Whether they’re about restaurants, hotels, service providers or everyday products, online reviews are ubiquitous.
Consumers place a great deal of trust in online reviews because they’re more likely to believe the candid words of a fellow consumer than the curated sales pitch of a business. In fact, what customers write about companies online can have a bigger impact on buying decisions than traditional marketing methods.
But reviews aren’t limited to restaurants and hotels – consumers also use Healthgrades, Google and Yelp to research healthcare providers before scheduling appointments.
Why online reviews have to be a priority
The number of internet-savvy consumers looking to online reviews for healthcare providers might surprise you.
According to a Pew survey, one in five internet users have consulted online healthcare reviews before deciding where to go for healthcare services.
A separate study from the Brookings Institution shows that patients take online reviews very seriously. In fact, patients believe online reviews are just as credible as ratings provided by the government.
With the prevalence of online provider reviews and their role as a key resource for patients who are seeking care, providers should think not only about treating patients for their medical ailments, but also providing excellent customer service.
How to manage your practice’s reputation
It’s never easy to receive negative feedback, but in today’s digital world, it’s inevitable.
A proactive strategy begins with rigorous monitoring of your practice’s online reputation to understand how your patients perceive your care experience; this understanding can help you formulate an improvement plan.
Bad experiences tend to prompt more online reviews than positive ones, but with the right plan in place, you can encourage your patients to write about their positive experiences as well.
Here are a few simple ways to encourage patients to post about their experiences with your practice:
- Ask. This one’s often overlooked, but simply ask your patients to rate their experience on Healthgrades, Google or Yelp.
- Email. If you have current email addresses for your patients, send a brief email with a clear request and easy-to-follow instructions about how to post an online review.
- Survey. After appointments, send follow-up surveys to gauge how your patients felt about your practice, and include a link to prompt them to share their feedback on Healthgrades, Google or Yelp.
How PerfectServe makes gathering online reviews easy
If you’re having trouble gathering online reviews, consider using PerfectServe’s patient and family communication functionality.
Our solution automatically triggers a post-visit survey based on activity in the patient’s EMR record. Once the survey is completed, follow-up occurs based on your patient’s feedback.
Here’s how it works:
- If a patient responds with a negative satisfaction score, PerfectServe can send a text message asking him or her to connect with the office for further discussion or escalate an alert to the appropriate care team member to address the patient’s need.
- If a patient responds with a positive satisfaction score, PerfectServe sends a message asking him or her to share their experience online, complete with a link to your preferred online review platform.
Our clients have found that 40-50% of patients respond to our online survey when they receive it the day after an appointment, and 15-20% of patients who respond to the survey post a review on Healthgrades, Google or Yelp when asked to do so.
If you’d like more information about how PerfectServe can help you survey your patients more effectively and generate more reviews for your practice, contact us.