We hear day in and day out about how important “word-of-mouth” is to our practice’s referral-based marketing. However, don’t undermine the importance of documenting these satisfactory visits. With the internet as the driving force behind potential patients finding you, it’s essential to generate positive reviews on your local web listings to help boost your web-based marketing efforts.
Every Patient is a Potential Advocate
Aside from maintaining a presence within your local community and among existing patients, we have to keep in mind all those who don’t know about you and who use the internet to find the physician who can help them. This is where local listings come into play. Your credibility and Google rank is heavily impacted by positive patient reviews on Google local listings, as well as within other services like Yelp, Healthgrades, and more. That’s why, when you call in for a quote from PRM, we’ll often ask about your current strategy to get patient reviews- they’re that important! A dentist in Greenwich, CT saw major increases in new patient acquisition when implementing a strategy to ask for patient reviews online.
So, how do we go about doing this?
First, your practice is more than likely already on the three major local listing websites (Google, Yahoo, Yelp), and if not, get them up there. These sites are the main players to focus on and have the most impact on helping your practice get recognized. Next, very simply, get the reviews! We know you’re working hard to make your patients happy, so, have your staff make it a habit to gently tell patients that sharing their experience would be greatly appreciated. The list of creative ways to do this is endless – just be sure to discern the line between appropriate and pushy. Of course, we have a system to get new patient reviews online that we can setup in minutes for you at a low cost.
Of course, the more good reviews, the better, but no need to worry about removing any poor reviews, so long as the ratio is several good reviews to one or two poor ones. Lastly, as the wise have all told us, there are no shortcuts to success. Let’s stay grounded and remember we will not outsmart Google. Thus, pumping out fictional star-studded reviews for yourself will do you no good. Google can see the IP addresses of where these reviews are coming from, and if they catch wind of reviews that are not organic, you’re in trouble. So, like all things, it takes time, but once the reviews are up, your SEO will increase, hopefully leading to an increase in new patient numbers as well.
Getting Referrals from Patients
Getting a referral from a patient is as good as gold. By directly referring friends and family to you, the power of your solid relationship is conveyed to the new relationship. It’s the same premise behind why patients gravitate toward physicians with more reviews- the credibility and trust is already there, at least partially. In this case, the only limit is how many people your referring patient knows who might need your services. Treat your patients well, and they’ll do the advertising for you! Whether it’s a testimonial online or a direct referral, if they feel valued and treated well, they’ll move mountains for your practice. In short, we think it’s best to incorporate a strategy that involved both soliciting testimonials as well as referrals, as they attract two different populations.