In today’s digital world, online reviews are one of the most powerful tools to attract new patients. In fact, 84 percent of patients say they trust recommendations from family, friends, and coworkers concerning products and services.1 Online reviews are just as important: 88 percent of consumers say they trust them as much as personal recommendations.2
- ASK FOR PATIENT REFERRALS. The best time to ask for a referral is when patients have just had a positive experience. Research shows 70 percent of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked.3 Here’s when you should ask for referrals and tips on how to do it:
- Before a patient leaves the office. Train front office staff to ask if patients had a positive experience. If they did, staff might follow up with, “We always appreciate referrals to friends and family.”
- Directly following an appointment. A follow-up email can provide post-treatment care instructions as well as a satisfaction survey. When patients give you high ratings, send an email asking them to write a review and provide links to the site(s) where they can post: Facebook, Google Places, Yelp, CitySearch, etc.
- On-hold messaging. This is a simple way to let patients know the practice welcomes patient referrals. While they are on hold, prompt patients to speak to the receptionist for more information about how and where to post a referral.
- HELP PATIENTS WRITE REVIEWS. Make it easy for patients to “know what to say” by providing them with open-ended questions, such as:
- Why did you choose our practice?
- What procedure or services did you receive?
- What were the results from your treatment?
- Describe your experience with our practice.
- How did you benefit from the treatment?
- What were you most impressed by during your visit?
- Would you recommend us to your friends and family? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
You can ask these questions via an email, a phone survey or even by text using your appointment reminder technology. When patients reply, make sure you have a process in place to review and post testimonials. Don’t forget to get a signed release form authorizing the practice to use them on your website and in other promotional materials.
3. PROMOTE POSITIVE PATIENT EXPERIENCES. After you’ve received positive patient testimonials, now it’s time to promote them:
- Start with your practice website. A testimonial page is a great way to showcase patients’ experiences and tell others what they like about your practice. You can also use the best testimonials in prominent locations, such as on landing pages for offers, on the blog under the subscribe button or even on the homepage. Include a “Make an Appointment” button on these pages to encourage visitors to become new patients.
- Utilize social media. Share compelling and trustworthy testimonials on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use online tools and mobile apps to easily create attractive images that will generate more engagement. Remember to encourage patients and employees to share social media posts with friends and family.
Upwards of 80 percent of new patients are generated through word-of-mouth,4 so asking patients for referrals and testimonials are crucial to growing your practice. Start by creating an experience that makes patients want to keep coming back. Then, use online, word-of-mouth marketing to help get the word out and grow your practice.
Let West Go Multichannel With Your Patients
Don’t let your competition steal your patients away. Start developing those lasting doctor-patient relationships now by building bonds using West’s multichannel communication solutions. Reach out to one of our communications specialists by calling 1-800-644-4266 or complete our online information request. We look forward to putting our multichannel communications strategies and technology to work for your medical practice, hospital or health care plan today!