Barring substandard patient care skills or front desk staff, it is very easy to for physicians to get good patient reviews and boost their healthcare marketing efforts.
Here are a few simple steps to take
1. Make sure your physician practice is “found” on Google Local Search
Google your specialty (e.g. “eye doctor”). If your practice or physicians are found anywhere in the search listings, you can get started. Otherwise, create your google listing (very simple to do) before you start your healthcare marketing process.
2. Document your current reviews – where to improve from
Google your practice and your physicians names. Note the reviews in a spreadsheet on the date that you googled. That’s your baseline and you will improve your healthcare marketing from there.
Update this each week, on the same day.
3. Google your competitor medical practices’ reputation next
Google your practice and your physicians names. Note the providers and practices that google shows around your search results. These are your competitors on google. Note the reviews in a spreadsheet on the date that you googled. That’s your baseline and you will improve your medical marketing from there.
Update this each week, on the same day.
4. Decide which physician reviews websites you care about
Don’t compete on every review website. Focus your practice marketing on 1-2 websites (very time consuming unless you use software) like Google local search, ZocDoc, Healthgrades, Vitals.com, RateMDs,Yelp, Facebook
5. Set up google alerts for your own medical practice
Use google alerts (a little weird, but still works) for yourself to alert you about any news (positive/negative). Go to https://www.google.com/alerts and type your name on google search, surround it with quotes, add an alert. This is part of your physicians healthcare marketing approach.
6. Do you want your doctors’ reviews or prefer reviews of your medical practice?
If you get reviews for your practice name, it has more resale value. If you get reviews for physicians, it has less resale value. Your marketing should improve your resale value. Choose to market your business , not just yourself or your doctors.
7. Inform practice staff and physicians that you are concentrating on getting patient reviews
Tell everyone in your practice that your marketing strategy is now concentrating on getting more patient reviews. Conduct a small training session for physicians and staff on how to ask for online reviews from patients
8. Designate someone on your staff to monitor your reviews daily, respond to SMS and calls from patients
Yes, daily.. It takes 15 mins to do so if you do it on a daily basis rather than waiting for an entire week to wrap it up. This helps physicians marketing strategy IMMENSELY. Designate the same person to respond to each and every review (good or bad) diligently. Teach them how to be very careful about not exposing any PHI information in review responses. Maintain a simple spreadsheet of outcomes. E.g. 30 requests sent, 10 responded, 5 reviews left, date. That’s all.
9. Select a software that integrates with your EMR or at least start with a spreadsheet
It’s a lot easier to do this regularly if you use patient reviews software that’s tied to your EMR. But, if you cannot get this done, then use spreadsheets.
10. NO Review Gating / Two step review process !!
Avoid the temptation to pick and choose which patients to send reviews requests to as this defeats the process. Send reviews requests to everyone and drown out the negative reviews with the good ones. Trust me – this will help your medical marketing strategy multifold.
11. Try out various versions of reviews request SMS/email
Start with 4-5 different templates of review requests and see how each one performs. Track this in your marketing spreadsheet and see which ones perform better. Over a few weeks you will find the winners. Don’t change these every day.
12. Ask the patient to post their review online
Many patients will just respond back to your SMS with their review. Some will also post their review online. For patients that just send SMS responses, follow up and request them to post their review online. Healthcare marketing is a game of numbers. You will never have 100% response rates, so don’t fret that.
13. Send review requests to patients when they leave your practice
If you SMS patients within 10-15 mins of their leaving your practice, response rates go up. Do this diligently. This is easier to do if you use some software, but you can STILL do this manually. At the end of the day, marketing is about actually doing this every single day that you see patients.. Not in bursts..
14. Update your spreadsheet to monitor progress
You started with a spreadsheet that’s a baseline of your physician marketing strategy. Track outcomes, update this spreadsheet daily/weekly. Rinse, repeat, keep at it.