When was the last time you asked a friend or neighbor for a recommendation on something you wanted to buy or a service you were looking into? It’s not uncommon to poll friends and family for things like this, but it’s becoming increasingly more common to solicit opinions from online reviews and ratings.
The point we’re trying to make is that today’s consumers look to a larger audience to help make decisions when it comes to things like financial wellness, the best kind of sneakers to buy for a day hike, and even who we trust with our health (Hint - who’s the best dentist in town?).
Online reviews play a crucial role in shaping your reputation that can significantly impact the growth of patient referrals. Let’s read that again – online reviews play a crucial role in shaping your reputation. A number of factors contribute to reviews including how informative your website is, how easy/difficult it is to make an appointment, patient comfort level when there, and overall patient satisfaction from start to finish. While you can’t control what people say about you, you can help shape it by the experience you give them before, during, and after they visit your practice.
5 Ways You Can Help Foster GoodGreat Reviews
Building a positive reputation and attracting new patients through referrals is largely helped by your online reviews. Here are five ways reviews help you and how you can help foster great ones:
1. Trust + Credibility
Positive online reviews contribute to building trust and credibility for your practice. Potential patients often rely on the experience of others to gauge the quality of the services you offer. How do you get positive online feedback? By providing the best care and comfort for each and every patient walking through your door. No matter how small or big the case, treat everyone with the same outstanding service. Wow each patient with personalized care, comfort, and concern, and watch your positive reviews grow.
2. Reputation Management
You’re busy. We get it. But having a designated team member managing and responding to online reviews, both positive and negative, allows you to show your commitment to patient care and satisfaction. When you address negative reviews, it displays a willingness to listen to and make changes (if appropriate) to accommodate patient needs.
3. Encouraging Patient Feedback
Actively encouraging happy patients to leave positive reviews can be a game-changer for your online reputation. If you’re comfortable, you can mention it during visits or through follow-up emails, in-office signage, or by providing easy-access links on your website and social media channels. Building an arsenal of positive reviews increases the likelihood of attracting more patients.
4. Improving Services Based on Feedback
While it’s not ideal to get negative reviews, they do provide insights into areas your practice can improve. Addressing them constructively, online, demonstrates your commitment to making your practice the best in town. Confronting a bad experience head-on shows you’re willing to listen to patients.
5. Showcasing Patient Experiences
Positive online reviews serve as direct testimonials for your practice, as they highlight the quality of care, the professionalism of your team, and the friendliness of your practice wrapped up in a sentence or two. Supplementing these reviews with testimonials on your practice website ensures anyone researching your business has a clear picture of how great you are.
Reviews significantly contribute to the growth of patient referrals by influencing the decision-making process. Make it easier for folks to choose you by providing exceptional service from the start, actively manage and encourage online reviews, and build a website that showcases your commitment to the best patient care.
If you’re in the process of building or even maintaining your online reputation and would like assistance, consider scheduling a Practice Discovery Call with one of our experts. We’ve partnered with thousands of practice owners on their quest to build that golden image.