Online reviews can be the determining factor on whether or not a patient selects your healthcare office for care. In fact, “84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation” according to a 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal. That’s why it’s important that your healthcare organization develops a clear strategy for not only mitigating negative reviews but also increasing the volume of positive reviews that more accurately reflect the care your providers and staff work hard to deliver.
For many, online reputation management can seem daunting but using patient surveys in health care can help you boost your online reputation without adding extra workflows to your operations. Patients may not be aware that they can leave a review, or they may not know where to leave one. Rather than waiting for them to take the initiative and post about their experience online, patient surveys in health care can be sent automatically to patients after their visit. This allows you to collect helpful feedback that can affirm or identify areas of improvement for your practice. And, it can also serve as a catalyst for more favorable ratings on online review sites.
Here are four reasons why patient surveys in health care can help you skyrocket your online reputation.
Patients Are More Likely to Leave Feedback When Asked
The reality is, every patient is going to have an experience in your office, but it’s typically only the negative experiences that end up front and center on review sites. In fact, dissatisfied patients are more motivated to voice their experience to more of their family and friends than happy patients. A study by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, INC.(AAAHC) supports this, suggesting:
“Satisfied patients will share their positive experience with five others, on average, while dissatisfied patients complain to nine (or more) other people.”
Most often, satisfied patients leave your office after a healthcare appointment and go about their day. When they aren’t asked to provide feedback, they are less mindful of their experience and may not think to leave a review. However, with the use of patient surveys in health care, healthcare offices can intentionally ask all patients—satisfied and dissatisfied—for feedback as soon as their appointment is over.
According to BrightLocal’s annual Local Consumer Review Survey, 70% of consumers have been asked to leave a review for a business they frequented. Of those asked, 50% elected to leave a review. Simply asking for feedback at the end of patient surveys in health care is an effective way to increase positive reviews that reflect the service and quality of care your office delivers. By increasing the volume of reviews you receive, you’re more likely to have an online reputation that is consistent with the performance of your healthcare practice.
Automated Surveys Offer Easy Access to Review Sites While a Positive Experience is Top of Mind
Automated patient surveys in health care are often scheduled to be sent to the patient as soon as they leave your office and can be sent in a variety of ways to ensure your patients receive it in the form most convenient for them. For many, a quick survey on their mobile phone allows them to provide feedback in less than a minute while their experience is still fresh.
For example, some patient surveys in health care use the 0-10 Net Promoter Scale® or another quantitative measurement to get a pulse on their patient’s satisfaction. Patients who respond with a predetermined high experience score, such as a 9 or 10, can automatically receive links to social media review sites where they can share their positive experience with the public.
By driving satisfied patients to review sites, you can quickly increase provider and office location ratings on Facebook, Google+, Yelp, and other review sites. This helps future patients make more informed decisions about choosing your practice for care.
Timely Service Recovery Prevents Negative Online Reviews
Speaking of using the 0-10 Net Promoter Scale, patient feedback of a lower score as established by your practice, such as a 4 or a 5, can be automatically routed to someone on your management team for immediate follow-up. Real-time feedback ensures your team can address the patient’s negative experience and provide a resolution before a potential conflict escalates and appears online.
It’s important to note that while you don’t want a high volume of negative reviews, a few bad ratings here and there can actually help to maintain authenticity and transparency for prospective patients. A study by PowerReviews and Northwestern University affirms, noting that “an average rating of 4.2 – 4.5 is the most trustworthy and increases the likelihood of conversion.” A mix of fair reviews helps to set realistic expectations about what patients can anticipate at your healthcare office.
Real-Time Feedback Provides Insight into What Patients Want
While asking for feedback is important to improve your online reputation, it’s also just as important for fostering a culture of continuous improvement at your practice. When you use patient surveys in health care, you can understand the motivations patients have behind their positive and negative reviews. You can analyze patient responses for keywords to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your practice. This allows you to make more informed business decisions that can enhance the quality of care and patient experience, which will lead to more satisfied patients in the long run.
By regularly asking patients for feedback using patient surveys in health care, your practice will not only benefit from increased positive ratings online, you’ll also have meaningful data that allows you to continue making improvements to your business model and care delivery. In turn, patients will be impressed with the experience they received and want to advocate for you by sharing their experience online.