Online reviews are here to stay. They inform our decisions and habits every single day and healthcare is no exception. Patients can now rate their consultant experience and provide feedback online for all the world to see. But this shouldn’t be regarded as a concern – it should be embraced as an opportunity. If used intelligently, there can be great advantages to reviews, both for patient experience and your private work.
Patients are very familiar with those bright yellow stars that appear on Google. They see them when they book a hotel, buy something online or order takeaway. It’s essential that the healthcare industry not only welcomes these reviews but, even more importantly, learns how to engage, manage and benefit from them.
Why is this important?
Because “90% of consumers make decisions based on what online reviews say.” – Dimensional Research.
Getting positive feedback from a patient or a client is a great feeling, especially if you can share it. You can enhance positive reviews by responding effectively and can rectify negative feedback with the appropriate response.
“If a business resolves its issue quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers will return back to your business” – Social Media Today.
Either way, engaging helps to develop an authentic online reputation that builds trust and adds credibility to your work.
Managing your online presence
There are multiple platforms that facilitate reviews. However, the additional services and features they offer tend to vary, for example: some offer a verified system, some don’t. It’s important to find a platform that works for you and can improve how you present yourself online, while simultaneously benefiting your private work.
Try putting your name into Google and have a quick look at how you appear on the results page. If you’re not happy with what comes, then you need to manage it. If there are reviews, great! Capitalise on them. Why? Because:
“When Google finds valid reviews or ratings markup, we may show a rich snippet that includes stars and other summary info from reviews or ratings” – Google Developers.
“74% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” – Local Consumer Review Survey.
As a result, reviews are a great way of building off the patient experience. It would be fair to say, therefore, that having a good online presence with reviews and good information leads to more patients.
“Word of mouth is still the most popular method of recommendation for consumers” – Bright Local.
Many of the consultants I speak to confirm this. Online reviews have gone from a nice extra feature to a must-have. They are essential in the patient decision-making process and in maintaining a good word of mouth reputation in the healthcare industry in the digital age.
Use external websites to add additional Google links and add these to your website to improve the patient experience and increase the chances of a patient booking an appointment from your website.
I hope you have found these tips useful. If you would like to know more about strengthening your online presence in the healthcare world, please feel free to contact me on [email protected].