People talk – a lot – and if you think your patients aren’t talking about your services, you couldn’t be more wrong; the truth of the matter is, your patients are sharing their experiences online. In fact, web traffic for the top online review sites grew by 158% last year alone, meaning more prospective patients are researching your services before they schedule their initial appointment.

With the launch of Yelp, Angie’s List, Google+ Local, and other online review sites, patient reviews can now reach and influence a much larger audience than a single patient sharing amongst their friends.  As patient reviews now extend far beyond word-of-mouth, it’s more important than ever to have flattering patient reviews online. Research proves the power of online reviews, indicating that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 52% of those interviewed stated positive reviews make them more likely to charter a service.

Here are methods of simplifying the online review process for your patients, encouraging them to leave their feedback:

• Ensure your practice is listed on high-traffic review sites. First and foremost, you want to be sure that patients are able to locate your practice’s reviews online. If a single directory has multiple listings for your practice, contact the site owner and ask them to remove any duplicates. Start with Google+ Local, Yelp, CitySearch, and Angie’s List.

• Add a link on your practice website. Today, everyone loves convenience, so why not conveniently lead patients to your review site with a clickable link?

• Add practical links on your social networking sites. If your practice has an established social network, reach out to your fans and ask for reviews. A simple post asking patients to share their most recent experience is sure to get a response.

• Include a link in your signature line. If you regularly email patients appointment reminders, current discounts, etc., include a link to your review site within your signature line, allowing them to easily click and access your review page.

• Print a “how-to” guide on patient documents. Printing a receipt for your patient?  Or perhaps you’re jotting down their next visit on an appointment card? In any case, have step-by-step instructions outlined on the receipt/card so patients know where and how to leave a review.

• Send a thank you note.  Businesses today are losing that personal touch. Sending a handwritten thank you letter to a patient will not only entice them to return, but supplies the perfect opportunity to request an online review.

• Use QR codes on business cards and/or practice signage. Tech-savvy patients will appreciate the simplified process of scanning a QR code that immediately directs them to your online reviews.  Easy access will make patients more likely to leave feedback.

• Use your automated texting software to ask patients about their visit. If your practice is already using software to text patients an appointment reminder, use the software to send them a post-appointment text with a link to your review site. This way, patients can quickly leave a review directly from their smartphone.

Ultimately, you can always ask a patient, face-to-face if they’d like to leave a review. In fact, this method of requesting feedback tends to be most effective, with 80 to 90% of patients happily obliging. Whatever methods you choose to utilize, we wish you online review success!

Want help optimizing your profile on today’s most popular online review sites? Give us a call to learn more at (888) 932-3644.

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