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February, 2016

5 Ways to Get Five-Star Reviews and Increase New-Patient Flow

By Cassandra Ransom

When was the last time you made a purchasing decision or chose a service provider online? When you were deciding which service provider to choose, did you read through the online reviews about potential providers? If so, you are not alone. According to a 2015 survey by BrightLocal, nearly 92 percent of online consumers – including potential patients – read online reviews.1 Furthermore, according to BrightLocal's 2014 survey, 88 percent of consumers trust opinions posted online as much as they trust personal recommendations (i.e., a referral from a friend, family member or colleague).2

These two statistics alone demonstrate how important it is for your practice to have a positive online reputation in order to capture the attention of new patients. How can you ensure you are getting five-star reviews online that help attract new patients to your practice doors? Consider these five tips:

1. Make It Easy for Patients to Leave Reviews

Your website should include buttons that link to your social media pages, including your Facebook and G+ business pages, and perhaps to your Yelp page. That way, satisfied patients can write reviews about the quality of your care with one simple click.

2. Simply Ask Your Happy Patients to Write a Review

Some practice owners overlook this simple way to garner more five-star reviews, assuming their patients do not want to take time out of their busy day to leave a review. However, simply asking your satisfied patients to leave a review will go a long way in helping you cultivate a positive online reputation. You might be surprised at how willing people are to help spread the word about the excellent patient care they receive. Just remember to thank each patient who leaves a positive review with a note, card or phone call.

3. Respond to Positive Reviews

five star rating - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark You may think nothing needs to be done if you get a positive review. Nonetheless, it is important to show appreciation for the time it took someone to review your practice. Respond to the review directly on the social media or review site, thanking the reviewer in the comment section. The reviewer will be happy you noticed their kind words, and potential patients reading your online reviews will note that you are polite, professional and value your patients' feedback.

4. Respond to Negative Reviews

It can be difficult to read something negative about yourself, your staff or your practice in general. However, 86 percent of online consumers would like or love to hear from a company regarding a complaint or negative review.3 With this mind, take a deep breath before responding to a negative review, so your response is concise and non-aggressive. Taking the time to respond thoughtfully and objectively demonstrates your ability to solve problems and shows you care about all your patients.

If you or your staff were in the wrong, apologize directly and publicly, recognizing what you could have done differently. Invite the reviewer to contact you directly to further address the matter. Often, simply knowing their voice is being heard is enough to appease someone who is upset.

5. Remember That Reviews Offer Insight

If your practice receives multiple negative reviews about the same issue, chances are the reviewers are right. However, you can use these comments to your advantage. Make note of the areas in which you can improve and implement an action plan to rectify the situation.

Online reviews offer a wealth of information you and your staff can draw upon to enhance your patient-satisfaction rate. Star rating is the No. 1 factor used by consumers to judge a business or practice.4 Even when a current patient recommends your services to a friend, that friend will likely look up your online reviews before making the final decision to book an appointment with you.

Having a positive online reputation will help you attract more new patients, while having a negative online reputation will deter potential patients, so do not overlook the impact online reviews have on your practice's overall success.

References

  1. BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2015; a survey of North American consumers on how they read and utilize online reviews.
  2. Anderson M. "88 Percent of Consumers Trust Online Reviews as Much as Personal Recommendations." Search Engine Land, reporting on findings from BrightLocal's Local Consumer Review Survey 2014.
  3. Seiter C. "The Complete Guide to Using Social Media for Customer Service." BufferSocial, Feb. 20, 2014.
  4. BrightLocal, Op Cit.

Cassandra Ransom, content and social media manager at ChiroMatrix (www.chiromatrix.com), has more than seven years of writing, editing and marketing experience. In her current position at ChiroMatrix, Cassandra leads and collaborates with her creative team to develop and deliver various content, from advertising copy to informative e-book and white paper content. She stays abreast of the evolving online marketing needs of chiropractors and other health care providers. Cassandra uses her knowledge of the chiropractic industry and writing field to deliver pertinent content and leading-edge online marketing tips to chiropractic professionals across the country.

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