Building a strong reputation requires years of successful interactions with patients. In 2021, fair or not, your practice’s reputation is based on public appraisals of these interactions, or online reviews.
Though patients are not medical experts and are unqualified to judge physician competence, their opinions are critical to your practice’s success.
Here are some findings to consider:
- 57% of customers only patronize business with four or more stars in their online reviews.
- Online reviews factor into choosing a physician for up to 80% of patients.
- According to a 2014 study, around 20% of patients use online reviews to evaluate their current doctor.
Below are four ways to improve your practice’s reputation through online patient reviews.
1. Diversify Your Business Listings
Positive online customer reviews build your reputation. That’s why your practice should have business listings on all major review sites, including Yelp, Google My Business and sites specifically for medical practices (like Caredash).
2. Respond to Reviewers
Negative reviews can be tough to read, but they can pinpoint areas your medical practice could improve. As negative reviews can hurt your reputation when left unanswered, it’s important to respond as soon as possible. And make sure to respond to positive reviews, too. Thank patients for their reviews and offer solutions to any issues.
Sometimes a patient has a good rather than great or bad experience. On a five-star review scale, these 4-star reviews are very important. In fact, research has found that less-than-perfect reviews can help businesses when the practice responds promptly. These reviews show that a practice’s reviews are real – they aren’t all perfect 5-stars.
Potential patients reviewing your practice who see your responses will be more likely to think you are attentive to patient cares and concerns. This shows a positive physician-patient relationship.
3. Hire A Company to Manage Your Online Reviews
Doctors and staff at your medical practice may not have time to handle patient reviews. Reputation management businesses create surveys for patients after their visits to your practice. These are private surveys designed to keep customers who would leave negative feedback from posting reviews. In the long run, some negative feedback is inevitable, but avoiding it as much as possible can be a big stress reliever.
4. Feature Positive Reviews on Your Website
Some reviews stand out. Whether they are super-positive, well-written, and or heartfelt, they are just special. Take these free, personalized ads for your practice and place them on the main page of your website. Warm recommendations of your services show your practice is trustworthy.