If your medical practice has a profile on a few online review and rating platforms, as a first step, you should look at the policies of each platform. Every review or rating website has its own guidelines on what you are allowed to do when seeking reviews (or encouraging reviews) online.
If you fail to comply with guidelines for any reason, the visitors to the platform (potential clients) and the platform administration are not going to appreciate it. It may even result in profile disabling.
There are Ethical Ways to Encourage Reviews
One of the important principles to remember is never pay the platform for reviews. Never pay your patients for reviews. Never pay marketers to post reviews (posing as fictitious patients). Reviews should only come directly from patients from their own devices, not the devices owned by your practice.
Fortunately, the policies of most third party online platforms allow you to encourage patients to leave reviews. Every medical practice or plastic surgery practice should have a well-crafted review acquisition strategy. This strategy may include:
- Taking email IDs at the time of the service and sending a request for a review shortly after the service.
- Create a “Review Us” page on your practice site, featuring links to your major review profiles.
- Offer print materials such as handouts, receipts, and cards requesting a review after the service
- Personally ask for a review at the end of the service
- In case your medical practice has not been focusing on review management in the past, but you are ready for a change, consider conducting a complete review audit.
- Be careful not to bombard patients by using spammy review management services, but be aware of some good options that do exist, such as GetFiveStars and Grade.us. These paid services help you understand the patient sentiment and encourage reviews in a completely legitimate manner.
Your aim should be to achieve a slow but steady stream of positive reviews over a period on various platforms. Also, it is important to remember that your own site is one of these platforms.
Claim Your Review Profiles
Many review platforms also have a feature called “owner responses.” This feature provides owners with an opportunity to be a part of the online discussions that surround their brands. You can thank patients who leave positive feedback and attempt to regain the trust of patients who leave negative reviews.
In order to participate, you will need to claim your business profiles on the sites and platforms that your patients use the most. You can determine this by performing a simple Google search for your practice name and the word “reviews” to start building a list of those platforms that rank highly for your practice and feature reviews from your patients.
If your medical practice is fairly new and has yet to create a digital footprint, you should check your local competitors to understand where their patients are leaving reviews. There is a strong chance that those sites will be important for your medical practice as well.
You will typically have to create a login of some kind to claim your profile. If you do not have a business profile on a platform, you will need to create one. Certain platforms may require further steps to ensure that you are indeed the owner of the practice.