What Are Your Patients Saying About You?
Are your patients spreading the good word about your office?
If you’ve ever gone onto HealthGrades, Yelp or Google My Business to look at a dentist or other healthcare professionals reviews before setting up an appointment, you already understand how off-putting a bad review can be.
Who wants to go spend their hard earned money at an ofice that has already proven to be bad? Instead, you’d much rather go to a doctor that has great reviews, or one that you already know has good service and a good bedside manner.
But what happens when the office has no reviews at all? That means that they’re either untested, or they haven’t made enough of an impression for anyone to care. It doesn’t take much to get someone to post a review online nowadays.
Since people are constantly “checking in” at places, it only takes a few seconds to type out, “Awesome Doctor!” or “Horrible service.” Yet, the office couldn’t even muster up that emotion or reaction from its customers.
Why are review so important? It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that it is much cheaper to retain an existing patient than it is to gain a brand new one. If you are able to create a loyal customer following, a customer base that continues to buy from you year after year, then you’ll be able more more easily grow your business.
No Reviews, as Bad as Bad Reviews?
If you put this kind of thought process into finding a doctor, imagine your customers searching for you online. What happens when they see bad reviews or worse—no reviews at all. This sends an immediate message that your company is nothing remarkable. It shows that you either don’t impress your customers or that you just don’t really care about your reputation. With your leads on the line, is that really the message you want to send?
Of course not. That’s why it’s so important that you do everything you can to get reviews up there. Ideally, you want positive reviews, but even a bad review here in and there won’t hurt your sales as much as no reviews will. That’s because even with a bad review, you have the opportunity to respond publicly, showing that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to rectify the situation. It shows that you care about customer service and loyalty, two things that increase consumer confidence exponentially.
But with no reviews, you are saying absolutely nothing. You have no chance to respond because there is nothing to respond to. Your leads will just look for another similar business in your area—not only are you losing sales, you’re feeding them directly to your competition.
How to Get Customer Reviews
So how do you go about getting these reviews? The answer is even more simple than you’d
imagine: ask. Ask your customers and clients to give you a review online. Wherever you want to be seen, be it Yelp, the Online Yellow Pages, Google My Business, Merchant Circle, Insider Pages, FourSquare, etc, you simply need to ask your customers to write a review. You can do this in person when they come into your business, you can do this in an emailed receipt—you can even do this in a personal phone call.
Another effective way is to add a review button on your website, and allow people to leave reviews on your website. If you do this the correct way (including schema coding), then the reviews will show up as little stars in the search results, making your search result really stand out from the competition.
With some of my clients I’ll set up a review portal. This review portal will be a very basic one page website where they can send their customers’ to leave a review. The review portal will be very easy to use and basically ask for a review and leave some options for the places to leave the review at. The important thing with this method is making sure to follow up with customers and send them to this site asking them to leave a review at their favorite review site.
The point here is that unless you make it clear that you would like reviews, your patients might not even be aware that you care. Or, they might not even be aware of review sites and how they help your business. The last thing most of your patients want to do is hurt your business, but if they aren’t writing reviews, they might be doing just that. Simply make it clear to them, much like a call to action, and they will respond in like.
There is a gray area about providing incentives or rewards for writing an online review. Some businesses will offer a certain percentage off from the next transaction with the customer, or perhaps admittance to some type of preferred customer club. Whatever the reward is, it should offer some value in return. As a disclaimer, some review sites strictly prohibit asking specifically for reviews, Yelp is one of them. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t offer anybody anything for a good review.
Managing Online Reputation the Right Way
Of course, you won’t always get great reviews, but that’s okay! If a company has all positive reviews, it raises alarms that something fishy is going on. When you get a bad review—and it will happen—you just need to know the correct way to deal with it. Rectifying the situation by responding openly in a public manner (if at all possible) and apologizing to the customer is generally the best route to take. Ask for another chance and be sincere—that goes a long way with the customer and with all leads who see the conversation.
Just be sure to use Google Alerts so you are alerted when somebody says something about your business so you can respond. No way in the world to respond if you don’t even know about a negative review!
So tell me, what are you doing to manage your reputation online?
Source: Titan Web Agency Blog Posts – SEO