Mar 12th, 2018
In this podcast, you’ll learn about the importance of patient testimonials and online reviews to your practice. We’ll explain how to get 5-star Google reviews and why they are critical for growing your practice.
The highlights of today’s episode are:
Importance and five benefits of online reviews. [2:30]
1. How to gain more visibility of your practice on Google. [4:11]
2. You can increase the trust your patients have in you. [4:35]
3. Developing your reputation and brand awareness. [5:01]
4. You can get insights of what patients think on you. [5:38]
5. Set yourself apart from your competitors. [6:04]
The four incredibly important factors to getting rave reviews online. [6:49]
1. Who asks for the review. [8:01]
2. When you ask for the review. [8:27]
3. How you ask for the review. [8:42]
4. When the review request is sent. [10:03]
Links mentioned in this episode:
Booking application recommendations:
- Hit Appoint: http://www.hitappoint.com/
- See More: https://www.setmore.com/
- Cliniko: https://www.cliniko.com/
- Schedule Once: https://www.scheduleonce.com/
Software automation recommendations:
- Active Campaign: https://www.activecampaign.com/automation/
- Drip: https://www.drip.com
- Infusionsoft: https://www.infusionsoft.com/
- Ontraport: www.ontraport.com/
- Everwebinar: www.everwebinar.com/
Review sites where your practice might be reviewed: Google, Facebook, Realself, Rate MDs, True Local or Yelp.
Online reputation monitoring tool: https://www.google.com/alerts
If you want to know more about how to grow your practice, be sure to check out our other videos, including ‘8 Steps to Automate Your Marketing and Scale Your Practice Up!’: https://onlinemarketingfordoctors.com/automate-marketing/
Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing For Doctors Podcast Channel. We’re your hosts Huyen Truong and Steven Tait, and today we’re going to be chatting about the importance of patient reviews to your practice.
Huyen - I wonder if you’ve heard of the saying, “patients see you long before you see them”? If you have, you might know where we’re heading with this; if you haven’t, maybe you’re a healthcare practitioner who’s wondered whether patient testimonials and online reviews are important to your practice.
The answer is yes: very important.
Steve - Research from Beckers’ Hospital Review shows almost 80 percent of patients conduct an online search before making an appointment with a physician. That means that most prospective patients' first impression of a provider or healthcare organization occurs online, before they even step foot inside the facility.
With a fingertip click on a Google search result, your name and practice are exposed to the whole world. A lot of healthcare professionals have no idea that people are talking about them across the internet right now, and that these reviews can make or break your reputation online.
There are countless third party sites such as Google, Facebook, Realself, Rate MDs, True Local or Yelp, where your practice might be reviewed.
Huyen - Before jumping into this topic, I want to make a disclaimer: it’s important to be aware of the regulations on patient testimonials for the country in which you practice. In Australia, for example, practices can’t feature testimonials on their websites or any platforms that they have control over, so please seek advice from your country’s medical board or health practitioner regulation agency regarding this topic.
However, we have seen some medical websites mention about patient testimonials and once you click on it, it takes us to third party sites such as Google, RealSelf, RateMDs..so it is possible to refer to patient reviews as long as your website doesn’t host them.
So let’s get down to business! The big question for today is: do your patients leave online reviews of your practice after their appointment? No? Well if not, you're missing a huge opportunity, so today we’ll explain how to get more 5-star Google reviews, and why they are critical to gaining new patients.
Steve - Every satisfied patient should bring you more patients, right? Ideally word-of-mouth would do all the work – your happy patients would refer their friends and family, who would, in turn, become patients.
But what if you’re not quite at that stage? What if you have no internal referral system set up, and no follow-up with existing patients that gets them to pay, stay, and refer? That’s when the next best thing needs to happen—have your current patients sway potential ones by writing great reviews about your practice. Why? Because every happy patient can influence potential patients.
Huyen – Yes, totally agree with you. There are significant benefits to encouraging your patients to write unbiased reviews and testimonials for your healthcare practice. There are many reasons for you and your staff to start making a habit of asking patients to write online reviews on Google, Facebook, niche forums, community sites, and other channels. We’re going to outline a few of them quickly for you here:
- You can gain more visibility for your practice on Google.Online reviews and testimonials provide greater insight about your practice to potential patients. They also show Google that your practice is relevant and deserves to be shown in local search results, increasing your position in search rankings.
- You can increase the trust your patients have in you.Reviews significantly enhance the trust your patients, and potential patients, have in you and your practice. Testimonials not only mean that prospective patients are more likely to visit your healthcare practice, but also that current patients are more likely to recommend the practice to friends and family.
- You can develop your reputation and brand awareness.If your patients post unbiased testimonials and reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google Places, RateMDs, and Realself, their positive remarks about you will reach a far wider audience than simply word-of-mouth testimonials. Your good reputation will grow as a result and increase new appointments when potential patients realize that your practice has an excellent track record.
- You can gain insight into what patients think of you. By understanding and using the information patients provide through testimonials and online reviews, you can understand how your practice is performing. Listening to your patients and responding accordingly can help you improve overall customer service and patient experience.
- Set Yourself Apart from Your Competitor. Not only will Google reviews help increase your visibility on Google maps, they definitely set you apart from competing practices. Most importantly, they impress prospective patients. Even when a patient receives referrals from their GP, they research referral options on the internet: if your practice has numerous positive reviews compared to your competitors, that patient will choose you. Without Google reviews, it's harder for people to conclude that they should pick your practice over your competitors'.
Steve - Now that you know all the reasons why you should ask your patients for online reviews, let’s talk about how you can get started and manage your online presence!
The bottom line is: you need to ask every happy patient for a Google review. How? Well, your patients’ response rate is based not only on the quality of service you provide, but on the four incredibly important factors we’re going to share with you today:
Huyen - 1) First of all, Who asks for the review
The person with the most intimate relationship with your patient will achieve the highest response rate. If you’re a doctor, your response rate will be much higher than the person working the front desk. You’ll see much better results, if you request the review yourself, rather than give that task to the front office staff.
2) Then when you ask for the review
Ask your patient for a review when they are the most satisfied with your service. If you wait too long, or ask prematurely, your response rate will suffer.
3) And how you ask for the review
A great way to go about this is to use the 6 ‘Rs’!
a) Request your patient do you a favour and write a review.
b) Reassure them it will only take a few minutes.
c) Remind them how your practice will benefit.
d) Run them through what to expect and let them know you’ll send them an email with a link to help them out.
e) Record their “primary” email address, and ensure them that it will remain confidential, and finally:
f) Repeat how much you’re looking forward to reading their comments.
Steve - A great example of this dialogue might be:
May I ask you a favour please?
Later today or tonight when you get home would you mind taking a few minutes to write a review for us? When you do it helps others who are looking for a dentist learn about our practice.
I’ll send you an email with a link in it leading to where you can write a review. I assure you, I won’t share your email with anyone.
Thank you, I’m really looking forward to reading your comments.
This is a quick, simple way to enlist your patients into helping you grow and develop your practice. Finally, the last important factor is:
4) And finally when the review request is sent
The best time to send a review request is immediately after your patient agrees to write a review, as the greater the delay, the less likely they are to respond. Also think about what time of day you're sending your response: review requests sent in the evening aren’t actioned as well as those sent earlier.
Steve - To finish up today, as you know we are all about finding ways to help you automate your marketing to scale your practice up, so here’s another important tip.
Check your existing booking application, email marketing software, or patient relationship management software, to see if they have the autoresponder email feature. You can use this to automatically send patients an email asking them to complete a quick survey. If they rate you highly, you can trigger another email with instructions for leaving their review on Google and other popular third-party review sites in your country.
Using a marketing service that allows you to review testimonials prior to upload, you can screen the less optimal reviews. This allows you to contact patients for more detailed feedback, addressing these issues before they go public, which will help improve customer service and protect your online reputation.
No matter the strategy you choose to follow, getting more reviews (and managing negative reviews) is imperative for improving your online presence.
Huyen - Thank you very much for tuning in today! I’d love to hear what you thought about today’s podcast: what are some other tips that you have used successfully to get rave reviews from your patients?
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I hope you enjoyed this episode, I look forward to catching you next time!
I think this should be moved; its interrupting the flow of the script and you’re already mentioning it in the follow up podcast. I think once is enough and you’d be better off getting rid of this here to ensure this script flows better.