, but the results can have a big impact on your practice’s online reputation.
Interested in learning more about gathering great online reviews? Download our checklist ‘9 Steps to Awesome Online Reviews’ here.