Not too long ago, when people were looking for a new healthcare provider, they would ask their friends and neighbors for suggestions. Now, with so much information online, fewer people are asking for recommendations, and are just going straight to the online reviews. In fact, almost half of patients choosing a new provider say that the online reviews left for a practice carry a lot of weight in their decisions. Making sure that information about your practice is not only accurate and positive, but also easy to find, can help bring new patients in the door.
The best way to build your online presence is to ask your patients to leave reviews. A patient relationship management (PRM) software can help you send requests to patients after their appointments asking them to review your practice on a particular site. The best part about this strategy is that you can direct them to the sites where you need positive reviews the most. For example, you don’t want every review request to direct the patient to your practice’s Yelp page. That’s fine for a period of time, but you should also be monitoring your reviews on other sites, like Google, or Bing Places. Once you have gotten a few positive reviews on one site, change your request and direct them to a different one. Current reviews on a variety of sites will make sure more patients see them.
It’s also important to make sure you or someone in your practice is reading and responding to reviews left on any platform on a regular basis. About 80% of people who are reading the online reviews trust them as much as a personal recommendation, so you need to be aware of what is being said about you online. A PRM system can help with this by scouring the web and consolidating all the reviews for you.
Your practice should also respond to reviews when appropriate. If a review asks a question about your practice, or expresses a concern, your practice loses credibility if there isn’t a response. Answering a general question or letting a patient know you will contact them directly (gotta make sure you’re following HIPAA regulations) not only builds relationships with your current patients, but also shows potential patients how they will be treated. The way you respond to reviews, both positive and negative, will influence a potential patient’s decision to schedule an appointment.
With the right strategy and PRM software to help, managing your online reviews can be a simple process, but one that helps bring in new patients. Learn more tips to manage your online presence here.