It’s not always easy to actually get your patients to write reviews. They may not find it worth considerable to share their positive thoughts about you with others. It’s only by providing them with a very satisfactory treatment backed by a delightful patient experience that your request for writing reviews may seem genuine to your patients.
Why Getting Reviews Matter?
These days, online reviews are one of the most trusted ways to spread awareness and instill trust in people about your business. It’s especially important for medical or healthcare practices which are the third-most read review category, following restaurants and hotels, according to a BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2016.
People consider word-of-mouth referrals as the most trusted way to identify a right healthcare provider for them. They ask for it from their Facebook friends, and read reviews on review websites such as Healthgrades, WebMD, Google, etc.
With more than 84% patients assessing their physicians based on online reviews, it should be of utmost importance for you to build a significant base of online reviews.
Studies suggest that positive online reviews are the front runners in building a positive online reputation for healthcare providers. By reading positive reviews about you, your patients get convinced to contact you for availing your services. It helps them to cut short their research and make decisions faster and with greater confidence than ever before.
Why It’s Tough to Actually Get Your Patients to Write About You?
Even though 72% of the patients make use of review websites as their first step in finding a doctor with good reputation, they find it hard to write reviews on their part after they have received the treatment.
Actually, it’s already an unwanted series of tasks for individuals to find a doctor and get themselves treated after they fall sick. It drains out their time, money, and physical efforts. The fact of the matter is that they want to get out of this situation as soon as they can. So, after they have received your treatment, they don’t want to get indulged in anything other than getting well and get back to work.
It’s only by providing them with a really great experience when they visit your facility that you can actually engage them for sharing their good thoughts about you with others. You should also remember that a really bad experience also incites patients to write negative things about you.
With these three simple tips, you can actually start to gather online reviews in no time:
1. Ask Them by Engaging
A direct request like “hey, please write your review” doesn’t actually work. It can make them feel pressured and create repulsive feeling about writing one. You have to first understand your patient’s feeling about your service, and after knowing that he/she is satisfied, you can ask in a manner that can actually engage their thoughts to consider about it. Include these things in your way of asking for reviews:
- Ask as a favor – It has been seen that patients respond more positively when they are asked to do something as a favor. It shows your honesty and professional behavior.
- Tell About the Time It’ll Take – Tell them truthfully how long it will take for them to go through the entire process to write review. It’ll let them sort out things as to when they should remind themselves for writing one.
- Clearly Reveal Your Purpose – Telling them clearly about how their reviews can help people who are looking for a dentist (let’s assume you’re the one) learn about your practice is a great way to teach your patients about the value of their reviews.
- Clarify the Process – Are you sending an email or a message with a link leading to where they could leave their review? Just say it, clearly and precisely. Keeping surprises for later can divert your patients from writing reviews.
- Let Them Know Your Concern – Tell them at last that you’re really looking forward for reading their comments. It gives them assurance that their reviews are not for nothing, and that they may be of some value to others.
Here’s an example of how you can and you should ask your happy patients for writing a review:
“Lucy, can I ask you a favor, please? When you are at home later this evening, would you mind taking a few minutes to write a review for us, because when you do it helps your neighbor who might be in need of a medical care learn about our practice. Would it be okay for you to do that for me? Thanks! And don’t worry about the process. It’s simple! I’ll send you an email or a message with a link leading you to where you can rate us and leave your review. I promise that I won’t share your email or phone number with anyone. May I do that? Thank you! Lucy, it was such a wonderful meeting with you and I’m really looking forward to read your comments.”
2. Take Care of the Timing
It’s always better to start with a simple question like, “How was your visit today?”. If the reply comes in positive, you can proceed for asking to write reviews in a way mentioned above. Note that you shouldn’t ask leading questions related to specific aspects of their visit. This could be interpreted as prying, or a privacy violation and lead you to the unnecessary dealings for breach of HIPAA compliance.
Note: Avoid asking for reviews if the patient doesn’t seem to be satisfied with your service. It may unnecessarily bring upon their wrath on you on the review website. Let the negative reviews flow in on their own.
3. Make the Process Easy
It’s better to have a healthcare online reputation management system at place to make the review writing process easier for your patients. You can use an automated HIPAA-compliant online review software to make sure you’re reaching all your satisfied patients and also that their positive reviews are visible to others.
Here’s how you can use RepuGen to ask your patients to write reviews for your practice.
To give you an idea about how healthcare online review improvement software are playing a major and direct role in facilitating the review writing and managing process for both, patients as well as the healthcare providers, here’s what we found in our Bi-Annual (Jan-June) Patient Satisfaction Benchmark Survey 2017 for dental cares, primary cares, and urgent cares:
- 89.43% of patients visiting dentists walked away from the clinic with a high positive feeling. 93.75% of the patients visiting primary cares, and 88.71% of them visiting urgent cares felt the same way.
- 81% of patients who visited dental care, 92.8% of them who visited primary care, and 81% of them who visited urgent care were found to be the potential promoters of the businesses if provided and used with appropriate resources.
- 18% of patients visiting dentists, 11% of them visiting primary cares, and 19% of them visiting urgent cares were either very unhappy or NOT very enthusiastic about their current dentists and could leave them in the near future. This provides with scope to improve their services on those particular fronts.
Over to You
Not every, but many satisfied patients will write you reviews if you ask them the way you should.
Train your staff accordingly so that they know when and how to ask the patients for writing reviews. Also, you can take use of online healthcare reputation management software like RepuGen to make the entire process of writing reviews easier for your patients, as well as making it easier for you to manage those reviews in favor of your business.
Ajay Prasad is a serial entrepreneur, a business strategist, and a healthcare marketing expert with almost three decades of experience. He is the founder and CEO of RepuGen. He has built this innovative reputation management software from scratch, incorporating multifaceted artificial intelligence (AI) which has allowed for rapid growth, maximum outreach and a 95% user satisfaction rate.