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How to Ask Patients for Reviews with Success

At this point your reputation should be a top concern. If it’s not, here’s a refresher on why reviews are that important.

If you’ve taken the step of paying attention to your reviews, you’ve at least started the process. The trickiest part is actually figuring out ways to solicit reviews from your patients without coming off aggressive or spammy, but also pushing them to actually make their way to Google, Facebook, Healthgrades, or whatever source you choose. As the adage goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. But, if you’re not even getting the horse to the water are you really making an effort?

Here are a few tips that may just help you get a step closer to gaining some of the most powerful lead generation tools around: reviews.

A personal touch can expedite the process.

Let’s be real. If I see a survey on a receipt from a grocery store, there’s less than zero percent of a chance that I’m going to fill it out. But oddly enough, if the cashier says “you’ve been selected to participate in our survey” I tend to think that I’m special and my less than zero percent chance turns into at least a positive 50% chance. There’s a whole psychological element behind this that I can’t personally speak to, but I will say that the human to human element of marketing will never go away!

If you have patients that see you on a regular basis, or ones that you know have had a great experience, just ask them to leave a review. This doesn’t always have to be in person, but can be done over the phone as well. You may be thinking “I don’t want to make a patient work for me,” so here are some opportunities where you can strike:

Five stars

  • If the patient is outwardly stating that they loved their experience.
    • “Mrs. Patient, that’s amazing to hear! If you don’t mind, we’d love for you to share that with our online audience if you get a chance! Just visit our Google My Business page, or Facebook, and leave a review there!”
  • If the patient is attempting to provide you with a referral.
    • “Mrs. Patient, we love to hear that you’re trying to send people our way. Another easy way to do that is by leaving a review online for us! It’s the quickest way to get the word around.”
  • If the patient and you/your staff have a great vibe or conversation.
    • “Mrs. Patient, I have a quick question. How did you hear about us? We’re trying to get more people in the area to visit us online, and know that reviews help. Would you mind leaving one for us?

Long story short, take the time to put a little bit of a personal flare on it, and you may find yourself with a review quicker than expected.

Make it a team building or competitive opportunity.

If you present the idea of asking for reviews as a chore, no one is going to want to do it. Instead, involve your staff and make it a game. Perhaps even offer up a bit of a prize (or bragging rights) at the end. You can even give “bonus points” to someone if they’re mentioned by name within the review.

If you’re a multi-specialty group, make it a friendly competition between the specialties. If you have a number of physicians, make it a friendly competition between all of the docs.

Any way you spin it, a positive review is going to look great for you practice. Let your team know that not only is it great for them to be shouted out in the public domain for their amazing service, but it’s also great for your practice overall. More reviews means more patients!

Keep texts and emails timely and succinct.

Should you choose to go the route of requesting reviews via email or text (which isn’t a bad route at all!), there are a few tips you’re going to want to follow:

  • Keep it timely.
    • By the time your patient has walked out of the door, they are only retaining the information they absolutely need to at that point. So, the fact that you may have mentioned a review might not even be on their mind. However, if you send them an email or text requesting a review within the following hours, it will jog their memory and they’ll be more likely to leave one for you. If you wait too long, or send the request at an odd hour (late at night, early in the morning), you risk them ignoring it. Make sure to send the request in no more than 48 hours after they’ve left your office and between 8AM and 12PM for the best results!
  • Keep it succinct.
    • If your patient opens an email and sees six paragraphs of jargon or 25 questions about their trip they will most likely delete it. Honestly, wouldn’t you? The key here is to make sure that you are getting straight to the point. You can certainly ask them to rate their experience via a number or series of stars, but the ultimate goal is to get them to leave a review on a specific source. If that source is Google, send them a quick email thanking them for coming in with a personal “signature” from the doctor, and then asking them to leave a Google review. It’s as simple as that!

Learn from your data.

There are thousands of ways that you can go about requesting reviews from patients, but the best course of action is to try things and learn from the results. If you send out a group of emails with a certain subject line and don’t get a high response rate, change it up! If you are asking patients in person a certain way and seeing a great deal of reviews come from it, keep it going! As with most pieces of marketing, the secret is in the results, so watch closely and you’ll develop a stellar, consistent review campaign that can drive patients your way.

For more information on how to grow your practice’s reputation, contact Practis today!