One informal survey found that 70% of those polled “often” or “always” check online reviews before making substantial purchases. With such a large number of consumers utilizing reviews to make informed purchases, it is more important than ever to gather online reviews for your practice. And what is the easiest way to get reviews? Just ask. You know the old saying “You get what you ask for.” And, it is especially true for online reviews. Be sure to ask for a review from obviously happy patients and ask within 48 hours of the treatment.
Here are a few ways to ask:
1. Ask patients while they are settling their bill and/or scheduling their next appointment. Simply instruct your office staff to converse with happy patients.
“Do you have smart phone?”“Yes.” “Dr. Smith would love for you to review him on Google. Simply scan this QR code.”
“Hey, I see you have a Gmail account. Dr. Jones would love for you to review him on Google. If I send you the link, would you give him a review?”
A shortened URL or custom domain that points directly to the review page, makes it easy for potential reviewers to find you. One idea is to design a small tabletop sign complete with QR code and custom domain. As the patients exit the practice, the QR code is easily scanned and it takes the user right to the review site.
2. Ask for reviews from your website. Don’t make patients hunt for your business listing. Make sure the website where you’re collecting reviews (i.e., Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp or Google) is linked to from your website. It is not uncommon to find multiple listings for a single practice on the major directories. Knowing which listing to add reviews to is difficult for most users and may even dissuade them from adding a review. And remember…while reviews on popular local directories are certainly beneficial, Google Places (now Google Plus Local) is still most important.
3. Email specific patients a customized email asking for a review. As most practice management software will export to Microsoft Excel, compiling an email list is a simple process. A concise, personalized email containing links to your specific business listings is good. Better yet, make it even easier for your patients to review you. By sorting email addresses by domain name (gmail.com, yahoo.com) one email can be sent to Gmail account users and another to Yahoo! account holders. Because these patients already own accounts, it is very easy for them to follow the link you provide and add a review.
Adding reviews to Google (and the other major local directories) will boost patient confidence in your practice and positively effect your search engine results page display.