3 Reasons why physicians need to monitor and respond to online reviews

Online reviews more than ever are critical to a businesses success. This is no different in a medical practice or for a physician.

Over 80% of patients will look at online reviews before selecting a new physician

Like it or not new patients are going to rely on the experience of others to base their decisions. Nobody wants to receive bad service or bad care so most people will check out a doctor online before making an appointment.

Patients don’t just look at star ratings, they look to see how a physician or staff responds to other patients.

Not all online review sites allow a patient or a physician to respond publicly to reviews but the most popular sites like Google and Yelp! do. This should be looked at as a positive. Instead of just getting a bad rating and not being able to do anything about it, you as a physician or office manager can and should respond to that patient to try to make things right or learn more. In many instances just by responding the patient may also change or remove a negative rating or provide a positive rating.

Secondly those who look at reviews to make a decision look to reviews and responses from the physician or office manager to see how that practice treats their patients and customers. The good news is patients don’t expect you to have a perfect rating. But they do expect you to handle customer service challenges quickly and with respect and actually respond to online reviews. Not doing so tells your patients you don’t care.

Patient reviews are full of opportunities for improving customer service and patient care!

In our work with monitoring and responding to online reviews for physicians and medical practices we get to see hundreds of comments. While there are a few complaints that are not helpful the vast majority contain valid and constructive feedback. This feedback can often be used to improve patient care and customer service in the future.

The takeaway here is don’t ignore customer feedback or complaints as they are full of great ideas and issues that may need to be addressed in your medical practice. Why pay a consultant $20,000 to study your practice and come up with suggestions when your customers and patients will share information free.

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Need help with monitoring or how to manage or respond to your online reviews? Schedule a free consultation.