Register now for this exclusive webinar airing Tuesday, February 19 at 12pm PST.
RealSelf data reveals that customers most want to know whether doctors are experienced practitioners of the specific treatment they’re seeking. Think of reviews as the actualized version of this: in addition to listing your credentials and experience, reviews are your experience come to life and validated by consumers who your potential patients can relate to.
We get it: your brand and reputation are premium assets to be closely guarded. Encouraging your patients to use a wide-open public medium to rate and write up your practice might seem like an invitation to put your hard-earned reputation at risk.
Yet the research reveals that reviews are one of the best tools that practices have for acquiring new patients online. This is true generally: 90 percent of consumers read reviews before visiting a business, and 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, according to a BrightLocal study. And it is especially true in aesthetics, where 78 percent of consumers say reviews and ratings are critical for their research before selecting a treatment provider1.
In specific terms, consumers value practices whose reviews check four boxes: they’re recent, they’re specific, they’re numerous, and they’re positive (at least on the whole). We also know that consumers are highly procedure-driven: that means they will want to see reviews that inspire confidence that your practice will deliver great results for the specific procedure they’re interested in.
A lot of the practices we work with already understand the “why.” When it comes to reviews, they’re most interested in the “how.” Some of you have struggled to get satisfied patients to write reviews. Others have had pockets of success but are interested in predictable, repeatable, and scalable systems for getting reviews on an ongoing basis. And no shortage of you have asked us how exactly it is that your peer down the street managed to get hundreds of reviews—and counting.
The good news: there’s a science to it. Our research has found that nearly seven in 10 patients say they’ll write a review if you ask them, and that half of the patients you ask will ultimately write that review. Take the number of patients your practice saw last year and divide by three. There’s a good chance this number reveals that getting dozens, or even hundreds, of reviews each year is an attainable goal.
What about negative or mixed reviews? Don’t let the prospect scare you away from courting patient reviews altogether. Many patients are still open to you making things right if you reach out and proactively resolve their concerns. You can also head off negative reviews with an effective patient care feedback loop in place, like a survey or other follow-up protocol, that touches every patient. When you’re giving great service, issues can be caught ahead of time and corrected before a negative review is even written.
But first things first. Practices need to get more reviews in the door and put a process in place to keep them rolling in constantly, which will satisfy both the volume and freshness imperatives that attract potential patients who are researching procedures online.
RealSelf is walking doctors and staff through a field-tested, step-by-step process for how to get patient reviews in five minutes or less during a live RealSelf University webinar session. Tune in on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 12 p.m. Pacific to hear Director of Doctor Community, Kirsten Mann, and Director of Professional Education, Eva Sheie, tell you the specifics of how to ask for reviews.
- RealSelf Survey of Users contacting doctors, N=918, Q2 2015