Online reviews of your practice can have a huge effect on your future business. Good reviews and bad reviews can equally impact your reputation since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (i.e. a recommendation from a friend or family member).
With so many people online nowadays, you can’t ignore your review rankings on sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your reviews at all times—even the good ones! Most review sites like these will notify you when you receive a new review.
NOTE: It’s not just these three…
Patients can leave reviews in many different ways other than just Google, Yelp and Facebook, so find out where your patients are spending most of their time and focus primarily on those outlets. Also, find out where your new patients are finding you and reading reviews about you.
If you have a few bad reviews on Google, Yelp or Facebook—it’s okay! Even though it hurts, you can bounce back from these negative comments!
Here are some of the most important dos and do nots when it comes to online reviews:
Do: Respond to the bad
Bad reviews can scare away future patients, so respond to them! Apologize to the reviewer for their bad experience and offer to make it up to them in some way (perhaps a discount on a wellness service!). This will not only improve the reviewer’s opinion of you but it will also look good to other users reading your reviews.
Don’t: Argue with a bad review
Some reviews may be aggravating but take bad reviews with grace. Let the reviewer know you appreciate their feedback and you will take action to make improvements in your practice.
However, if you do have a reviewer that goes too far by using inappropriate language or false statements, you still want to address the review—but privately. Respond to the review asking the patient to call or email you directly so you can resolve their complaint in a private and respectful manner (WebPT). This should hopefully prevent the reviewer from writing additional damaging statements on your review site.
Do: Respond to the good
Don’t forget to thank those patients that take the time to leave you a great review! Most people only take the time to write reviews if they had a negative experience, so don’t ignore those that are hyping you up!
You could thank those patients with a thank you note or even some sort of gift!
Don’t: Get offended.
Instead… listen! Although bad reviews can be painful to read, use them as an opportunity to improve your business operations. Your customers and patients are going to give it to you straight.
Do: Ask and you shall receive!
Your loyal patients may not think to leave you a review unless you ask them to do so. So go ahead, ask your patients about their experience! If it’s great, ask them to leave you a review on Google, Yelp, Facebook or anywhere you think is helpful! 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to (BrightLocal).
Just keep in mind that some folks may not have Google or Yelp accounts and they will need to have one to leave a review on those sites. Often it’s best to suggest Facebook, since it’s likely they already have an account.
You can email or text direct links to your online review accounts to patients to make it easier for them. They are even more likely to write a review if it’s convenient! Learn how to do this with Google here.
To make it even easier, you can also ask patients to write you a review while they are physically in your practice. Ask them if you can share it on your website! Positive reviews on your website aren’t as impactful as reviews on other sites, but it still helps!
Don’t: Fabricate reviews
DON’T post fake reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook! Don’t ask your friends, family and employees to leave good reviews either. Most review sites have systems that weed out these reviews and flag them as fake. Some users will see right through them too.
If you have a lot of bad reviews, it may take a lot of time to build your ranking back up. Don’t focus on getting tons and tons of 5 star reviews, just focus on giving 5 star service! The reviews will come. Just remember that quality is more important than quantity because 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business.
Reviews can be a very helpful tool if you stay on top of them and ask your happy patients to share their experiences with the world!