10 Strategies for Healthcare Businesses to Boost Patient Online Reviews and Social Proof

POSTED ON: Jul 02, 2024

10 Strategies for Healthcare Businesses to Boost Patient Online Reviews and Social Proof Lauren Parr

10 Strategies for Healthcare Businesses to Boost Patient Online Reviews and Social Proof

In today's digital age, online reviews are a major deciding factor for patients choosing a healthcare provider. Building social proof, the perception of trustworthiness based on user experiences, is critical for the success of any healthcare business. This article explores ten key strategies healthcare professionals can leverage, as recommended by dentists, clinic owners, and other healthcare experts, to encourage patients to leave positive reviews and cultivate trust online.

We gathered insights from Dentists to Clinic Owners on encouraging patients to leave reviews. From building personal relationships to leveraging email campaigns for feedback, here are ten strategies these professionals recommend.

  1. Build Personal Relationships for Reviews
  2. Provide Clear Review Directions
  3. Ensure Privacy in Feedback
  4. Allow Anonymous Review Options
  5. Building Relationships Through Personalized Communication and Streamlined Follow-Up
  6. Cultivate Trust for Organic Reviews
  7. Adopt Proactive Review Solicitation
  8. Automate Post-Appointment Review Requests
  9. Offer Incentives for Patient Reviews
  10. Leverage Email Campaigns for Feedback
  11. The Road Ahead

1. Build Personal Relationships for Reviews

The foundation of a strong online reputation lies in building genuine connections with patients. Dr. Katie Orr, a dentist, emphasizes the importance of personalized relationships.

"At my dental practice, building a relationship with my patients has always been a priority. It may be unconventional, but I go as far as giving my personal cell phone number to my patients. This ensures that they can always reach me in order to ask questions about their dental hygiene.

By building such strong connections with my patients, it makes asking for and naturally generating reviews that much easier! After a patient comes in, they will receive an email or text message from me asking them to leave a review and providing the link to do so.

At the end of the day, customer service and patient satisfaction help me naturally generate plenty of positive reviews. "

Katie Orr
- Katie Orr, Dentist Dr. Katie Orr

2. Provide Clear Review Directions

Beyond fostering trust, making the review process effortless is essential. Providers should provide clear instructions and direct links to review platforms on their websites, social media profiles, and even follow-up emails. As Miranda Bence, CEO of CMO and Entrepreneur at Cherry Picks Reviews highlights, prompting patients for feedback after a positive experience can significantly increase the likelihood of them leaving a review.

"Make it easy for patients to leave reviews online. Give them clear directions on where and how they can leave a review. You can include direct links to review pages on your social media profiles, websites, or in follow-up emails. More importantly, even though you have made the procedure very easy, never expect patients to spontaneously leave reviews online. You should be the one to ask for feedback after the treatment or service.

Even if they are in the medical ward and have had surgery, wait for them to recover. When their discharge is imminent, politely request them to submit a review online. Patients will be eternally grateful if you take the time to listen to their thoughts and feelings and show that you are using their comments to improve your services. "

Miranda Bence
- Miranda Bence, CEO, CMO, and Entrepreneur Cherry Picks Reviews

3. Ensure Privacy in Feedback

Navigating the sensitive nature of healthcare data is crucial. James Hook, a chiropractor, emphasizes the importance of safeguarding patient privacy. Offering anonymous review options, especially on a healthcare provider's website, can address this concern and encourage patients to share their experiences more freely.

"You need to ensure that any feedback given is protected, both for your sake and the individual's. Considerations like having agreements signed may seem formal, but actually, they could be of massive benefit for the protection of both parties. Whether it's for you to have evidence that it was okayed to be used publicly, or for the person if they feel they need it to stop being used.

In a straightforward matter, typically once you own that feedback, there would be little need to reverse the decision to use the material, but because of the safeguarding, this will be an extremely important aspect to consider for medical professionals—consider a mental health professional who uses feedback from a patient, who relapses and is triggered by the marketing; there is an extra layer of understanding in how that can be dealt with, and that will need to be clear in the agreements.

These situations may feel unlikely or worst-case scenarios, but when dealing with people in such a personal way, I think it's important to be prepared and protect everyone, instead of just hoping nothing bad happens. "

James Hook
- James Hook, Chiropractor Neurogan Health

4. Allow Anonymous Review Options

While building trust and transparency are crucial, some patients may hesitate to leave reviews due to privacy concerns, especially in the healthcare field. According to Brooke Paulin, owner of Biohacker Supply, many people are hesitant to leave reviews, particularly positive ones, because they don't want their names publicly displayed. This can be a significant barrier in the healthcare industry, where patients often value privacy. 

"As a business owner, there is nothing more frustrating than having a lot of clients but only getting negative reviews. Good reviews are harder to come by. After a little online digging and chats with other consumers, I realized a lot of people don't like having their names exposed and don't want to struggle with creating a throwaway account for a review. Unfortunately, you can't change Google's review policy. They don't allow anonymous reviews.

However, you can allow clients to post anonymously on your website and other review sites. You can even tell them they can post anonymously in your review requests. I think being able to post anonymously is especially important in the healthcare business industry. "

Brooke Paulin
- Brooke Paulin, Owner Biohacker Supply

5. Building Relationships Through Personalized Communication and Streamlined Follow-Up

Encouraging patients to leave reviews goes beyond simply asking. By fostering genuine connections and demonstrating that you value their feedback, healthcare providers can create an environment where patients are more likely to share their experiences online. This section explores the power of personalized communication in both follow-up interactions and leveraging positive experiences.

Casey Jones, Founder and Head of Marketing at CJ&CO, emphasizes the importance of directly engaging with patients after appointments. 

"One powerful tactic is to directly engage with patients post-appointment. Send a personalized follow-up message, thanking them for their visit and kindly asking for their feedback online. It's simple yet effective. Make it as easy as possible for them. Provide a link directly to your review platform in the message. The less friction, the higher the response rate. "

Casey Jones
- Casey Jones, Founder and Head of Marketing CJ&CO

 

Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager at Thrive Digital Marketing Agency, and Stephan Baldwin, Founder of Assisted Living Center, both highlight the value of integrating review requests into the post-appointment follow-up process. This approach, achieved through personalized emails or text messages expressing gratitude and gently requesting feedback, demonstrates care and concern for the patient's well-being while presenting an ideal opportunity to solicit a review.

"As an agency with reputation services, we always tell our healthcare business clients to engage with their patients through proactive follow-up communication after appointments. This approach not only conveys care and concern for the patient's well-being but also presents an optimal moment to request an online review.

For example, a simple email or text message could say, "Thank you for choosing our healthcare practice. We truly value your feedback and would greatly appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to leave us an online review. Your experience matters to us and will help others in their decision-making process." This type of personalized communication shows that the business values their patients' opinions and encourages them to share their experiences with others. "

Tristan Harris
- Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

 

"After a patient's appointment, sending a personalized email or text message thanking them for choosing the healthcare service and gently asking them to share their experience online can be quite impactful.

This communication should include direct links to platforms where they can leave their review, making the process as effortless as possible for the patient. "

Stephan Baldwin
- Stephan Baldwin, Founder Assisted Living Center

6. Cultivate Trust for Organic Reviews

Dr. Adelena Izold, a naturopathic doctor, highlights the power of organic reviews cultivated through trust and personalized care. When patients feel valued and supported, they are more likely to share their positive experiences online, organically amplifying the practice's reputation.

"At any practice, fostering genuine connections with patients can not only be integral to providing exceptional care, but also serves as a potent method for encouraging online reviews and building social proof. By prioritizing personalized interactions and taking the time to truly understand each patient's unique health needs and concerns, we cultivate trust and loyalty.

When patients feel valued and supported, they are more inclined to share their positive experiences with others, whether through online reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, or social media posts. This organic promotion not only amplifies our practice's reputation but also extends our reach within the community, ultimately benefiting both our patients and our business. "

Dr. Adelena Izold
- Dr. Adelena Izold, Naturopathic Doctor Acupuncture Atlanta

7. Adopt Proactive Review Solicitation

Encouraging patients to leave reviews is an ongoing process. Chandler Yuen, a digital marketing specialist at SNF Metrics, emphasizes the importance of adopting a proactive review solicitation strategy.

"Healthcare organizations can cultivate social proof and promote patient engagement through online review solicitation by adopting a proactive review-solicitation strategy. This is how it might function:

Follow-Up Communication: Maintain patient engagement by means of follow-up communication subsequent to their visit or treatment. Communicate appreciation through email or message regarding their visit and politely request that they provide feedback on their experience, should they have been content. "

Chandler Yuen
- Chandler Yuen, Digital Marketing Specialist SNF Metrics

8. Automate Post-Appointment Review Requests

In today's fast-paced world, simplifying the review process can significantly increase patient participation. This section explores the benefits of automating post-appointment review requests, as recommended by Carlos da Silva, Physician Assistant at PA Career Hub.

"One strategy that my practice has utilized, and that has been successful for increasing online reviews, is to include a review request email in the follow-up to each appointment. You can set this up to send automatically through many patient management portals, or create an email sequence using marketing automation software, which makes it a low-effort and low-time-commitment action that can produce meaningful results.

This might sound too simple, but it’s effective in my experience. As a rule, people don’t think about reviewing healthcare providers, even if they’re the type of individual who normally does leave reviews for other purchases, eating out, etc.—it’s just not a category of service that people think about reviewing. Often, all it takes to prompt someone to leave a review is to let them know that it’s an option and tell them that you’d appreciate their feedback. "

Carlos da Silva
- Carlos da Silva, Physician Assistant PA Career Hub

9. Offer Incentives for Patient Reviews

While building trust and facilitating the review process are essential, some patients may require additional encouragement to leave online reviews. This section explores the use of incentives, as suggested by Dr. Sam Fuller, Founder of Sam Fuller Plastic Surgery, as a potential motivator for patients to share their experiences.

"Offering incentives such as discounts on future treatments or complimentary services in exchange for leaving online reviews can motivate patients to share their experiences.

Bottom line: By prioritizing patient satisfaction and engagement, healthcare businesses can organically build social proof, establishing trust and credibility within their respective communities and attracting new patients seeking reliable healthcare services. "

Dr. Sam Fuller
- Dr. Sam Fuller, Founder Sam Fuller Plastic Surgery

10. Leverage Email Campaigns for Feedback

While personalized follow-up messages are a powerful tool, healthcare providers can further extend their reach through strategic email campaigns. Jennifer Silver, Dentist and Clinic Owner at Macleod Trail Dental, utilizes email campaigns to encourage patients to leave reviews and build social proof for her practice.

"After each appointment, we send out a personalized follow-up email to thank our patients for choosing our clinic and for their visit.

In this email, we kindly ask for their feedback on their experience and treatment. We include direct links to popular review platforms like Google, Yelp, or Healthgrades, making it convenient for patients to leave their reviews with just a few clicks.

We have observed that by highlighting the significance of the feedback provided by our patients in guiding others to make informed choices regarding their dental care, there has been an increase in the participation rate. "

Jennifer Silver
- Jennifer Silver, Dentist and Clinic Owner Macleod Trail Dental

The Road Ahead

The healthcare landscape has undeniably shifted towards a patient-centric approach, where online reviews play a critical role in shaping a healthcare provider's reputation. From fostering genuine connections with patients to streamlining the review process, these tactics empower healthcare providers to not only attract new patients but also establish themselves as trusted leaders in their communities.

Remember, building social proof is an ongoing process. By consistently demonstrating a commitment to patient satisfaction and prioritizing open communication, healthcare businesses can leverage the power of online reviews to achieve lasting success in the digital age. However, managing your online reputation can be time-consuming and complex, taking valuable time away from what matters most - your patients' well-being.

Partner with RepuGen and let us handle the digital aspects of your reputation management. We offer a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to help healthcare providers efficiently gather positive reviews, address negative feedback, and build a strong online presence.

Recent Posts

10 Strategies for Healthcare Businesses to Boost Patient Online Reviews and Social Proof
10 Strategies for Healthcare Businesses to Boost Patient Online Reviews and Social Proof
Reputation Management Trends for Healthcare Providers in 2024
Reputation Management Trends for Healthcare Providers in 2024
Fertility Center Reputation Management Strategies: Attract Patients With a Positive Online Reputation
Fertility Center Reputation Management Strategies: Attract Patients With a Positive Online Reputation
Key Approaches to Foster Meaningful Connections in Healthcare
Key Approaches to Foster Meaningful Connections in Healthcare
Gastroenterology Reputation Management Strategies: Building Trust in Gut Health Care
Gastroenterology Reputation Management Strategies: Building Trust in Gut Health Care

Unlock Practice Growth with RepuGen

Receive new blog posts directly to your inbox

By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy

Leave a Reply

0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *