The Art of Getting 5-Star Reviews

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 2.15.27 AMWe all know the power of having a 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google Local. But if you delve into the data provided by Nielsen, ComScore, and BrightLocal, it really puts a perspective on how powerful online reviews can be for your practice:

  • 82% of patients said that online reviews affect their willingness to be treated by a doctor.
  • 50% of patients believe that a doctor's reputation is worth considering if they have more than 10 reviews.
  • 80% of patients say that they believe a rating of 4 stars is "good enough."
  • 85% of patients would feel uncomfortable selecting a doctor if more than 10% of their reviews were one star.
  • 75% of patients think that reviews are untrustworthy if they are over 12 months old.

What this tells you is that patients pick their doctors in the same way doctors pick their restaurants. At the end of the day, it's all about the star ratings and the legitimacy of those ratings, which leads us to the same conclusion: you need more 5-star reviews and you need them being posted at a regular clip.

Here's a spoiler: it's all in the service.

There's no "hack" or magic trick for getting 5-Star Yelp and Google Local reviews. At the end of the day, the level of your service and healthcare will determine the ratings that are left on your listing.

But that doesn't mean that getting 5-Star reviews is a lost cause. You can learn how to provide premium service without overextending yourself. After looking through our own data, we've discovered a new theory in customer service that can make patients 9x more likely to leave more positive customer reviews.

We call it Proactive Patient Service.

Proactive Patient Service is pretty much how it sounds. Doctors that take small, but thoughtful, steps to make patient interactions more pleasurable enjoy those 5-star reviews. You don't have to install expensive TVs or have modern art-inspired waiting rooms to implement Proactive Patient Service, it can be something as simple as this:

Imagine two customers calling the same doctor, and being put on hold at the same time. The tinny music plays, and the frustration grows with each passing minute. We've all been there. But one customer gets a nice little message every once in awhile, something that goes like this:

"Thank you for your call, your current wait time is 5 minutes."

A message like that takes away the uncertainty and anxiety a patient might feel about being on hold. It lets them know exactly how much longer they have to wait, and it's a detail that they'll remember when they're leaving a Yelp review for your practice.

About the Author

A UCSF and Harvard Medical School trained resident orthopaedic surgeon, Zach began using DoctorBaseƒ__s mobile platform as a customer and immediately saw the...

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