Online reviews continue to be a valuable resource for online consumers. While these reviews were initially used to recommend restaurants and make online purchases, sites now aggregate ratings for everything from churches to colleges and even healthcare facilities. We live in a customer-driven world where the patient’s voice is more powerful than ever. Patients now expect greater transparency from their healthcare providers than ever before. With greater deductibles and out-of-pocket payments, healthcare consumers are not as apathetic about selecting doctors and healthcare systems as they once were. Patients are doing more research on doctors and hospitals online than ever before. Given the significant impact that online reviews may have on a business’s health, healthcare practitioners should be considering ways to enhance their number of positive ratings and leverage them to further develop their practices.
The internet has become the primary source of information for people looking for healthcare services. It’s no wonder that prospective patients count on online reviews to determine which healthcare professionals and facilities to visit.
What is Google Reviews?
Google is the undisputed leader when it comes to the online review sector. Google Reviews is one of the most prominent review sites accessible today, and it is a powerful tool to help doctors improve their online visibility and reputation. According to Pew Research, approximately 80% people choose their healthcare providers based on patient ratings and how they respond to said ratings.
Google reviews are public comments and evaluations of businesses, including physicians and hospitals. The star rating gives a sense of your online reputation even before the patient knows anything about you or your healthcare practice. According to Doctor.com, “most patients regard 4 stars as the lowest acceptable rating for a physician”, therefore, it is important to keep your ratings at an all-time high.
Online reviews have become an important aspect of healthcare marketing, and doctors must embrace them in order to compete.
Why are Google Reviews important for doctors?
Google Reviews for doctors are critical for a variety of reasons. For starters, they can help significantly help a doctor’s online reputation. Patients frequently refer to these reviews to evaluate healthcare providers, and a favorable rating could influence their decision to select one primary care physician over another. According to a Bright Local poll, 91% of consumers read online reviews and 84% believe them as much as personal recommendations.
These reviews can help doctors in increasing their ranking in Google search results, improving their SEO. Ratings are used by Google as ranking criteria, meaning healthcare providers with good ratings are more likely to appear at the top of search results. This helps doctors in attracting new patients and expanding their patient pool.
Positive reviews on Google help doctors in gathering useful feedback from their patients. Feedback is critical for healthcare providers so that they can enhance their services and deliver better patient care. Positive feedback can help doctors recognize what they’re doing well, while negative feedback can assist them to address areas for improvement.
Strategies to get Google Reviews
Now that we’ve established why these reviews are so essential, let’s look at how doctors can get more of them. Here are some tactics doctors can employ to encourage patients to leave reviews:
- Ask patients to leave a review
Asking patients to post a review after their session is one of the simplest strategies to increase positive reviews. Doctors could ask their staff to remind patients to post a review, or they can include a message in their appointment reminder email.
- Make it easy to leave a review
Include a link to the Google Reviews page on the healthcare practice’s website or in an email signature to make it easy for patients to leave a review. Patients are more inclined to leave a review if it is simple for them to do so.
- Offer an incentive
Providing an incentive can be an effective approach to persuade patients to post a review. For example, doctors can provide a discount on their next consultation or a free service to patients who post a review. However, doctors must be cautious not to offer incentives that could be perceived as bribes.
- Follow up with patients
Following up with patients after their appointment is another way to encourage them to leave a review. Doctors can send a personalized email or text message thanking patients for their visit and asking them to leave a review.
How should doctors respond to Google Reviews?
Positive feedback is wonderful, but negative feedback is inevitable and can be difficult to manage. When you’ve worked hard to provide excellent care to your patients, reading a poor review online might be discouraging. Nonetheless, negative reviews alert your practice to issues that are still hidden in your blind spots and represent an opportunity for doctors to improve their services and demonstrate their dedication to patient care.
This is also an incredible PR opportunity. Responding to both positive and negative practice evaluations is a fantastic approach to creating trust and demonstrating to patients that you care about what they have to say.
Here are a few ways doctors can respond to negative reviews:
- It is important to respond to bad reviews as soon as possible. Responding swiftly demonstrates to patients that this healthcare facility values their feedback and is dedicated to addressing their problems.
- When responding to negative feedback, physicians must maintain a professional demeanor and avoid becoming defensive. It is essential to acknowledge the patient’s worries and provide a solution to their problem, rather than trying to defend themselves.
- In responding to poor evaluations, doctors should avoid sharing any personal information or specific medical data. Instead, they should offer to discuss the problem individually with the patient in order to overcome it.
- After addressing the patient’s problem, schedule another appointment with them to see whether it meets their expectations and if they had a better experience the second time around.
In conclusion, medical practices with consistently high star ratings have the highest chance of beating the competition. If you’ve looked at your medical practice’s Google reviews and believe you can do better, our expert team at North Rose Healthcare can help you develop a result-driven strategy that not only looks after your reviews, but manages it well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Google Reviews for Doctors?
Google Reviews are online reviews and ratings submitted on a healthcare provider’s Google My Business page by patients. These reviews are public and can have a significant impact on a medical professional’s online reputation.
Can doctors remove negative feedback?
No, doctors cannot remove negative reviews. However, they can respond to them and address the patient’s problem.
How do Google Reviews impact a doctor's online presence?
Google Reviews have a significant impact on a doctor’s online presence as they influence their search engine ranking and online reputation. Positive ratings can help doctors in attracting more patients and expand their patient base.
Can doctors influence the content of a patient's review?
While doctors cannot, and should not, influence the content of a patient’s review, they can encourage patients to leave a review and respond to the review after it’s posted.