On the first day of Christmas my patient gave to me, a 1-star review on Google. Sounds like a terrible tune for the Holidays, right?
We can’t say it enough (but we’ll certainly try); YOUR PRACTICE NEEDS REVIEWS. In fact, we’ll add an adjective in there and say that your practice needs NEW reviews. If you’ve been sitting on reviews that are more than three months old and thinking that they’re benefitting you, a new study shows that 85% of consumers may disagree with you.
The older the review, the less potent it is.
Reviews are important, and there’s no doubting that. They’re an easy way for people to see the positive side of your practice and straight from the mouth of patients. However, if you’re not getting reviews consistently, there’s a chance that people will think that you’re reviews are no longer relevant and you’ll miss out on potential new patients. Think about it the same way you should be thinking about your social media pages. If you go for a few months without posting, people will automatically assume that you’re unresponsive and probably unfollow or unlike your page. This can result in losing valuable engagement, which is exactly what occurs with reviews.
How can I keep my reviews current?
We’re glad you asked!
First, don’t be scared. A lot of practices get fearful that asking for reviews means that they’ll gain a lot of negative press. If you’re a large practice or hospital group, think about the number of patients that you see on a regular basis and back into the math. Let’s say 30% leave a review, and of that 30% nearly 28% of them are positive. In theory, you’ll have over 93% more positive reviews than negative. That can get you to a nearly 4.7 star average on Google, which is fantastic!
Second, don’t be scared…to ask for reviews. If you’re not leading them to leave reviews, there’s a chance that patients will never actually make the move. The best course of action is to use a reputation management software that will allow you to send patients review requests in a HIPAA compliant manner (similar to the one we offer!). This allows you to personalize a template to keep it engaging and invite your patients to leave honest feedback. If you don’t have this software, or you’re a smaller practice, just use the personal element and ask them for reviews as they leave your location. There’s nothing better than a little human interaction!
But always keep your responses consistent.
Perhaps you’ve started getting more traction with reviews. It’s a fantastic start, but remember that you have to respond, especially to the negative ones. Roughly 90 percent of consumers look at review responses by the business owner. If the responses come off short and combative, there’s a chance that your high review count won’t even matter. Make sure that your review responses match up with your overall tone and mantra of your practice. Be the place that clients want to visit!
Keep text messaging at the top of your mind.
By now you know that mobile is even more dominant than it was a year ago with Google even making shifts in its algorithm to focus on mobile ranking. Since that’s the case, it’s important to remember that a vast majority of your user base will be using their mobile device. If you’re looking to actively gain new reviews, a text message isn’t a bad way to go. Think about leaving an appointment and getting a quick text message saying “we’d love to hear your feedback.” Even if you don’t do it then, you will eventually look at your phone again, or just remember that you received that text earlier in the day. With most reputation management softwares now, you can even personalize the text message. Imagine getting that same feedback text, but this time with a puppy on it. Yeah, we know you want to leave a review now!
But don’t forget about email and collateral.
Sure, mobile is king right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a full court filled with other marketing avenues. Email and paper (like flyers) are still dominant sources and can be helpful in reaching your target market. In fact, email review solicitation is often more affective in getting a personalized review. Where the person who checks their phone may just give a quick 4-star rating, the person on their email may leave a 5-star and tell about their experience. For potential new patients, seeing that detailed review could be just what you need to make that acquisition.
2019 is just a short time away, but that doesn’t mean can afford to let your practice’s marketing wait. Contact us today to get started with review management and be on your way to a jolly good year!