Did you know that 94% of patients use online reviews to choose a new doctor? Not only that, 88% will read online reviews even after they’ve been referred by a trusted source.
All this to say, your online ratings could make or break the success of your practice. To help you increase positive reviews for your practice, we’ve put together this two-part guide with everything you need to know about creating a five-star-worthy patient experience—and actually getting five star reviews from your patients.
Let’s dive in:
Part One: Creating a five-star-worthy patient experience
Patient expectations have changed a lot over the years—and especially in recent months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Convenience and safety are two factors that matter to them above all else. In fact, 80% of patients select providers based on convenience factors alone.
So what does “convenience” actually mean in the context of your practice?
For starters, patients want an easy way to contact you. But that doesn’t just mean putting a phone number on your website for them to call. Instead, patients want their calls answered in a timely fashion. They want to be able to communicate via text or web messenger, much like they do during their everyday lives. At the end of the day, they dislike playing phone tag just as much as you do (if not more) and they don’t want to be put on hold.
What patients regularly complain about in negative reviews
96% of patient complaints are around customer service and communication—not on the actual care they receive from their doctors. The content of these reviews typically revolves around scheduling difficulties, miscommunication with staff, waiting too long, and feeling rushed.
How to create a positive patient experience
How you engage with patients sets the stage for a positive patient experience and reduces your chances of getting negative feedback and reviews.
You can ensure a positive patient experience by automating your workflows across the entire patient journey. This includes how and when you communicate with them as well as how patients can contact you. For example:
- Pre-visit communication. Send automated texts that include personalized appointment reminders, insurance and intake requests, pre-visit instructions and, if applicable, secure links to video visits.
- Post-visit communication. Follow-up with patients after their visits with any relevant care instructions, satisfaction surveys, and more. More on this in Part Two below.
- Between visits. Provide patients with a textable number they can use to communicate with your practice as needed. You can add this number and an easy-to-use online messenger to your website.
Doing all of this not only streamlines the work of you and your staff, it also shows patients that you respect their time and their doctor-patient communication preferences.
Part Two: How to get positive reviews from patients
It’s one thing to create a stellar patient experience. It’s another to get your patients to talk about it in online reviews.
Getting positive reviews comes down to your communication—more specifically, how you engage with your patients after their visits. After all, the patient experience doesn’t “end” when their visit is over.
How and when to follow-up with your patients
When a patient leaves your office or video visit, another vital stage of their patient journey begins: the follow-up. Fortunately, you can automate a great personalized follow-up experience that will increase your chances of getting positive online reviews.
Here’s what you can send via automated text to keep them engaged and delighted:
- Post-visit documents. Depending on their visit type, they might need care instructions. Send any applicable documents to them via text after their appointment.
- Care check-ins. Show your patients that you’re thinking about them by asking how they’re feeling following an appointment and telling them how they can easily get in touch with you in case they have any questions or concerns.
- Satisfaction surveys. Send a simple one-question survey asking patients how their experience was, which they can respond to with a simple text. Customize your reply based on their rating. This helps to show them that you’re listening to their feedback.
- Ask for reviews. As part of the satisfaction surveys, ask patients to leave a review by providing a link to your review platform of choice (i.e. Yelp, Google, Zocdoc, etc.).
Focus on continuous improvement
Pay attention to the feedback and reviews you do get from your patients. When you see them acknowledging great communication and convenience, consider it a confirmation that your patient engagement methods are working. On the flip side, look for common themes in any negative feedback you’re getting, and prioritize fixing those so you can prevent future patients from having similar complaints.
As long as you’re continuing to invest in the positives and fix the negatives, your online rating should improve.
Next Steps for Your Positive Patient Reviews
Positive patient reviews help your practice stand out among the competition. What’s more, your online rating can directly impact your bottom line. According to a study from Harvard Business School, a one-star increase in your Yelp rating can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
At the end of the day, getting positive reviews comes down to two factors: your overall patient experience as well as how and when you communicate with your patients. Klara helps you streamline, digitize, and automate workflows along the patient journey—including the pre-visit, post-visit, and between-visit engagement we outlined above.
Not only will Klara help you collect more reviews, you’ll be able to reduce call volume, eliminate phone tag, and offer patients a way to contact you that they’ll actually use and appreciate. Learn more at www.klara.com.