If you’re like most medical practices, you’re concerned and often confounded by your star ratings on different reputation management websites like HealthGrades, Vitals, Yelp, or even Google and Facebook.
How can you limit negative reviews and prevent them from rearing their ugly heads?
Instead of throwing excessive amounts of money trying to market yourself out of the problem, the solution lies in understanding and tackling the source of the issue. This week, we break down a sure-fire gameplan for digging yourself out of negative feedback.
1. Get a Subscription and Review Request Service
Where online reviews are concerned, you absolutely need a subscription service (and there are dozens of them out there) to alert you every time someone says anything about your practice online. These subscription services, available for a monthly fee, are invaluable because they will allow you to see your entire reputation in a snapshot.
You should choose a service that has an excellent dashboard, and ideally, is able to tie into your EHR. Having a service that can access your EHR will enable you to send out invitations to all your patients to leave reviews. Then, you can capture the negative ones internally so you can solve the problem before the patient goes online to vent. More importantly, you’ll obtain a lot of positive patient reviews.
We see an average of 87% positive patient reviews with the practices that we work with every day. Most patients love their doctors and don’t mind sharing positive feedback as long as you ask in a simple and non-invasive way. All those positive reviews will help you in search engine rankings making your efforts a win-win all around.
Potential patients who look for you online need to know that you are responsive. Patients want to be heard, and when they see other patients being listened to and responded to, it reassures them.
Although you may not necessarily be able to solve a negative feedback problem online (you’ll most certainly need to take it offline to do that), potential patients will see that you have at least acknowledged and responded to the feedback. Remember, no response is a response and a loud and clear one at that. In the eyes of potential patients not responding means “we don’t care enough about you to answer.”
So be sure you acknowledge and respond to all the positive and negative reviews out there.
3. Educate, Train, and Invest in Your Staff
Sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t make people happy. But there are things you can do to prevent negative reviews from happening in the first place.
The solution lies in understanding the overall patient experience. Your patients’ overall perceived experience often has less to do with the doctor, and more to do with your employees — 75% of patient interactions are with staff and only 25% with the doctor.
That means that everyone at your practice from the physicians to billing and from records to the front desk and the call center plays a pivotal role in delivering a positive patient experience. Training your staff on the critical role they play in patient customer service will get your entire team on the same page, and have everyone pulling in the same direction.
Any other solution will only serve as a temporary band-aid to the problem. When you invest in your employees and make sure they understand the integral party they play in the reputation of your medical practice, you’ll soon see those 1- and 2-star reviews fade away.
If you need anything at all or have any questions, we’re here for you. Just give us a shout.