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Understanding The Power Of Patient Reviews

04 Sep 2019 | by Megha

We are living in a world where reviews from people act as a decisive factor for the choices we make. Healthcare is no different. Good patient reviews play a crucial role in growing your practice.

Various research suggests the importance of patient reviews in healthcare:

  • 93% of patients find online reviews helpful when deciding on doctors or hospital

  • 62% of patients use online reviews when looking for new doctors.

  • Studies conducted by Dr David Hanauer at the University of Michigan in 2012 reveal that about 50% of patients would leave their current network to have a doctor with favourable online reviews.

In an era where healthcare is driven by consumers posting patients reviews online on the hospital/clinic website, hospital rating sites, social media sites is a powerful way of promoting and marketing your business.

Why online patient reviews is good for your practice?

Research suggests that 88 % of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In healthcare also, online reviews have a powerful influence in shaping the choices of patients. How many times have you booked a consultation without looking at the reviews or asking your friends and family?

The Internet has changed the way consumers are selecting healthcare providers. Social sharing and patient review platforms transformed the way how the patients are selecting the doctors.  They use online reviews for several reasons starting from compare physicians, healthcare brands, facilities to determine the pricing.

People looking for reviews online on sites such as Facebook, Google, want to understand, relate, and gauze the experiences of the previous patient. They estimate that they will receive a similar experience when they are booking for your consultation. Consumers are doing their homework before booking any consultation.

The modern healthcare industry has shifted from being provider-centric to patient-centric. It has become crucial more than ever to understand patients’ approach towards online reviews.

"Recognition and reputation are powerful revenue multipliers"

Patients are consumers who want the best possible overall experience when seeking care. You will achieve up to 50% higher margins if you offer a superior patient experience. The interrelationship between satisfied patients and higher profit margins is a growing trend and is expected to continue. Patient experience increases consumer loyalty and patient review.

It is estimated that the lifetime value of a patient is approximately $1.4 million - and when the patient chooses to go somewhere else, the money goes too.

Online reviews in healthcare are here to stay. The experience your patients have with your facilities/services today will become the deciding factor for your upcoming patient footfall.

How to generate positive patient reviews?

Overall care experienced by patients, bedside manners, interpersonal skills of doctors often are the grounds on which patients give their reviews online. Nowadays patients like it when their caregiver is compassionate towards them, engage and guide them in their process of recovery.

They value successive follow-up calls along with reminders of their appointments. If you put the effort of taking these extra steps your patients will automatically drive positive online reviews for your practice.

Put a little extra effort and try following the guided approach mentioned below for generating positive reviews:-

  • Quality of care

You can’t expect positive reviews without providing quality care. When patients have remarkable experience at your hospital they will happily be providing good reviews both online and offline. Quality care and positive reviews go hand in hand.

  • Don’t miss your happy patients

As mentioned above, nothing can beat a happy, satisfied patient who is ready to speak or write about your services with great enthusiasm and admiration. These patients become brand ambassadors of your services and endorse them to their friends and family. This process will benefit you and your patients, as your services will get marketed and your patients will feel empowered and opinionated.

  • Ask for feedback

Ratings and reviews of your happy patients will boost your business's future growth. As today’s healthcare has become consumer-driven, so let your consumers drive your practice. Asking Feedback from patients is one of the best solutions for this. Use MedEngage® feedback to customize your feedback form as per your convenience and allow or ask these patients to fill the same. By using Medenage feedback you can improve your Google reviews and ratings

  • Send an email/SMS

SMS has an open rate of 98%. Send a personalized thank you message for their visit to your hospital using MedEngage . You can also add a link to your customized patient feedback form <<Link>>. Patients who had an exceptional experience with your services will go through your SMS and give feedback increasing your positive reviews.

  • Create incentives

Many dental clinics in the United States of America randomly pick patients who have posted positive reviews and rewards them with some giveaway which has encouraged positive-experienced patients to volunteer themselves in posting positive reviews hence increasing the number for the same, in turn, building loyalty and trust amongst existing and to-be consumers. Likewise, you can also come up with such plans, maybe like every 50th patient posting positive reviews will get some percentage off or discount on the next diagnosis or consultant fee. This will not only help in increasing google review and rating but also your daily footfall.

  • Testimonials

Testimonials on your website will form a belief-platform for your prospective consumers testifying to your services and it’s quality. Keeping testimonials on your website is like having a certificate of satisfaction from your consumers. They are as much believed as they believe any personal recommendations. Testimonials from current or old patients will add the required credibility to your marketing message.

Patients have their point of view, and even after providing the best possible service, you might end up getting some negative reviews. It is ok to receive some harsh feedback for your practice but not attending to these negative response can impact negatively for your reputation and revenue. It is essential to timely respond to these negative response. Our next section will guide you in attending these negative reviews in a systematic manner.

How to address negative patient reviews?

Bad encounters tend to spread widely compared to any positive experience. Begrudging patients are 50 % more likely to share their experiences as online reviews than the happy one. This makes getting positive reviews for your practice even more difficult and tricky. While you can encourage your patients to post positive reviews, you cannot prevent or control a patient from leaving a negative one. Negative reviews will be posted, but the way of dealing with those will decide the impact on your business. Few tips of increasing positive reviews and dealing with negative ones :

  • Immediate Response to social media comments

Engaging interaction with your customers on social media is what matters to people. Your response to patients reviews on social media sites help you in establishing your hospital's reputation. For those who have posted positively, you can send a simple thank you note whereas the negative reviews need your immediate action. Sincerely apologizing for a patient’s negative experience will mellow down the matter to an extent. You can ask your patients what you can do to help resolve their situation, or if you are already working on it, you can convey the same. Your openness, honesty, and quick response will win loyalty and hearts your patients.

  • Avoid arguing with your patients on the internet 

You may feel the enticement of sharing your side of the story for patients leaving negative reviews but remember that social media is not the place to engage in a game of he said, she said. If you get in the loop of such conversion you will come across as defensive. If you feel things are not going in the right direction, take the conversation offline and give them a call to discuss the issue personally. After successfully reaching a compromise, you can reply the same on their comment.

  • Beware of your competitors

This is not common but there may be times when a competitive business may attempt to sabotage your reputation by leaving forged reviews about poor services on your website. In such cases do whatever needed to prove the falseness of the comment with reason and sufficient evidence.

  • Promote positive reviews

Incorporate positive reviews into your marketing strategy by including them in your social media, digital ads, radio ads, and other marketing channels. This will not only motivate other patients to share one, but you can use these reviews to attract new patients. Positive reviews are a form of online word-of-mouth marketing, and promoting them can be instrumental in your success.

To bring it all together, we can say that patients are more likely to choose hospitals carrying an online reputation that is who has many positive reviews and a five-star rating. Patients will pay more for your service if your services are of higher quality. Testimonials from patients will validify your service and build a reliable marketing strategy. You can repeatedly say that you are the best in your field, but word-of-mouth marketing still matters the most. Having a strategy to sow and reap positive reviews from your patients should be a top priority helping you collect 5-star reviews to boost your business. Having positive patient reviews is a foolproof plan to help you thrive in your business and acquire new patients while retaining current ones.

Want to increase positive reviews and use them as a marketing tool to increase business? Contact Healtho5 today for MedEnagage Feedback - Real-time patient feedback. You can also have a look at our case study of how Medenage has helped in increasing google review. 

We at Healtho5 are on a mission to solve the patient engagement market in India and provide affordable easy to use solutions to the healthcare industry and patients. Visit Healtho5 or call us @ +91-8047092031

Author: Ms. Megha Basu Roy.