Whether you know it or not, you already have an online reputation. You are likely listed on several rating and review sites online. Reviews on those sites are often the first impression a potential patient has of your office. Negative reviews, especially if not managed well can mean losing that patient while positive reviews can bring more patients and more revenue into your practice. In fact, 59% of patients say physician rating sites are “somewhat” or “very” important, and 37% of online review users say they avoided a physician with bad ratings, reports a 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Some providers find it difficult to ask patients for reviews, but there is a simple answer. Marketing automation software in some practice marketing solutions can easily be used to follow up with all patients after their visits to ask for reviews and then syndicate positive reviews across multiple sites. Be sure to thank each patient for taking the time to post a review and recommend your practice.
Look for practice management systems that also provide the advantage of alerting you to negative reviews as they’re posted so that you can respond appropriately. The key to handling these negative reviews is to follow up on them immediately and use the feedback to improve your practice.
If the negative review is specific to the patient, ask to take the conversation offline where you can address it in private without violating HIPAA regulations. If the review is due to a more general concern such as long wait times, thank the reviewer for their feedback and let them know what is being done to address the problem.
Responding to each review is vital to demonstrating your commitment to your patients and setting your practice apart from the competition. According to patients in a survey by Software Advice, 60% felt it was moderately or very important that physicians respond to reviews.