A patients path to purchase healthcare follows a typical buyers journey. There are three stages: awareness, consideration and decision. Patient reviews lie at the core of the consideration stage of the buyers journey. Patients are aware of your practice and are "considering" whether to commit to your healthcare services. Many potential patients look to patient reviews to understand the perception of your practice based on the experiences' of others. These perceptions will make a big difference in the number of new patients your practice will see each year.
Why Your Practice Needs Patient Reviews
Customer reviews matter in all types of businesses, but especially in the healthcare industry. A healthcare practice with few to zero reviews will be alarming to a new patient. They will wonder about your practice. New practices will be forgiven for few reviews but a practice open for more than a year will set off alarm bells. Remember patients are comparing your practice to the others in your field. The other practices certainly will have more reviews than a few and those reviews will prove helpful to the patient seeking care. Seeing fellow patient reviews will build trust between the practice and the patient.
Patient Reviews Will Help You Get More Patients
Whether you're a local healthcare provider or a surgical center, patient feedback can help you improve your services, gain new patients, and even improve your SEO rankings.
- Improve Your Service for Your Patient - How better to find out how you can improve your service, than to hear from the ones who receive it? Patient reviews can point out flaws in your internal processes, identify new service opportunities, and more.
- New Patient Acquisition - Patient reviews can lead to increased new patient acquisitions for your practice. A recent study by NRC Health found that 1/3 of patients used online reviews as their first step in searching for a new doctor —before even asking friends or family members.
- SEO - With 5% of all Google searches being healthcare-related, it is clear patients are researching their healthcare choices before they schedule their appointments. Patient reviews on Google and Facebook, which are the #1 and #4, respectively, largest search engines, will improve your rankings on the results pages. In fact, local SEO rankings rely heavily on reviews.
The #1 Mistake Doctors Make With Patient Reviews
They don't put them on Google
Platforms like Solutionreach, Patient Connect 360, are called patient engagement platforms, or patient outreach software. These platforms are developed with healthcare and even dental professionals in mind, and offer an 'all-in-one' solution for marketing and contact management for less than tech-savy providers.
One of the top selling points for these platforms is review capture. When your patient leaves your office, the platform will automatically reach out to solicit a review or testimonial on your behalf. For example, let's say that you are the leading pediatric healthcare provider in your city using Solutionreach. Solutionreach solicits reviews from your patients, where they will be displayed on your personal Solutionreach website.
Is a patient engagement platform the best place to host reviews? No. This is a big mistake.
Patients should be asked to leave reviews on Google first. Google reviews are the most looked at and the most important. Period. End of story.
The second place to have patients leave reviews is Facebook. Facebook reviews are highly valuable but not as valuable as Google.
It's only after you have hundreds of Google reviews and dozens of Facebook reviews that you should ever consider a third tier platform for reviews.
Bottom line: Stick to reviews on Google, and Facebook
Tips for Getting the Most From Patient Reviews
Whether you're a new healthcare provider, or you've been the leading surgical center in your state for decades, you can benefit from online reviews. Follow these tips to help make the most out of your patient reviews:
- Monitor your reviews regularly - You should monitor your reviews on Google, Facebook, and even Yelp for both positive and negative feedback. There's nothing worse than a negative review about your practice, other than not actually responding to said review. Responding to criticism controls the narrative surrounding your reputation, which will increase your current and potential patient's trust in your ability to provide exceptional care.
- Make use of automation tools - HubSpot offers marketing automation tools, like workflows, that can automatically send emails to your contacts list based on triggers, like an appointment, asking for reviews. If your new patient intake forms include email addresses, you can ask for patient consent to contact them via email. From there, you can invest in marketing automation and watch the reviews come instantly.
If you're struggling to perfect a marketing strategy that includes patient reviews, contact a marketing consultant that specializes in healthcare marketing. When you trust the experts with your healthcare marketing, you can get back to providing healthcare to your valued patients.
If you want to see double-digit growth, contact The Diamond Group. As a HubSpot Agency Partner, we believe in the inbound methodology. We are a marketing group that offers supercharged website design and inbound marketing solutions that maximizes your businesses potential. Whether you need a custom web design, a full inbound marketing strategy, or just want double-digit growth, The Diamond Group has your back.