It can’t be overstated: PATIENT REVIEWS ARE HUGE for driving new patients to your practice. The best medical or aesthetic practices have multiple five star ratings and a host of reviews on all the major platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Medical spa review management is a key way of differentiating your medical practice in a very competitive market.
So why all the fuss about promoting positive medical spa reviews? Shouldn’t it be enough to simply focus on the quality and dedicated medical practice you have worked so hard to create?
The sometimes disheartening reality is that your practice can truly be amazing…and then a couple bad reviews can seem to discredit all your careful, painstaking work.
Often the content of a negative review feels unsubstantiated and not reflective of the level of care and results your practice works so hard to deliver.
It’s painful knowing that prospective patients could be deciding against trusting your practice with their treatment…just because of a few negative reviews.
So what can your practice do about reviews? Learn the importance of reviews, both good and bad, and the best practices for optimizing your online reputation.
There’s no way around it: prospective patients care about your practice’s reviews. Your potential patients are creating an idea of your reputation based on the reviews they read for your practice. The stakes are high.
Here are three reasons why good reviews are so important.
So now that you know the importance of good reviews, what can your practice do to generate the mass of positive reviews needed to win over prospective patients?
Read on to learn our top 7 best practices for online reputation management.
It goes without saying that the foundation for creating good reviews is based on providing your patients a quality experience within your practice. Throughout the whole experience, work to keep the communication between you and your patients clear and positive.
Make sure your online information is updated and correct. Prospective patients are trying to get a sense of your practice, and they will wonder if you are questionable if your information is incorrect. For example, if your online links lead to unavailable pages or if your address was linked to a closed building, those would be red flags to website visitors.
Do all you can to make both your website design and physical space inviting, helpful, and aesthetically pleasing.
Don’t go the fake route. There’s no need to pay people to write testimonials or fake reviews when they haven't interacted with your med spa. On discovery, these practices hurt your SEO ranking and damage your reputation.
Instead, tap into your base of loyal clients to build your review profile. Ask nicely -- you might be surprised how willing your patients are to help you out.
It also might help to incentivize your patients a little to leave positive reviews for your practice. A little discount on the next appointment might get you far. It’s a win-win… win. Your patients receive a discount benefit, and your practice receives 1) needed positive reviews and 2) rebookings for your medical spa.
Also, consider creating a testimonial section on your website. Prospective patients are eager to hear what actual patients have to say about their experience, so showcase your positive reviews! Include your patients’ names and even pictures (with permission, of course). Patients often love being featured, and it will encourage them to write more reviews in the future!
If leaving a review isn’t easy, and a patient is not fueled by frustration, the good reviews you are hoping for are probably not appearing.
How can you break down any barriers that are preventing patients from leaving reviews? Make the review process as easy as possible!
Give your patients motivation to leave positive reviews (provide incentives, personalize the ask as a favor to your practice, etc). Be mindful of your timing, and try to ask for reviews when their treatment is still relevant and fresh on their minds. And most importantly, make the review process as easy as possible (straightforward emails, easy links, clear review forms, etc).
While a patient might be happy to leave a review inside your practice, the likelihood of them remembering to do so drops each hour as they leave your doors and go about their lives. So ask your patients to leave a review as soon as possible!
Train your receptionists to listen for positive feedback. When they hear positive responses at their desk, have them ask the patients to leave a review right then and there. If possible, having a review form all set up and ready to hand to your patient makes the review process very convenient. (An iPad works great for this!)
Make a mention about leaving a review part of the rebooking process, and place reminders around your med spa.
In addition to in-person requests, automate follow-up emails to encourage your patients to submit reviews.
Send out forms to gauge each patient's experience in the days immediately following a treatment. Those who meet the threshold for a good experience should be asked to submit a positive review. As mentioned before, an incentive to submit the review is always a good idea (being submitted in a raffle, discount etc.). Those who report a poor experience should receive follow-up emails to find out if there’s any way to change their mind.
Explain in your emails your intentions to improve and create the best experience for your patients. Express how much you value their feedback, and make it easy for them to find and complete the review form.
Patients want to be heard and understood. Within reason, try to respond as promptly as you can to all the reviews on your site. Prospective patients do read the comment sections and are influenced by the way a practice responds. Google also rewards a site that regularly interacts with its reviewers.
While a friendly thank you and even a simple response “So glad to hear it!” creates a feeling of goodwill, a lack of response or unapologetic reaction can increase negative feelings and turn away prospective patients.
For your positive reviews: say thank you and show appreciation for the time it took them to leave a review.
For your bad reviews: acknowledge the comment, apologize for any inconvenience, and ask them to contact you (and give them direction on how to reach you). DO NOT ENGAGE PUBLICLY. Don’t hash the entire issue right there on the feed -- take the conversation to a more individual level where you can better resolve any issues.
Good or bad, people are more interested and likely to write their own reviews if they see you care about the feedback given.
It's easy to assume that the damage of a bad review is irreversible. With this mindset, many practices' solution is to try to bury the bad reviews within a mountain of positive reviews.
While building positive reviews is an important part of your review strategy, don't make the mistake of overlooking the opportunity in receiving a bad review.
Feedback is invaluable for improving your practice. It is worth your practice’s time to look at the underlying issues mentioned in your reviews. Be humble in receiving feedback, and look inward to see how the company’s culture or performance can be improved. Fixing underlying issues leads to more positive reviews in your future.
As previously mentioned, respond to the negative review publicly with a brief statement showing your concern and validating your patient’s experience. DO NOT ENGAGE PUBLICLY. Take a coffee break and let any emotions settle before coming back. Direct the reviewers to contact you privately.
From there, do what you can to resolve concerns and help turn their experience around. It can't be emphasized enough: the negative ripple effects of a bad review far outweigh any profit you made on an individual treatment. A refund, free consultation etc. would be worth every dollar to turn a negative review into a positive one.
After you have done what you can to address the patient and fix the situation (within reason), you can feel good moving on. It is impossible to please everyone. However, you might be surprised how far some personal connection and reaching out can go for changing a patient’s perspective of your practice.
Nothing is as sweet as an updated positive review from a former critic.
As intimidating and out of your control as reviews might feel, recognize the importance and benefits gained from your practice’s reviews and star rankings. Keeping your review profile healthy is a key part to your medical spa management. Your patients gain so much knowledge from reviews, and so can you.
Take the steps of proactively encouraging and responding to your patients' feedback. It is possible to curate the review profile that your practice craves!