It always feels good to get a positive review, especially when it comes directly from a patient. That feeling is a small reward in and of itself, but good reviews keep on giving beyond the initial happiness they bring. Under the right circumstances, a healthy collection of positive reviews can become an extremely valuable asset to your practice. And it happens in more ways than you might think.
Naturally, the more positive reviews you have online, the more appealing your practice will be to prospective patients, who like having the reassurance that their healthcare professional will be reliable. So the biggest benefits of positive patient reviews are simple - they make you look good to the public and help in getting your name recognized.
Those are pretty much no-brainers, though. The real hidden treasure of good reviews is that, when you have enough of them, your SEO rank actually starts to improve. That's right, positive reviews actually inch your website closer to the front page of major search engines without any additional work on your part. Each good review is a totally free web presence boost, so when you combine good reviews with a professional SEO campaign, there's no telling where your site might go.
Letting reviews work their magic is the easy part, though. Often, it's more difficult to get them in the first place. So what are the best ways to get favorable online reviews while still being ethical?
- Direct patients to your listings
There's no need to be coy, so being direct is often the best approach. If a patient expresses satisfaction, you can simply ask them to leave a review, and many will be happy to do so. Something as straight-forward as "that's great to hear; would you mind leaving us a review?" is perfectly acceptable.
- Give them some direction
After that satisfied patient leaves your practice to get back to their daily life, they may forget some of the details about your request, or forget about your request altogether. It can be helpful to provide them with a small handout -- something that lists the URLs of your review listings and social media channels. When they find the handout again later, they'll be more likely to take action thanks to your clear instructions.
- Consider reputation management software
Once you've started earning reviews, you'll want to stay on top of them. Good software can help you see where you're being reviewed, see how positive the feedback is, and track your progress over the long term. More positive reviews mean more SEO traffic, which ideally means more appointments scheduled.
One last thing. Whenever possible, try to make these requests in person rather than over the internet. A personal touch from you will help you earn their trust. And lastly, regardless of how well you know your patients, be sure that you've made the review process as convenient as possible before you ask them to do anything. After all, they're (almost) as busy as you.