Top 4 reasons you need to read your online reviews

July 16, 2015

It can be a daunting thought, but due to the ever-growing reliance of the web, do you really know what your patients think of your practice?

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It can be a daunting thought, but due to the ever-growing reliance of the web, do you really know what your patients think of your practice?

If you have never heard of Healthgrades.com, ZocDoc.com, Yelp or even Google Plus, your patients may be spreading negative words about your practice, damaging potential referrals and future revenue, to the world-and you do not even know it.

According to the Washington Post, as out-of-pocket costs for health care have risen, more and more people are searching the web for their medical care and comparing reviews.

Misti BuardOnline reviews, while less likely to focus on treatments, most commonly zone in on patient experiences, such as how fast care was received, whether the providers were kind, and convenience.

Most negative physician reviews relate to scheduling and waiting times, according to the Post.

To combat the growing issue, hospitals around the country are looking to better control their online presence and increase patient satisfaction ratings by hiring reputation managers who use tools to monitor data and assess what is being posted about physicians.

“Patient satisfaction, long ignored by the health-care industry, is a strategic priority for another simple reason: It’s playing a more important role in determining how the federal government pays hospitals,” the Post reported.

However, there are ways physicians themselves can monitor and improve their online reputations.

Misti Buard-a certified marketing coach-breaks down the top 4 reasons every physicians needs to read their online reviews and gives advice on how to improve web reputations.

 

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If you want to know what patients are saying about your practice, take some time to read online reviews and learn from them. Listen to what patients are saying. What do they want more of? What do they want less of? Can you meet their desires and still run a successful business?

How can reading online reviews benefit your practice? 

#4

72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, and over 70% of Americans read reviews before making a purchase.

How does this affect your practice? If the online reviews about your practice have a poor rating, then you are surely losing customers. Perhaps you purchase items from Amazon. How likely are you to purchase an item if the reviews are positive? How likely are you to purchase an item if the reviews are bad? Online reviews are just as effective with doctor’s offices as they are on Amazon.

 

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#3

If there are bad reviews posted online about your practice, immediately express your concern for the patients’ situation and do everything in your power to rectify the issue. When addressing bad reviews the key is to make sure that you do it on the same platform (Yelp, Google, ZocDoc, etc.) where the patient posted the review. Though having bad reviews are not ideal, this allows other patients to see that you genuinely care and your ultimate goal is patient satisfaction.

 

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#2

Paying attention to online reviews allows you to interact with patients. Take advantage of positive reviews and thank patients for their comments. Use the same concept above and thank patients on the platform where they gave your practice praise. Once you’ve said your thank you’s, let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them on their next visit.  People adore personal acknowledgement.

 

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#1

Reading online reviews about your practice allows you to become a mystery shopper for your own business. It allows you to see exactly what your patients think about the services and products you offer, as well as what they think about your staff, office décor, office hours, etc. This can be a perfect tool to better understand your patients, their needs, and make any necessary changes to keep them happy and returning to your office.

 

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