Does your practice have good patient reviews? Does it have enough?
Most practice owners both love and dread the patient testimonial. Good reviews can attract new patients and foster referral relationships – it can even boost your SEO!
However, a bad review can dissuade potential clients and create tensions between the referring doctor and the clinic. To avoid negative feedback, some clinics will opt out of asking for patient testimonials or censor online reviews. While this strategy might be appealing because it eliminates additional work and stress, the lack of patient testimonials will ultimately hurt your practice’s marketing and online presence and credibility.
Here’s how you can solicit patient reviews that are 1) positive, 2) detailed, and 3) honest.
Timing is Crucial
The best time to request a patient review is during treatment when they have crossed a major milestone and are really starting to feel better. Maybe when they started, it was hard to get out of bed each morning and now, two-thirds through treatment, they have a much easier time starting the day… Now is the time!
Here’s a simple formula for in-treatment review requests:
- Remind them where they started.
- Ask what improvement they’ve seen.
- Follow up asking them to share that story to help others get the help they need.
- Hand them a Review Generation Card so they don’t forget!
- Have reception check if they got a card again at discharge.
Marketing thought-leader, Mashable, published an article on consumer reviews with great tips for business owners and marketers. Click here to read the full article. For the rest of these points, we have taken their strategies and adapted them for the PT industry.
Make Writing Reviews as Easy as Possible
Think about the last time you wrote a review for a service or product. Was it during the activity or days/weeks later? Did you write something positive because you were pleased by the experience? Or did you vent about poor quality and negative results?
How you provide patients with the ability to leave a review can make all the difference. 3 great ways to get positive reviews from patients are:
- Have an online form for patients to submit reviews on your website. If they weren’t 100% satisfied, some patients prefer to submit their review online. (Practice Promotions websites include a tool that encourages them to then share 4-5 star reviews but keeps 1-3 star reviews private for you to handle.)
- Marketing: add a QR code to your printed materials that links directly to a specific review form like these PT Review Generation Cards.
- For older or non-tech-savvy patients, you may want to keep paper review forms. Include a blank testimonial form in your discharge packet and instruct your staff to ask patients to complete the review (good, bad or ugly). Also, add a checkbox to allow you to publish the review online or use it for other marketing purposes using either their initials only or 100% anonymous.
Be Present on Multiple Review Sites
There is not a one-stop-shop for online reviews. Some popular sites include Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, and many more. We recommended in our Digital Marketing blog posts that you create and maintain business profiles on key sites. By establishing accounts and accepting reviews across multiple sources, you can gain credibility and attract potential new patient from a wider online audience.
Asking for reviews in person can be intimidating, especially if you have a patient who is adamant about giving (or not giving) a testimonial. Some PTs may feel more comfortable soliciting a review through a Thank You card or review request card.
If you have a patient care coordinator or VP of Marketing, he or she may be an ideal resource to get testimonials. By taking the responsibility off the PT providing care, the patient may feel more comfortable speaking openly. Also, a designated staff member can gain on-site experience in the best ways to get positive reviews from your patients.
Ultimately, just remember to center review request around your mission – to help more people live pain-free with fewer drugs & surgery!
For more info, read our blog post on patient testimonials to learn more about how to build a strong online review network!
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