When patients have a good experience at your hospital or private practice, they may feel compelled to sing your praises online. These reviews not only make you feel good as a provider committed to the health and wellness of the public – they also play a pivotal role in gaining new patients. Here, AMNY Health Marketing discusses patient reviews and how to use them as part of a health-specific marketing strategy.
Why Patient Feedback Matters
Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever for patients to share their personal stories and opinions for the world to see – whether they’re positive or negative. What’s more, reading online reviews is one of the primary steps people take when comparing physicians, services, and healthcare brands before scheduling that first appointment. Some key things to remember about this free advertising include:
- Reviews build trust: Many people rely on personal accounts to provide an inside view of a health organization.
- Reviews influence decisions: When researching new providers in the area, research shows patients are likely to choose one over another based on the amount of positive feedback.
- The bad often outweighs the good: Unhappy patients are more likely to complain than satisfied patients are to leave a positive comment or ranking.
Online reviews may indicate how satisfied people are with your healthcare facility as a whole. While shorter than patient testimonials, they can be just as powerful at driving new business when leveraged in the right ways through your marketing capabilities.
How to Get Patient Reviews
If your healthcare organization hasn’t been able to garner many reviews, what’s next? Set up a system that automatically produces a steady stream of feedback. Some things you can do to boost engagement include:
- Just ask: Satisfied patients are highly likely to leave a positive review if you just ask for it.
- Link to listings: Putting a link on your website makes it easy for patients to leave feedback the next time they go online to schedule an appointment.
- Automate reminders: Once a patient has been seen, make sure they get an automatic reminder to leave feedback about their experience via email or postcard.
It’s also worth considering the possibility that some of your happiest patients may not know how to leave an online review. If so, you can hand out printed guidelines that walk them through the process or instruct your reception personnel to assist.
Marketing Positive Patient Feedback
Now that your healthcare organization has garnered several online reviews, how can you use them to your advantage? One way is to incorporate them as part of your overarching health marketing strategy. The more visible the positive reviews are, the easier it is for people to see you have a proven track record for success. This can be done across several platforms, such as:
Post reviews on your website’s high-traffic pages in the form of a widget or graphic. Patients in the decision-making phase of the patient journey often compare providers via website research. Adding a section for online reviews and star rankings helps generate a positive impression of your health organization and minimize feelings of doubt.
Share patient feedback on your blog. Current patients who frequently look to your blog as a trustworthy source for health and wellness information will likely see this feedback and feel confident in their decision to stay with your practice. Also, new patients who’ve come across your blog organically may see them and become more interested in your services.
Social Media Pages
Share positive feedback and screenshots of online reviews on your social media platforms. Posts that advertise personal accounts and 5-star reviews encourage engagement and help strengthen your online reputation.
Another strategy is to try connecting with patients who’ve left positive reviews to see if they’ll be willing to be featured in a written or video testimonial about their experience. Once complete, this healthcare success story can be featured on your blog or website and shared via email, social media, and paid advertising.
Improving Negative Online Reviews
The negative online reviews about your healthcare organization may feel discouraging, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture. After all, you can’t control what everyone thinks and it’s impossible to make every single person happy. However, you can mitigate some of the negativity that detracts from your standing as a reliable provider by using review-management best practices, such as:
- Dedicate someone to monitor your brand’s online reputation
- Plan how to engage with patients who leave reviews
- Respond to negativity promptly
Another important aspect to consider is that negative reviews create learning opportunities. By listening to what your patients truly want from your hospital or private practice, your team can gain actionable insights. Then, your organization can make meaningful changes – big or small – that support a system that meets expectations and fosters more positive perceptions toward your healthcare brand.
At AMNY Health Marketing, our creative team can recommend innovative ways to incorporate patient feedback into your marketing strategy. Contact us for more information about our services.