Today, the search for a doctor begins online: over 84% of people now read online reviews before choosing a doctor (Inc.com). Not only that – more than half of patients will not even consider a practice that has negative patient feedback. To get new patients, requires building up a strong online reputation.
A strong online reputation depends largely upon positive reviews. So how do you get positive reviews? By asking every patient for feedback, reading all that feedback, and taking action based on patient feedback to improve patient experience.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits that patient feedback can have on your practice.
Read also: How patients use online reviews
Build a credible online reputation
It’s simple: the more patients you ask, the more reviews you get. The more reviews you collect, the more social proof prospective patients have of your practice’s high quality. Not to mention, more reviews mean any negative review you might receive has less impact on your overall rating.
More visibility on Google search
Review signals have a significant impact on your search engine ranking. Search engines prioritize websites with more frequent activity and fresh, organic content, and that’s exactly what new reviews are. The more reviews you have, the higher the search ranking your business can expect.
Build strong patient relationships
Think of feedback as the start of a conversation between you and your patients, and make each of those conversations constructive. There is more to a positive review than 5 stars; pay attention to what exactly makes your patients happy so you can keep providing it.
Negative reviews, although frustrating initially, are extremely valuable if you take action on them to prevent their recurrence. If your patient didn’t bring the issue to your attention, you might never have known and it might have occurred countless more times, steering other patients away. When you take meaningful action to rectify a patient’s complaint, you have the chance to win back their trust.
Why you need to collect patient feedback constantly
Earning a 5-star rating from a high volume of reviews is great, but it doesn’t mean you can just sit back and stop caring about patient feedback. Research revealed that most patients consider reviews older than three months as irrelevant — so if all your reviews are from last year, many prospective patients might disregard your high rating altogether and choose a competitor with more recent reviews.
Read also: Why 5 stars aren’t enough
As mentioned earlier in this article, patient feedback is also critical to preserving patient loyalty. Patient expectations evolve constantly, so a continuous stream of incoming feedback helps you stay in tune with what your patients want from their healthcare provider.
For a busy practice devoting all their time to caring for patients, consistently collecting feedback from every patient might sounds daunting. The good news? There are solutions on the market that make the whole process easy and automatic. BirdEye, for example, lets you ask patients for feedback, respond to every review from one place, and share them to your social media pages — automatically.