Why Bad Online Reviews Hurt Your Practice

Do you have your medical, dental or veterinary practice on an online review site like Google+ or Yelp? If you don’t yet, you should.

Stats show that 44% of Americans who use the Internet look for information about healthcare professionals online. So these review sites can offer some benefits that your social media accounts and healthcare website design can’t always help you with.

These online review sites are a way for your patients to express how they feel about your practice. If they give you good and positive reviews raving about their experience, this is an easy way to gain referrals from people you haven’t targeted. The elusive 44% of American web users who are researching your practice are more likely to book a first-time appointment with you if they see glowing reviews.

Why Bad Online Reviews Hurt Your Practice

But there is a flip side. If your healthcare practice is incurring negative reviews, then you’re alienating that 44% and missing out on gaining new patients who can help increase your reputation and revenue stream.

Too many bad reviews will ruin your reputation. That’s why online reputation and review management should be an essential part of your healthcare marketing plan. But even if you’re dealing with bad reviews already, you can turn it around:

Why Bad Online Reviews Hurt Your Practice

Encourage good reviews

If you have a few regular patients who keep coming back and are happy with the service you provide, encourage them to post a review online. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Add a link to your online review page in all your email correspondence, encouraging regular patients to leave a review.
  • Follow up after an appointment and, if your patient is happy with their experience, promote your online review site for them to leave a positive review.
  • Offer incentives, like a free dental cleaning or discount on another healthcare service, for patients who leave positive reviews.

Respond to negative reviews

A number of these online review sites also provide an opportunity for you to respond to negative reviews. There may be an explanation and, if not, you can apologize for the issue and encourage the patient to come back and re-experience your practice. They may not, but by being contrite about a misunderstanding, it may encourage people reading the site to give your practice a chance.

Did you know that we can help improve your online reputation and help manage it on online review sites? For more information, contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants at 800.679.1200 or by email at info@practicebuilders.com.