It’s one of the most important marketing questions of our times: should you be collecting more reviews, more often? The quick answer is ‘yes’, of course. When your competitors take advantage of online tools that allow them to reveal constant patient feedback on their websites, they enjoy all sorts of advantages that your clinic will miss out on. Here’s what you need to know.
Why are patient reviews so important?
Reviews play a vital role in the patient journey. Thanks to patient feedback you can help build trust in your brand and eliminate any doubts about your professionalism, capabilities and expertise. If someone is nervous about approaching a medical professional, reviews and feedback from their fellow patients can reassure them.
Patient reviews have a positive impact on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). They impact your Click-Through-Rate (CTR), the amount of traffic you receive at your site. And they drive better patient conversion percentages, boosting the percentage of people who visit your site then become a new patient.
While the quality of reviews matters – a run of terrible ones will have an effect on visitors’ feelings, as will a series of perfect five-star reviews – there’s a great deal of marketing value in sheer volume. In a nutshell, the more reviews you have the more likely people are to trust you. It makes sense in context. If a hospital has been open for three decades but only has ten reviews, something doesn’t add up.
Research into the value of reviews
The review sector as a whole is maturing fast, which means there’s plenty of solid evidence proving their worth. Take the annual Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, which reveals impressive 70% of consumers say they’ll leave a review if they’re asked to. Apply that to healthcare and you get seven out of ten patients happy to let you know what they feel about their experience.
If you collect feedback from 70% of your patients, how many reviews would you get? Does the number of reviews you currently have dovetail accurately with the number of patients registered at your practice? If not, it’s about time it did!
Online reviews versus paper reviews
It’s a huge challenge to get a 70% response with a paper survey. 20% represents a paper survey response rate to be proud of. Online is different. It’s fast, easy and effective. That’s why the response rates are so high, and it’s why we’ve created a digital review system that isn’t just really simple for you to implement, it lets people make and submit their review in less than sixty seconds.
Why consistency matters
The Bright Local report we mentioned earlier has more to say. An impressive 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past two weeks. In 2017 the figure was just 18%, revealing how fresh reviews are becoming more important to people as time passes. And that means collecting more patient reviews is more of a business-as-usual thing than a one-off. Treat it like a journey rather than a destination and you’ll be on the right track.
Patients are used to leaving feedback. It’s something most of us actively enjoy doing, simply because we appreciate it when someone seeks our opinion. It’s your job, as a contemporary player in the healthcare sector, to make it easy for them.