With more and more patients turning to the internet before making healthcare decisions, patient reviews can be a powerful marketing tool. They’re an inexpensive way to grow your practice. The trouble is, satisfied patients don’t always think to write testimonials. Plus, asking for reviews isn’t always ethical. Sometime’s it’s against the law. For example, watch out what you offer patients in exchange for reviews. Individual gifts must have a value of $10 or less and they can’t exceed a total value of $50 per patient per year. So how can you get more patient reviews?
Here are some ideas.
Use a Feedback Form
Although it may seem like semantics, it is generally better to request feedback than to ask for reviews. At the least, soliciting too many reviews can get you banned from popular review sites.
A simple “Let us know how we are doing” form is a great way to ask for comments. If you want honest information, make the name optional and let patients drop it off in a waiting room box. Be sure to include a check box that gives you permission to publish their review. You can then add the best testimonials to your website or printed materials.
A sign near your checkout area is a great, non-pushy way to suggest online feedback. Make sure the instructions are short and easy to remember. If most of your patients love you, posting a sign that says: “Please grade us on Healthgrades.” might be all that you need to get more patient reviews.
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Use Your Printed Materials
Practice brochures are great. They allow patients to easily refer you to their friends. You can use them to request feedback as well. A simple statement, such as “Check us out on Yelp!” is all it takes. Add the same message to your appointment cards. They’ll remind patients to review you before their next visit.
Use Your Email Appointment Reminders
Email appointment reminders are a natural place to show patients where to leave a review. A simple Leave Feedback link in the footer can take your patients to the review site of your choice. Change this link regularly to rotate where you receive the most reviews.
Use Your Website
Ideally, a patient should be able to search for your practice and leave a review. Easy, right? In reality, patients must find your website, which may be buried on page 10 of Google. Then they must scour your website to figure out where to leave a review.
To make things easier, be sure to work on SEO, so that patients can find your practice online. Then, claim your business on Google My Business. This will allow patients to find a place to review you when they search for your practice. It will also allow prospective patients to see reviews as they do a search.
On your website, be sure to provide clear instructions on how to leave a review. A button or a link that says “Leave a Testimonial” can lead a patient to your review site of choice.
Use Popular Review Sites
Claim your practice on Yelp and general review sites. Chances are, patients are already reviewing you there. Then, even if your website does not appear on page 1 of Google search results, your reviews on these sites might.
You can also add yourself to some medical directories for your specialty. Remember that you or your staff will have to monitor any review sites that you join. Train staff to handle negative reviews quickly and in an effective manner.
Use Social Media
Interacting with patients on social media can also pay off. Informal tweets or comments on Facebook can work in your favor. However, you or your staff will need to monitor all social media channels as well. Don’t forget to train staff to respond to patients on social media without violating HIPAA requirements.
More Patient Reviews: The Takeaway
We’ve listed many different ways to suggest that your patients leave you feedback. If used properly, patient reviews and testimonials can help a practice grow by influencing prospective patients. That said, getting more patient reviews must be done ethically. It is generally better to suggest leaving feedback than to ask for good reviews. Remember to only join review sites if you have the staff or the time to respond to negative reviews effectively.