Building Your Medical Practice Through Positive Online Testimonials
To build a thriving medical practice in today’s world, you need a sound and comprehensive online marketing strategy. Research shows that an essential component of your digital marketing efforts needs to be geared toward generating top-tier reviews online. According to a survey conducted by Fan and Fuel, more than nine of every ten consumers who shop online are reluctant to make a purchase decision if they cannot find an online review. Furthermore, customer reviews factor almost universally into online buying decisions, with 97% of online buyers taking them into consideration.
When you’re marketing a medical practice online, it’s also critical that your reviews be at the highest rating level. According to one report for Doctor.com, most patients looking for medical services online will disregard any practitioner who has less than a four-star rating. Your goal should always be five-star ratings.
So how do you get more five-star ratings online? Obviously, it starts with the services you provide. But that may not be enough. You can do everything right when a patient comes to see you but never reap the benefits of their positive experience.
Tangible Strategies to Boost Your Number of Five-Star Ratings
In most instances, when a happy patient doesn’t give you a review, it’s because they’re too busy, they don’t know the process for completing and posting a review, or the process is too complex. The first step to garnering more five-star reviews is to make the process as simple as possible:
Step #1—Don’t wait for a review—The best way to get a positive review is to ask for one. Typically, the best time to do that is when you’ve given your patient a clean bill of health or concluded providing services to them. In most instances, if the patient had a good experience and a good outcome, they’ll be willing to give you a review. Consider installing a station at your practice where they can sit down and complete the review immediately or else give them a form to complete.
You may feel uncomfortable making a direct request that a patient provide you with a glowing review. That’s okay. There are a number of approaches that can help you get the review you want. You can have patients fill out pre-registration materials online, giving you an email address where you can send a follow-up thank you message that includes a request for a positive review. If you provide your patients with a billing statement or receipt for services, include a link to your online review page.
- Step #2—Be willing to ask again—A patient may promise to complete an online review of your services but either forget or get busy. Gentle reminders are fine. Send an email thanking them for trusting you to handle their health issues and ask them to complete a review. Include a link, so that all they have to do is click and complete the form.
- Step #3—Share positive reviews that you have already received—When a patient posts a five-star review, share it with all your existing patients by email. Others who have had similar experiences will often want to add their voice to the accolades you are receiving.
The Benefits of an Online Reputation Management Tool
Admittedly, putting together your own system for increasing your positive online reviews can be a lot of work. With an online tool like Catalyst™, the process can be significantly streamlined. Catalyst offers the ability to:
- Collect patient email addresses for marketing efforts
- Automatically request reviews from existing patients
- Collect and monitor reviews from all major social media sites
- Consolidate your online reviews on a single site
- Access patient reviews on a mobile device
- Keep negative reviews off the internet