The way a patient chooses a doctor has changed.
They still want to be treated by doctors seen as the best in their field. Now though, instead of relying solely on word-of-mouth, they use the Internet to help them make “well-informed” decisions.
As a result, great Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a must for attracting new patients.
Reading online reviews has become an easy way for patients to choose their specialist online.
The maths too is “easy”; You can increase the number of your patients, by improving the quality and quantity of your online reviews.
That said, it’s often no easy task on your own. Similar to other professions, effective Personal Brand Management for a surgeon requires specific expertise and a multifaceted approach.
That’s where firms like YESpbm come in.
YESpbm is the largest dedicated Online Reputation Management (ORM) agency for the medical profession in the UK.
We understand the significance of positive online reviews and, most importantly, how to transform that into results.
YESpbm regularly helps doctors gain more 5-star reviews, more patients, and ultimately a more profitable practice.
Most YESpbm clients report though that the real benefit to them is peace of mind. Restored mental health.
Working almost exclusively with some of the top practitioners in their field, YESpbm understands better than most, the toll that negative comments online can take on someone used to being so very good at what they do.. and so trusted.
To get started, why not action the strategies and tips below right now.
Let’s start with the significance of Online Review Management
There are loads stats and figures proving the importance of positive online reviews. Here are just a few to illustrate the point.
The average consumer reads 10 reviews before they trust a business.- brightlocal
Reviews control around 15% of local search results. - Moz
A 5-star rating will generate 25% more clicks than a 3-star rating. - brightlocal
43% of respondents would go out of their insurance network for a doctor who has favourable reviews.- softwareadvice
Almost three quarters (71%) of surveyed patients use online reviews to find a doctor. - softwareadvice
Consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal advice, according to 80% of respondents. - wainscotmedia
YESpbm shares where you should focus your efforts in terms of online reviews
We recommend spending more time and money, where you’re most likely to interact with the type of patients you want to attract. You must have a clear understanding of your target patient profile before selecting which platform to invest in.
If your potential patients frequently use Facebook, you should invest there first. Invest in Google reviews if your clients are likely to search Google before considering your practice. Mummy groups online, for example, can be a great place for a gynaecologist to offer free advice and rapidly gain popularity as an industry expert.
The opposite though, acquiring negative reviews or publicity, can be extremely damaging. To learn more, read our blog on Revealed: How much money negative reviews are really costing you.
Whenever you’re unsure about which platform to prioritise, pick Google.. It's the most versatile and most widely used.
YESpbm Co-Founder Aaron Banks shares his top tips to Increase the Number of 5-Star Online Reviews You Get;
1. Offer something spectacular.
In order to attract potential patients, your service should offer what they are looking for and more. This can be done by providing an outstanding patient experience. People share so much online now and if they’ve had a great experience with you, they’ll share that.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you must be the best doctor or surgeon in your field, but that you handle certain things differently to other practises. For example, by making your customers feel more important and well-cared for. This could be done by offering complimentary refreshments in the Patient Lounge (or waiting room - its all about perspective), perhaps decorating the clinic with flowers and room fresheners.
This can encourage more of your patients to write positive reviews about your practise.
2. Ask for a review.
Doctors struggling to gain 5-star reviews often fail to ask their patients for reviews.
If asked, 70% of individuals are willing to give you a review. If you ask 100 satisfied patients for feedback in the right way, you could expect to receive around 70 new online reviews.
We advise our clients to be selective though. Train your team not to ask everyone, as we really can’t please everyone all the time. When asking, remember also that you’ll often get what you ask for.
We advise clients to script this and say, for example, “we’re thrilled with the outcome for you XX, how do you feel? Great! Would you mind leaving a great review online if we send you a link?”
When asking for the review, you could include reasons why it would help your business (we are expanding, re-branding, retiring etc...). If they enjoyed the experience, they’ll be happy to assist by adding to your positive reviews.
Don’t forget to Ask for a review on multiple review platforms as well. Send 2-3 link options. Your patients are likely to prefer to connect on various platforms, so your are more likely to acquire more 5-star reviews if you’re just as adaptable. Plus, they’ll see you’re active online and feel great about choosing you as their specialist. We call this “social proof”.
Fun fact: Practises that ask for reviews and feedback via SMS receive 600% more completed reviews than the next best channel… email.
3. Keep it simple
After asking your patients to write a review, make sure it’s easy for them to do it. The process should be simple and easy for a wide range of clients, including the elderly.
This could include making sure your website is easy to navigate, that you provide them with an accessible link, and use a review platform that isn’t difficult to operate. If they find it difficult to review your service, perhaps offer one of your team to help them on their next visit.
4. Pick the best review method
Selecting the best review method for your patients goes hand in hand with keeping it simple. When asking for reviews, you have two main options: Automatic or manual.
Review requests could be automated so that clients automatically receive a link to review your practise, for example, via email. Alternatively, you could manually request reviews from hand-picked, happy customers.
We strongly advise the latter.
Asking for reviews manually almost guarantees that each will be 5 stars, but requires time and effort to select which patients to ask. Automating the process will enable you to collect more reviews without spending time on it, but can open you up to an unknown outcome. Automatically asking someone who has just left your clinic in pain, or frustrated to write a review may just prompt them to do it!
5. Stay engaged
After receiving the review you asked for, remain engaged.
To consistently receive great 5-star reviews, remember that follow-through is key. This is done by replying to reviews, whether positive or negative. If you receive a positive 5-star review, reply with a “thank you” or another (genuine) phrase expressing appreciation. If you receive a negative review, take full responsibility and reply with a suggestion on how you will improve their experience next time.
Whether the review is positive or negative, always thank the patient for their input. It demonstrates gratitude and builds their relationship with you and your company.
Remember, 97% of those who read reviews will read your comment.
By receiving more 5-star reviews than a competitor, potential patients will be more likely to choose you.
As a result, profit margins will increase and your business will gain popularity. In other words, your profitability is now directly tied to your popularity online.
A business that regularly seeks expert guidance, will often outperform their competitors.
We’re not suggesting you, as a highly skilled doctor or surgeon, spend all your time monitoring your Google ratings, but that you seek the professional help you need, just as you would with legal or insurance matters. Fast.
Think of your Personal Brand Management, or the clinic’s Review Management the way you would your accounts, or insurance. Be active, professional and regular in your attention to all.
Whether you're looking to eliminate fake or negative reviews, build your Personal Brand, protect the reputation you've worked hard to create, or all of the above, YESpbm can help.
Let’s begin the journey with a free, 15-minute chat. There’s no obligation. Schedule an appointment with an expert RIGHT NOW by clicking HERE - Calendar