According to a BrightLocal survey, almost one-third of the more than 2,000 people questioned indicated that they use the Internet to find local businesses at least two to five times per month.
Additionally, 30 to 40 percent of these searches are to find some type of healthcare professional.
But the finding that is perhaps the most important, especially when it comes to getting these at-home, online researchers to choose your chiropractic practice over that of your competitors, is that half say they use online customer reviews to help them decide whether the business is worth checking out, with roughly one-third reading anywhere from two to six reviews before feeling some level of trust regarding the business itself.
This makes boosting your customers’ online reviews a critical part of growing your chiropractic business. But how do you get them to post one?
How to get more online reviews
Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to enticing your patients to submit an online review, telling the world about all of the good things you do. One to consider is simply asking them to write one. This thought normally doesn’t enter people’s minds, so letting them know that you’d appreciate an online review is sometimes enough.
You can do this by placing a sticker on your door with one of the online review sites on it or hanging up a flyer on your wall that thanks all of those who’ve already submitted a review, asking those who have not to consider doing the same. You can also put a link in your email newsletter so all they have to do is click on it.
For the person who may need a more gentle nudge, you can also offer some sort of reward for filling out an online review of your practice. For instance, you could hold a monthly drawing for all of your patients who completed a review. Even something as simple as mentioning their name in your newsletter, thanking them for their kind words, means a lot and may encourage others to do the same.
It also helps to make writing a review as simple as possible for your patients. Maybe you could put a laptop computer or tablet in your waiting area so they can write it while waiting for their appointment. This helps them pass the time and it helps you boost your online presence, making it a true win-win.
Finally, if someone takes the time to write a positive review about your practice, show your appreciation by responding to it—ideally sooner rather than later. This helps your patient leaving the review feel valued while showing others who are merely reading it that you care enough about your business and your patients to thank those who took the time to compliment your services.
Even if the review is negative, a simple, “Thank you for your opinion as we value the opinion of all of our patients,” shows that you’re willing to acknowledge people’s thoughts of you, even if they are critical.
A word about responding
Speaking of responding to reviews, you need to be extremely careful that you don’t release any patient information that is protected under the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPPA). According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, this includes any information relating to:
- The individual’s condition,
- The “provision of health care to the individual,” and
- Personally identifiable information, such as the patient’s name, address, date of birth, or social security number.
Releasing this type of information in an online review site is a clear violation of HIPPA, potentially causing you some major legal issues. In fact, one article published by the Washington Post provided many different cases in which healthcare professionals are being investigated for putting patient’s private health information online – costing violators both their money and their reputation.