Imagine this. Yesterday you twisted your ankle. It’s throbbing and you think you might even have broken it, but with a steady diet of Advil, you’re keeping the pain a bay. You’re at the point where stubborn as you are you’ve decided you need to find an orthopedist.
What do you do?
Do you randomly choose one from a list of doctors? Not likely.
Most doctors start by asking other doctors they know who they recommend. You ask the people you know and trust who they’ve seen and trust too. Right?
So what do your patients do?
They do the same thing, they look for a doctor they can trust. And while you may be the best orthopedist or doctor in your specialty in town, until a patient has a reason to trust you – well they don’t. Without that trust, they won’t call your practice, schedule an appointment or put their health in your hands. Almost 95% of people do the same thing – they read online reviews before making a decision. In fact, they read, on average 10 reviews before making a decision.
Sure, you may have been practicing medicine for over 100 years, be up to date on the latest science, and have eight thousand satisfied patients, but until you give patients social proof they won’t and don’t trust you.
No trust, no appointment
Recently a longtime friend called looking to tell me her son had broken his ankle playing soccer, and she had found the names of several orthopedics online. Before she chose one, she wanted to know which of the ones she’d found online I had seen when I had shoulder surgery after a fall.
We talked about the surgeon I had used, his bedside manner was, and if I would see him again. After our conversation, guess what my friend decided to do?
Yes, she called and scheduled an appointment with my surgeon. Why?
Because a personal recommendation from a patient is one of the fastest ways to build trust with prospective patients. When a patient trusts you, and tells someone else, they are transferring their trust to the prospective patient and paving the way for that person to schedule an appointment with you. And while personal recommendations are the most powerful, patient reviews on your site work can work wonders too.
You can’t always ensure your prospects will get a personal recommendation for your business, but you can use patient reviews to promote your practice. Reviews from people who have used your services are one of the most effective marketing tools available to convince potential patients of the value of your and services.
Getting direct referrals works to attract new patients and convince them to schedule an appointment. Depending on how vocal your past patients are, direct referrals will only generate a limited number of new patients.
Patient reviews can be an even better way to attract a steady stream of new patients each month. While a review doesn’t have as great an impact as a personal referral, you can collect dozens of them and use them again and again without wearing out your relationship with past patients. That means you can use them to attract even more patients than you would through personal referrals.
Including patient reviews in your online marketing is one of the best ways to instantly establish your credibility and get more patients.
How to collect reviews for your practice and get more patients calling
What are the two problems with collecting great patient reviews no one tells you?
First of all – it’s just plain uncomfortable. Most people find it awkward at best to ask patients for positive feedback, so they avoid asking. If they do get reviews, they are all over the web–on Google, Facebook, Yelp!, and other review sites, not on their website where they are most likely to convince patients to make an appointment. And unless you have a full-time person updating your site and actively monitoring the web for posts, this is not an effective way to leverage the power of reviews.
Ideally, you want to collect enough reviews so you have 20-30 recent outstanding reviews for each of your services. This kind of volume requires a system that works.
You can set up an automatic reminder asking patients for their feedback. For example, your email system can send it out automatically after a visit. A handful of people (roughly one out of a hundred) will respond to your email or snail-mail feedback requests. Depending on your volume of sales, this may provide you with enough reviews to convince new patients to call.
A far more effective way to collect compelling reviews is to use an online review-building service that not only reminds them to offer a review, it helps them do it right away, on the social media platform of their choice. Best of all, it automatically posts the best positive reviews to your website where new patients can see them. How much can reviews grow your business?
“Our practice has grown 21% in the last year and I attribute 99% of our growth to MedPB’s Online Review Builder™ and our 46 positive Google reviews! Online Review Builder™ has made getting great patient reviews easy. I can’t recommend MedPB highly enough.”
– Gena Marino, Fairfax Hearing Center, Falls Church, VA
One of the hidden benefits of using a proven online review builder is that it always gets (and records) your customers’ permission to use their reviews in your marketing. Your reviews are even more bulletproof and more believable because they are public and include your patients’ full names and the cities and states where they live.
Online review builders also take any burden of proof off you. Let your customers sing your praises. It’s much more believable.
Want to know the easy way to attract more patients using reviews?
“In two months we got over 40 patient reviews. We used to struggle to get patients to leave reviews. The Online Review Builder™ system is amazingly simple and a great value for the money!”
– Caroline Friedly & Gregory O. Dick, Gregory O. Dick MD, FACS, Rockville MD