• Consumers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations 
  • Prospects want to see aggregate reviews of 4 out of 5 stars or higher, and they want to be able to read about 10 online reviews before making a decision 
  • Patient reviews are an essential part of growing your business. They give a window into what your practice is like, they help you stand out from the pack, and they can help build a strong reputation. 
  • You are less likely to get unsolicited positive patient reviews, so you need to ask your patients to review you. The best way to do this is through automated tools. 
  • NexHealth has an automated tool where you can create email and SMS templates for patients to easily leave online doctor reviews 

Social proof is an essential part of your overall brand image, and one that holds a lot of weight in the mind of potential patients. Online reviews are the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth, and your reputation can do a lot to drive patients to (or away from) your practice. 

Why are online reviews so important? 

A Nielsen study found that 92% of consumers trust non-paid recommendations in favor of any other form of advertising. And today’s consumers don’t want to go with the first option presented to them. Instead, they want to do their research. On average, consumers will read about 10 online reviews before making a purchase decision (in your case, a decision to use your practice). 

Consumers are also much more likely to buy or use a service from a business if it has at least 4 out of 5 stars (57% of them feel this way). Plus, it takes about 40 positive reviews to outweigh one negative one. So, it’s not only important that you get online reviews, but that you get as many glowingly positive accounts as possible, and avoid as many negative online reviews as possible. 

Today’s consumers have a lot of choice 

While patients may still prefer to have in-person visits at offices closest to their home or work, when it comes to telehealth, choice has increased in the healthcare industry alongside with the adoption of new technology. With more doctors and other health practitioners available at the click of a button, you need to make sure your practice stands out online. Reviews are an important part of separating yourself from the pack. 

Word-of-mouth marketing is highly effective 

Even though there’s no kind of advertising that beats a personal recommendation, user reviews are the next best thing, with 88% of consumers trusting them as much as personal recommendations. With these recommendations holding so much weight, and consumers looking for lots of positive reviews on which to base their decisions, 

Allows prospects to have a better understanding of what their patient experience may be like 

Think of reviews as a window into your practice. They help prospective patients get an idea of what it would be like to see your staff. You want these reviews to paint the most accurate and positive picture of your office as possible. It can also help patients assess whether by testimonials whether your practitioners are the right fit for them.

Drives new patient acquisition 

If you happen to have enough positive reviews, and give your prospects enough to read and evaluate, they’re much more likely to schedule an initial appointment with you. It’s in your best interest to increase your odds by asking for reviews as often as possible.

What online reviews can tell you about your practice 

Online doctor reviews serve as your opportunity to learn and improve your practice. They should not be seen simply as a tool to attract new patients, but also as a resource that can be used to improve the patient experience for all. Pay attention to what both positive and negative online reviews are telling you. 

How effectively and efficiently your staff is managing clients 

Any reviews that cover the process of booking an appointment, all the way to billing, will help you understand any gaps in your service. For example, if you’re seeing multiple comments about how difficult the booking process was, or how patients didn’t receive an after-visit summary, you can identify where to improve training to subsequently deliver a better experience. 

Highlighting opportunities to improve the patient experience 

Say you run a dental office. Your online dentist reviews can help you understand how attended-to your patients feel, as well as any feedback for what might be missing. Use any constructive criticism you see in patient reviews as your opportunity to improve future visits, rather than taking them personally. 

How to ask for patient reviews 

Especially if the visit is a good one, your patients are far less likely to leave a positive review if not asked. So, be assertive and ask for it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many patients will happily leave you a review. 

Be clear on your ask 

There are all kinds of places patients can leave reviews – Yelp, Google, Healthgrades, Facebook, your website, or the website for your health care system, for starters. Don’t overwhelm them – be focused with what internet review site you want them to use. A good idea is to build up patient reviews where your prospects are most likely to look first. 

Not sure where to begin? See what pops up first for you on Google and Bing when you search for your office. Be in the habit of asking for reviews to build up one site, and cycle from there. Don’t focus too heavily on any one site, because you don’t know where prospective patients may search first. 

If you’re asking for reviews on a site you control, like your website, be clear in your questions. You can break up review answers into categories, like service, cleanliness, patient safety, and quality of care, for example. It can be hard for patients to know what kind of answers you want from them, or how long, if you provide vague directions. However, you also want to make sure what you write isn’t leading. Keep questions open-ended, allowing for respondents to answer freely, with just enough direction to make it clear what topics you’d like them to cover. 

Use an automated tool to improve your campaign’s effectiveness 

Following up one-by-one can be daunting, and is also unnecessary. Instead of sending out manual emails, use an automated tool to ask for reviews. NexHealth has a workflow where you can set up an email to send out asking people whether they would recommend your practice to others on a scale of 1 to 10, also known as a Net Promoter Score. If they score high enough, the email will automatically prompt them to post a Google review. Boom. The tool has done most of the job for you. All you had to do was the initial setup. 

Example: Post-visit follow-up text 

Text #1: Hi {Patient’s Name} – Thanks for coming in recently! Based on your last appointment, how likely are you to recommend us to someone else? Text back with a score from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). 

Text #2 (If the patient gives a score under 5): We’re sorry to hear that! What can we do to improve? 

Text #2 (If the patient gives a score between 5-8): We appreciate your feedback. What can we do better? 

Text #2 (If the patient gives a score between 9-10): Thank you for your feedback! Would you be willing to leave a review on {Internet Review Site}

Text #3 (If the patient says no): OK. Thank you for your time!

Text #3 (If the patient says yes): Great! Please follow this link to leave a review {Link}

Example: Post-visit follow-up email 

Subject Line: How’d we do? 

Body Copy: Have time for a quick survey? 

Thanks for coming in, {First Name}. We love seeing you, and we truly value your opinion. 

If you have a few minutes, please fill out this quick survey about your visit with {Provider’s Name}

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend {Provider’s Name} to others?

{Insert Net Promoter Score response with 0 labeled as “not at all likely” and 10 labeled as “extremely likely} 

(If the patient clicks 9 or 10, the email should link to a webpage that asks them to post a review. Example: “Thank you for the positive rating! Would you mind taking a minute and reviewing us on Google? You can do so by clicking the button below.”) 


You’re only one question away from more reviews, and possibly, more business!

You now know why patient reviews are important, how to ask for them, and where to start building up reviews first. All that’s left is getting a tool in place to automate the process, and you’re well on your way to growing your practice. 


You may also like

Comments are closed.