Healthcare Reputation Management: How Do I Get More Reviews for My Medical & Dental Practice?
How Do I Get More Positive Google Reviews For My Medical & Dental Practice? This Question Gets Asked Every Day By Healthcare Practice Managers!
Medical practices who don’t have strong online customer reviews fall into one of two categories: the first being medical practices who are actively working to get Google Reviews but do not have time to chase their customers; the second category is medical practices that do not understand the power Google Reviews has on their online reputation and on the purchasing preferences of potential patients. PatientGain.com’s campaign data shows that Positive Google Reviews are generating NEW CUSTOMERS for medical clinics and doctors. However – you should never consider buying, paying 3rd party entity to write fake reviews for your business.
Having a strong number of positive Google Reviews are an absolute must for any healthcare medical clinic, and is especially important for doctors. It goes without saying that medical clinic owners have very demanding work schedules. You don’t have time to chase customers and convince them to give you online reviews. This is where PatientGain.com’s new app comes in to save the day.
To build your business quickly and effectively you will need to have a sound, well-rounded strategy and excellent advertising, sales, and marketing software on your side. Our Google Reviews Application is designed to get you positive reviews and minimize negative reviews.
All your interactions with customers are stored in your online dashboard, and you have control over who is asked for a review.
Here is a great example of how to go from zero reviews to dozens of reviews in 10 months with a rating of 4.8 – this is an actual customer:
One of our customers had 3 reviews on Jan 3rd, 2 reviews were “excellent” and one was unfortunately “negative”. By the 23rd of January the customer had 13 total reviews with 12 positive reviews. By collecting a large number of positive reviews, he was able to diminish the visibility and credibility of the one negative review. This is the power of the PatientGain.com’s Google Reviews App. This app is free for GOLD-Plus , PLATINUM, and ENTERPRISE customers. As a business owner, it becomes difficult to keep up-to-date with business technology and run your business at the same time. PatientGain.com has created several products and offerings to help you run your business online. There are more than 20 different applications available to business owners. At PatientGain.com we’ve learned that online success is not achievable through buying or applying a one-time solution. For your business to run successfully online, you’ll require effort, software, domain knowledge, and the understanding that technology is changing constantly.
How to Respond to Google Reviews for your healthcare practice
Google reviews are a must-have for any medical marketing plan for a healthcare practice. Without them, it will be hard to attract the number of patients needed to grow and succeed. Too many negative reviews and other parts of a marketing plan will struggle to get traction. Having a plan to receive Google Reviews and respond to them is a critical task for any healthcare practice.
How does a healthcare practice get Google Reviews?
First, a healthcare practice must claim or create their business listing on Google by creating a Google Business Profile. Businesses must verify their company ownership via phone call, text message, or a postcard mailed to them before they can get full access. Once verified, all a healthcare practice has to do is ask for a review. Those who leave negative reviews are generally more motivated to leave feedback than those who have good experiences. Asking them to leave feedback can usually prompt a reliable percentage of patients to post a review.
Most healthcare practices find email and text review requests to be effective. Text message requests have a higher conversion rate than emails, but emails are also less expensive. Some practices will use both methods to maximize their potential review count. A practice should make it as easy as possible to leave a review by having as few clicks as needed in the process. Every additional click someone has to make to leave a review is more likely to cause a patient to abandon the process. Ideally, it should be a single click to leave a review.
What should a healthcare practice do when they receive a positive review?
Hopefully, the vast majority of the reviews a healthcare practice will see will be positive and glowing. These reviews should undoubtedly be responded to as they reinforce the practice’s policy of taking all reviews seriously. Thank them for their visit and say you look forward to serving them again in the future. Depending on how much time one has to service these reviews, they can be a little more personalized if a practice wishes. However, a simple acknowledgment is more than enough of a response to these positive reviews.
What should a healthcare practice do when they receive a negative Google review?
Negative reviews can be the bane of any business owner, regardless of whether they are in the healthcare industry or not. Some negative reviews might be just one star with no comments. Others will have a few sentences stating what they did not like about their care. From time to time, a health care practice will receive a small novella with a negative review from an angry patient. No matter the size of the review or how over the top it is, it can be particularly frustrating for an owner to read negative feedback, regardless of whether they agree with it or not. However, avoid letting anger towards a negative review dictate how the response is written. Keep these things in mind when reading a negative review before responding to it:
- Miscommunication is often the cause of the majority of patient complaints. Miscommunication is not uncommon and may not even be your practice’s fault. When patients come in to be seen, they are under a bit of stress and could feel awful, impacting their ability to listen and retain information. They may have forgotten a provider said something. Miscommunication is not uncommon, but it is critical to identify where the breakdown occurred and fix whatever communication issue occurred.
- An owner of a healthcare practice should never take a negative review personally. They are things that need to be checked out to ensure there are no issues in a practice’s communication protocols. There are various ways to help improve communication between a provider and a patient. For example, having a patient repeat the provider’s instructions back to them can help.
- One of the most important things to remember is that your reply should not come off defensive and sound mad. First, you will not win back the patient who left the negative review. Next, when potential patients read what is written, it will likely leave them a wrong impression of the healthcare practice. Finally, if someone lets their emotions get the better of them when writing a review response, they are more likely to violate HIPAA privacy rules and disclose private patient information.
What guidelines should a healthcare practice follow when responding to negative reviews?
Before following any of these guidelines, a response should not be made as quickly as possible when receiving a negative review. Consider waiting at least 6 hours or a day to read, investigate, consider, and respond to a review. When responding, consider these tips:
- Negative reviews from patients should not be ignored – Studies show that negative reviews can significantly influence a person’s decision to visit a healthcare practice. Negative reviews can impact the success of a healthcare practice, so they need to be taken seriously. A savvy healthcare practice owner will see them as an opportunity to convince patients to come back to them and possibly change that 1-star review to a 5-star review. Negative reviews serve as an excellent way to ensure a practice is doing the job it needs to do to keep patients happy.
- Look at the review history of the reviewer. When a practice receives a bad review, it should be taken most of the time seriously. However, sometimes you may come across a review that is insane and not tethered to reality. It would be to a practice’s benefit to see where else reviewers have left comments. If they make a habit of going around and leaving bizarre, multi-paragraph reviews of other businesses, it may be best to ignore that one and let them move on to their next negative review.
- Don’t respond to reviews at the end of the day or if you are not feeling well. Never write back to a negative review if you are tired, feeling unwell, or have had a long day at work. The tone you use when writing a response can come off differently to the reader, escalating the situation. An owner should only answer if they are fully rested, feeling well, and have all the facts in front of them before starting.
- A healthcare practice owner should ask themselves these questions when considering a negative review:
- Did the patient suffer a miscommunication between them and the provider? A negative review can often be cleared up by talking with a patient to correct a misunderstanding or forgotten direction.
- Is there a pattern of negative reviews? Isolated issues can be chalked up as a mistake or a momentary lack of focus by staff. However, if negative reviews are repeatedly discussing the same thing, there could be a more significant problem that needs to be addressed.
- How could the negative review be avoided? Review the protocols and procedures that a patient went through when visiting the healthcare practice. Are there any specific things that were the root cause of their negative review?
- If possible, what changes can be made to the practice to prevent negative reviews? It is never a bad idea to review protocols and procedures to ensure nothing needs to be changed or improved. The 1st lousy review about something may be an aspect that was overlooked and now can be improved.
What questions should a healthcare practice ask when they receive a negative review?
Take time to evaluate the patient’s experience who visited the healthcare practice. What was their experience like? Evaluate these areas of a healthcare practice and ask yourself these questions:
- The front desk of a healthcare practice will be the people many patients will end up talking to. An excellent front desk will have over three-quarters of their calls convert into appointments. How are many phone calls at your healthcare practice end up being scheduled for an appointment? Is it easy for patients or staff to schedule an appointment? How many steps does it take to make an appointment for staff or patients?
- Many negative comments in Google Reviews for healthcare practices will mention staff and provider’s bedside manner. How do staff and providers treat patients? Do they, no matter how busy of a day they are having, put forward a friendly, welcoming, and professional attitude?
- A waiting room in a healthcare practice is not an accent piece or an art installation; it is meant to be used. While appointments need to start on time, sometimes delays can happen. In other situations, some patients are the type of person that arrives 15 minutes early to their appointment. What is the waiting room like at your healthcare practice? Is the furniture comfortable? Is there music playing or a TV on? Are there some random things to read?
- Speaking of waiting time, how long do patients generally have to wait to be seen? How often are appointment times delayed, and how long is that average delay? Are there ways to remove delays to prevent them or lower the overall wait time?
- As much as a healthcare practice should be concerned about the patient experience, it is also good to check in with the staff and providers. Do they feel overworked? Are providers given enough time with their patients to address their concerns?
- Try to fix the problem, even if the patient is not exactly right in the first place. Showing a willingness to fix a perceived problem will earn you some credit with the upset patient and show others that negative feedback is taken seriously. Many people often do not get satisfaction from businesses when they leave a negative review. “Being heard” is a significant first step in satisfying their concerns. It may not be possible to fix their issue, but the fact you cared enough to contact them should go a long way to helping them feel better about their visit.
- Respond privately first, then publicly. A healthcare practice should not want to get back and forth in Google Reviews with a patient. Each time they update their review, it goes to the top of the list. Unless it changes from a 1 star to a 5 star, you will want to avoid that. Politely contact them to see if a healthcare practice can resolve their issue and learn more about their experience. An email or phone call directly to the patient can do wonders. Only publicly reply to a review if there is no other way to identify or contact them.
- Keep HIPPA Privacy regulations in mind when responding publicly. Do not disclose any protected private health information in response to a review. These violations can result in fines and even force you to close a practice.
- Do not start communication on the defensive, no matter how rude a patient may be when talking with them. Trading insults will not resolve the issue and may encourage them to leave additional negative comments on other listings for the practice. Try to redirect the conversation to understand their experience better and pinpoint what has them so upset about their visit. Getting more details allows you to check in with staff to confirm their version of the story and will enable you to formulate an appropriate response.
- Avoid saying sorry or apologizing if a review alleges malpractice. A medical practice should avoid those words to prevent any chance of a lawsuit.
How should a healthcare practice respond if it makes a mistake resulting in a negative review?
Instead of giving excuses, acknowledge that there was a mistake on your end and focus on a solution that will rectify the issue. Mistakes do happen as healthcare workers are humans, just like everyone else. Admit it and work to resolve the issue and explain how it will be avoided in the future.
- Thank them for their feedback. Without bringing an issue to the attention of a healthcare practice, this problem may have continued. Even though they may be unhappy, thank a patient for their feedback that has improved service at the practice.
- Sometimes, problems can not be avoided. If a power outage has knocked out the X-ray machine availability for the day, there is not much a practice can do to prevent that in the future.
- Explain how processes have been improved or changed. Include that in the review if a practice has identified the problem point or friction point that caused the negative review and changed it. Tell the patient and others that this was a problem, but now changes have been made to fix it.
- Please do not ask a patient to remove their review. Asking a patient to remove a review or threatening to sue them will result in bad publicity. In some states, it is also illegal, and it is pretty often a violation of the Terms of Service for Google. Respond to it and then bury it with dozens of positive reviews.
The experts at PatientGain.com can help you. Contact us today to show you the tools we provide our clients to keep track of their reviews through our HIPAA-compliant dashboard. W look forward to working with you!