There’s so much misinformation going around about reviews. Where you need them, why, how to get them, etc.
Some of these myths can be downright detrimental to your practice’s reputation and long-term success.
So let’s set the record straight. When it comes to your reviews on sites that matter – Google, Facebook, HealthGrades and so on, these are some of the biggest lies you’re being sold.
Myth 1: “I don’t really need to worry about negative reviews.”
This literally happened to a practice I consulted:
A patient was scheduled for a cataract surgery, referred from her optometrist to the surgeon. The patient went online to check out the practice website and online listings.
The patient called back to cancel surgery because she saw negative reviews of the client on Google.
This should cause you to pause. We aren’t talking hypothetical. This is a real patient with real money who canceled her surgery due to bad online reviews.
And when we dig deeper to look at the details, it gets even more disturbing.
A. This patient was referred from her trusted optometrist, but negative reviews from strangers caused her to cancel.
B. The practice had positive reviews as well, but nowhere near enough to create confidence to overcome the negative ones. Had the practice presented 120 5-star reviews and 3 negative reviews, the story would have ended differently.
C. This is a cataract patient. We know based on research that younger age groups tend to trust online reviews more. So if a cataract-aged patient put this much stock into online reviews, image what your patients in the 20-50 year-old range are doing.
Negative reviews have real effects on your bottom line. And if you aren’t doing something to generate more positive reviews, you’re a sitting duck, waiting for the next unreasonable patient or competitor who leaves you a negative review.
Myth 2: “People don’t put much stock in online reviews from strangers.”
If the anecdote in the last myth didn’t convince you, let’s look at the data.
88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. (Source)
This number continues to climb, year over year. And the number of people who say the don’t trust online reviews continues to drop.
And here’s another fun fact for you: 57% of consumers say they will visit a local business website after reading a positive review.
So not only do people trust online reviews, the positive reviews actually lead them to take engagement action via that business’s website the majority of the time.
Myth 3: “If I do a great job for my patients, that will naturally translate into awesome reviews.”
This should be the case. In a perfect world, it would be.
But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a busy one.
People have 7,000 things going on at all times. And as much as patients say they love you and appreciate what you’ve done, once they’re out your front door…
They’re on to the next thing. Trekking to the grocery store. B-lining for happy hour. Picking up the kids from school. Meandering back to the office.
Once your practice is out of sight, you’re also out of mind.
And the chances of a patient making it over to your Google or Yelp or HealthGrades page to leave you that 5-star dissertation they promised? You already know how likely they are to do that. And you aren’t holding your breath.
Reviews are vitally important when it comes to earning trust of new patients. In addition, if you don’t take control of your reviews and simplify the process so patients can quickly and easily leave them for you, the chance of getting the level of positive reviews you need is slim.
Put a system in place to attract more positive reviews. And engage as many patients as you can to leave you a review. Also make sure you’re receiving alerts of negative reviews so you can address them in a timely manner.
If you’re interested in a proven, successful shortcut for these tasks, most of our clients use this tool to simplify their lives and 10x their 5-star reviews – letsreview.us.
Whatever direction you take, make sure you have a plan in place to generate new, authentic reviews from patients.