Marketing, Branding, and Practice Promotion

Online Doctor Reviews: How to Solicit Positive Reviews

This article is Part 2 of a series on online physician reviews. See Part 1, Online Doctor Reviews: What You Need to Know to learn more about the basics of reviews and how to handle negative online reviews.

Did you know 88% of consumers go online to find healthcare providers, and 70% choose physicians based on reviews they read? In fact, 2 out of 3 patients will wait longer for an appointment with doctors who have better reviews. (Reputation.com 2017 Healthcare Consumer Survey)

The Office of Communications often gets asked by doctors and practice managers about bringing in more positive reviews. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

DO ask patients to write reviews.

The majority of people who write reviews online do so after having negative experiences. The best approach to balancing any negatives with positive reviews is to directly ask patients for their feedback to proactively build volume, increase ratings, and decrease the impact a single negative review can have on your overall online reputation.

DO approach returning patients.

Often, patients who know and trust you don’t look at your reviews, so it helps to remind them that reviews are valuable to other patients. You want reviewers to say something substantial, so approach people who can say something more than, “These guys are great!” Returning patients are also more likely to put the effort into crafting a thoughtful and genuine-sounding review.

DON’T ask for a good review.

Patients don’t like to feel like you’re trying to manipulate them. Asking for their honest opinions makes them more likely to put effort into the review and to write something positive—or update a negative review later. NEVER tell patients what to say in their reviews; feedback should be organic.

DON’T ignore negative feedback.

When patients check out after their appointments, use these staff talking points to handle all feedback at point of service. Those with positive responses should be directed to write reviews online. Those with negative responses should be directed to share their experiences offline by emailing feedback@ehmchealth.org.

DO assist in the review process.

Many times there are patients who have great stories to share, but don’t know where or how to share them. Patients who are older and/or less tech-savvy may want to leave reviews but need help doing so. We suggest providing a copy of these step-by-step patient instructions for requesting reviews in a quick and easy way.

Need more help?

If you have questions about review sites or reputation management, email communications@ehmchealth.org.