Have you ever looked for medical practices online and did not know whom to choose from all your options? Many prospective patients are faced with this decision every day. They will almost always choose the practitioner with higher reviews, given a choice between a two-star or four-star medical practitioner. How exactly do reviews affect your business, and why should you care?
Why Are Online Reviews Important?
People trust online reviews because they are from real customers. First-hand reviews have been a cornerstone of any business’s successful marketing plan for decades; now, they are online. This means that doctors have to manage poor reviews carefully,.
- 40% of patients will not visit a healthcare provider with poor online reviews, a 10% increase from 2020.
- In 2020, 79% of patients considered online reviews before selecting a healthcare provider; by 2021, this figure was 81%.
Positive reviews are crucial. Patients leaving positive reviews of your practice is just as essential to improving your business as the business itself. Prospective patients want more information about your practice before they book an appointment, that?s why they are relying more on online reviews than ever before.
- When using reviews to select a healthcare practice, 75% of patients said they only considered medical services with a minimum of 4-star online reviews.
- 60% of patients checked the online reviews of 10 or more providers before deciding on their healthcare provider.
Willingness to ignore negative reviews will not happen like in other fields. Prospective patients use bad reviews to decide which practice to trust quickly.
- In the medical field, you can hold your patient’s safety in your hands.
- Trust is one of the most significant factors when patients choose whom to see for their medical needs; establish trust through your reviews and patient care.
How You Can Increase Your Online Reviews
Online reviews are critical factor when a prospective patient looks for a medical practice. This is followed by a referral from another medical professional, then a referral from family or friends. Beyond providing excellent medical and customer services to your patients, how do you get your patients to write reviews and leverage these to grow your practice?
- Provide an inviting, caring, and helpful experience so your patients will gain their loyalty, and hopefully, their review.
- To make your practice’s reviews genuinely successful, you need to provide this caring personality in your reviews in addition to your practice.
- Show that you care about your patients and what they say to be best prepared to gain repeat and new patients through their online reviews.
- If they are negative reviews, take that feedback into consideration and modify those elements of your practice while building upon the positive aspects of your medical practice.
- If you just finished with a patient and they said “Thank you” you would probably respond quickly and gratefully, correct? This quick and caring response also applies to your online reviews.
- 94% of patients who have written reviews expect to receive a response within one week or less, so respond to your reviews promptly.
- Create a review solicitation process. This can be done with QR codes or through a online reputation platform.
Top platforms for reviews. Google, WebMD, Healthgrades, and Yelp remain among the top trusted venues of the various review sites. Whether in your practice or an outside party, manage your online reviews, patient-doctor trust is vital in any medical field.
- Patients trust reviews when selecting a healthcare provider, whether from a review site, a fellow medical practitioner, or a friend.
- 66% of patients who use online review sites to check reviews when selecting a healthcare provider, this platform is Google.
- Initially, focus on the platform where you get the most interaction; for most, this is Google.
Keeping up with reviews. You are busy running your practice and focusing on your patients; how can you keep up with monitoring reviews of your business presence on all these platforms?
- Enable notifications on review sites like Google, HealthGrades, and Yelp so you always know when new reviews come in.
- Convert in-person reviews to online reviews through connecting with your patients and review-focused marketing campaigns.
- Respond to online reviews?people like seeing medical practitioners who care about their patients; this is especially true for patients looking for a medical specialist.
Putting it all together
Now that you know about online reviews and how they affect your medical practice, use this info to grow your new and repeat patients. You can be the greatest provider in your area, but if it?s not reflected in your online reputation, then you are missing out on new patients.
At GMR Web Team, we provide the most comprehensive healthcare marketing solutions which include online reputation management. We strive to achieve the best results for our clients based on an improved patient base and increased return on investment. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with our marketing experts.