You likely put most of your marketing strategy toward your online and print advertising– taking patient reviews as they come but not prioritizing them. Reviews are one of the most trusted sources for patients seeking care. While you might think obtaining reviews is out of your control, it is in fact a critical piece of your patient growth initiative, and there are approaches you can take to get positive reviews that increase patient acquisition.
Why should you put patient reviews at the forefront of your marketing strategy? Over 70% of people make recommendations because of a great experience, according to Chatter Matters’ 2018 Word of Mouth report. Feedback, both positive and negative, help you optimize internal processes and expand your patient base. Here are just a handful of benefits reviews can provide.
Word of mouth is one of the most impactful marketing methods today. In fact, nearly 70% of patients say reviews are crucial in selecting health care providers, according to a survey from PatientPop. Reviews that endorse your practice, staff, and/or services will attract potential patients browsing the internet for hearing care and reassure them to schedule an appointment with you. As a result, you boost patient acquisition.
Whether a patient leaves a review singing your praises or expressing their dissatisfaction, you can use their input to identify your practice’s strengths and weaknesses and where you can modify systems to operate at your best. Complaints, while not the most welcome, serve as learning opportunities to make internal adjustments or improvements. On the other hand, complimentary reviews reveal where you and your staff excel and help you understand what not to change.
Reading and responding to online reviews and acting upon feedback demonstrates that you value your patients and the level of care you provide them. A person who had an unpleasant experience and leaves a poor review will at the very least appreciate a response acknowledging that you are listening and paying attention to their needs.
Feeling heard and valued, and knowing other patients recommend your practice will only have a positive impact on your overall experience.
Obtaining patient reviews is a long game in medical practice marketing, so don’t expect instant results. Be proactive and reactive, using the steps laid out above to inspire patients to write reviews, then leaving thoughtful responses to those reviews. Take to heart reviews that point out areas for improvement or comment on something specific and address them by making the necessary changes within your practice.
It will be well worth it when both your patient acquisition and retention rates grow.