Reviews are essential to growing and maintaining any business, especially for doctors and medical practices. Reviews not only increase your credibility and reliability in the eyes of prospective patients, but also improve your search engine rankings.
Getting more reviews has a direct impact on the number of new patients your practice receives – but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about getting them. Here are four steps your business can take to maximize the number of reviews coming into your practice.
1. Ask in person.
The more personal the review request, the more likely you are to succeed, so consider asking patients to leave a review in person when they are in the office. Timing is also a huge factor; if you ask patients right after they had a great appointment, they will be more likely to agree. Explain how your practice will benefit from their review, and tell them that you can email them a link to the review site for their convenience.
2. Send automatic reminders after appointments.
Whether you ask your patients in-person or not, always follow up with an automated request for a review after every appointment. Manual requests are too time consuming and forcing your patients to seek out places to leave reviews is a hassle they likely won’t want to deal with. Ideally, letting patients choose their communication method via text or email will give you the best results.
3. Avoid Reviewgating and address negative reviews.
The goal is to get more reviews, not more 5-star reviews. Be wary of any service that offers to filter out negative reviews for you, and make sure you aren’t filtering out negative reviews on your own. Google has strict reviews about what it calls “reviewgating,” which includes all sorts of clever filtering tricks such as asking for a 1-5 star rating and then requesting a review from patients who rate your practice 5 stars. It might seem like a good idea, but companies that don’t have any negative reviews just look fake to consumers and search engines, and if you get caught, you can face serious fines and penalties.
Instead, come up with a strategy to respond to negative reviews. Offering a simple thank you for the review and offering to take the communication offline will get you much further. It showcases your customer service skills and addresses client concerns quickly.
4. Offer perks – but do it wisely.
There are some strict guidelines in place surrounding giveaways and incentives in reviews. While you are allowed to utilize these methods to generate more reviews, it’s important to know what the guidelines are. First, you cannot ask for positive reviews only as part of your contest – any review, good or bad, must be accepted. The other important rule is that any review that becomes a part of a contest must say so either within the review itself or within your company’s response to the review. With these rules in mind, you could easily set up incentives for honest reviews. For example, you can hold a giveaway where patients enter by leaving an honest review; dentists could raffle off an electric toothbrush or teeth whitening kit. You can also offer a coupon for patients who check in on Yelp, and advertise this with a sign in your waiting room.
We Can Help
Want to grow your review volume? MyAdvice makes it easy with Review Power – our complete review platform. Contact one of our representatives for more information.