Updated: Jul 12
What drives the growth of your clinic?
Yes, the answer’s simple: it’s your patients.
If you want to improve your medical services then, and the growth or profitability of your clinic, shouldn’t you listen to what they have to say? One of the best ways to listen to that feedback these days is to read their reviews.
It can be a blunt instrument, granted, and at times a little brutal and uncomfortable, but unanimous research now shows that people are far more likely to “vent” online, than to call you, or the clinic lead, and have the conversation.
To learn more, YESpbm conducted the world's first, in-depth analysis, of thousands of online reviews for the elective medical industry.
The results were surprising so we compiled a hit list of pointers (below) to help combat the trends the research uncovered.
To help BOOST your review (star) rating, here’s our first 5 Action Points;
1. Do you have a unified, robust clinic management software system and if so, is it up to scratch. The following tasks should be fully automated and should prompt reviews at each stage;
Initial consultation booking (online and/or with a zoom link). This can remove booking anxiety and patient frustration waiting on hold.
A text and/or email reminder for the consultation with a handy tip (parking, weather warning, etc..) 3 days and 1 day out.
Post visit email with supporting documentation/review of previous procedures and paperwork to review if they want to continue
Reminder to get in touch (if you have not heard back) by email or text message with a handy tip (perhaps some information around operation anxiety or offers from financial assistance providers)
Automated Pre-Op and Post-Op information if they have already confirmed the procedure
Follow up emails at 6 months and 12 months post-procedure reminding them of the importance of aftercare (such as diet and exercise requirements, or offering a return visit for a check-up)
2. Has your front line staff been trained in “customer satisfaction and complaint handling”. This is a skill and it’s not automatic. Think of the way your card company handles your call when you call to unblock it for the 12th time this year. They are highly trained to “understand and care”. Why not book in a staff breakfast and get an expert in, such as YESpbm, via a zoom link, or in person, to give say 5 key pointers for the team to remember and action?
3. Does your front line team have “a script”. Ever been asked if you want to upsize your order? Indeed. Its the multi-billion dollar question! Having a basic call enquiry or complaint handling script in place is essential to gain extra sales AND prevent negative reviews. It sounds hard, corny even, but every time we implement something basic, the results are astounding.
4. How is your patient waiting experience? Do you have a “waiting room” or a “Patient Lounge”. Personally, I’ve never been seem on time at a doctor and it brasses me off. My time is just as valuable as theirs and depending on how long I’m kept waiting, I’ll let them, and the review community know. Give me a deep leather chair, a cappuccino or some freshly squeezed juice though, a fresh muffin basket and some well chosen chocolates and I’ll be happy to indulge for just a little longer. If you’re asking patients to pay £500-£50,000 think First Class, not an economy flight overbooked to Benidorm. Our patient lounge consultant can transform a waiting room into a haven of peace and joy. It doesn’t cost much, if anything really, and the results are instant and immeasurable.
5. What’s in a name? Everything. How about your receptionist greeting each patient as they walk in, by name and with a genuine smile. Not waiting for the patient to approach her desk, pause while she finishes her calls, emails, or Facebook posts, and then look at them as if she wasn’t sure why they were even there. A warm and friendly “Good morning... Mr Smith? We’ve been looking forward to seeing you..” as they approach is much better (yes, that’s a script). At times she may get it wrong, but really, who’ll take offense? Besides, doesn’t it feel good when travelling First, or Business class and an attendant you’ve never met, asks you by name if you wanted more champagne? Your patients deserve the same feeling don't they?
Don’t worry too much if you’re not addressing everything yet, or you’re stretched for time or resources internally right now, YESpbm will take care of the lot, and much more. It’s what we do.
After all, I’m sure you don’t do your own taxes, or legal work do you? In recent years, review management has become just as important, if not more so and you’ll neglect it at your own peril. It’s your public face and, a significant business driver.
YESpbm Online Medical Review Survey; Key Findings.
Working mainly with elective and cosmetic surgeons, the Online Reputation Management Specialists at YESpbm commissioned the world's first in-depth analysis of reviewer behaviour for the medical profession. The study analysed over 19,000 individual reviews for several highly rated surgeons in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Given the medical care, training and specialist skills these surgeons and their practises offer, the results left us speechless.
According to the recent studies, nearly 9% of all reviews posted for the medical profession were negative.
Of those, a Bad surgical outcome accounted for 19% off all negative reviews posted online for doctors.
YESpbm found that over 14% of the negative reviews revolved around the patient's experience from the staff, or receptionist's attitude, follow up visits, phone manner, etc.
Similarly, if the facilities in the clinics matched the level of skill and care the surgeons take in their work, a further 8% of those negative reviews could have been positive.
The most substantial outcome however is that the vast majority, a whopping 50% of the negative reviews, focus on “Quality of Care”; issues such as long waiting time, the doctor's “attitude”, consultation time, lack of sufficient follow up, etc.
Many of these negative reviews should have been positive with regular and personalised staff training, good clinic management software for patient bookings and reminders, along with strong internal leadership and a quality of care (experience) focus.
Numerous studies, including our own, clearly show that healthcare providers need to consider their online ratings carefully.
These “star” ratings can have a significant impact on whether your company's growth increases or decreases. A single star rating change can have a substantial effect on your conversions, and bottum line.
Yelp recently found that a 1-star boost in rating can add up to 8% more in revenue.
In the elective surgical industry, YESpbm found this number to be significantly greater. Given the nature of procedures, perceived pain and recovery times, and of course the cost, YESpbm’s early research indicates that a 1-star boost in your rating can add up to 23% more revenue to your clinics financial performance.
We also found that the higher the star rating, the happier the patients and the less likely they are to complain about surgical outcomes, seek refunds or “vent” online. They are happy with the “social proof” a high star rating offers and often understand that their issue(s) may be isolated.
When the small irritations and common causes listed above are taken into consideration, and their corrections prioritised, over half of the negative reviews online for medical professionals could have been avoided.
The term "word-of-mouth" has an entirely new meaning in 2021.
A single customer's opinion has the potential to reach thousands, if not millions, of individuals and “referrals” are no longer just one-to-one over a quiet cup of tea. Gaining raving fans online can make a big difference to the prosperity of the clinic, help prevent negative reviews (as misery does love company still) and truly aid the mental health and well-being of the practitioner and their team.
For your clinic to stand out, once you are ready for them, ask your patients to leave reviews.
Having a healthy combination of positive and negative reviews will assist in the rapid development of trust in your healthcare services. Just make sure of course that the balance is overwhelmingly positive and that “negative reviews” offer genuine feedback with 3 or 4 stars. Remember, YESpbm has become expert at removing reviews that don’t meet the mark, so, get in touch if you need a little help with that one.
If you are still not sure how to boost your online medical reviews, why not contact our experts at YESpbm and mention this article to get one free negative review removal. Get started by clicking HERE- Calendar to set a time for a confidential 15-minute chat. You can also get some further great tips at www.yespbm.com or by following us @YESbm on Twitter.