Did you know that 74% of consumers report that word of mouth influences their purchasing decisions? Meanwhile, 84% of consumers admit they trust online reviews more than a friend’s recommendation, and 76% of consumers weigh a treatment provider’s experience as just as important as positive online reviews, according to a Vitals.com survey. With these statistics in mind, it's clear that online reviews matter, but how do you tactfully encourage more patients to post their feedback online?
Developing a successful strategy to garner more online reviews from current and past patients may be considered a prerequisite to business success—particularly in the medical aesthetics industry. Fortunately, an effective strategy is simpler to develop than it may seem.
Here we’ve listed our top tips for creating a simple and effective reviews strategy for your medical aesthetics clinic to improve your online presence and boost your consultation bookings. Remember, however, when reading these tips that you should always keep your clinic’s branding in mind and develop a strategy that works best for your business.
Studies show that happy patients tend to do what you ask. In fact, as one survey determined, 74% of consumers authored an online review for a local business when simply asked for their feedback. Consumers love sharing their opinions. Unfortunately, unsatisfied consumers seem more driven to leave a review without being asked than those happy with your services, so it’s best to get comfortable reviewing patient feedback in office, addressing concerns, and following up with a request for an honest review once the patient is happy with the outcome.
When asking patients to leave an online review, make the request while their memories and experiences are still fresh, but their results are at their optimal level. Depending on the treatment, the perfect timing may fall within a week of their final appointment or three months after their last treatment. Alternatively, you may time the request with the patient’s final appointment, where you can first address ongoing post-treatment care as well as any concerns they may have in person, allowing you to smooth them over before asking them to leave an online review.
If your clinic has a patient care coordinator, it may be best practice to have them follow up with patients a day or two after their final appointment to thank the patient for choosing your clinic and asking them how they are doing. Depending on the answer, the patient care coordinator may book a follow-up appointment to smooth over any concerns, or they may ask a patient to leave an online review if they are satisfied with their results. Let the patient know on the phone that a link to where they can leave their feedback will be sent to their email address for ease.
If your medical aesthetics clinic offers online shopping, incorporate a request for online reviews into your e-commerce process. Since patients are already online, it’s even easier for them to leave a review regarding their e-shopping experience. This may also help to jog a past patient’s memory to leave a review when purchasing their regular skin care products if they happened to have forgotten to leave a review immediately following their treatment plan.
An email marketing campaign can be more effective than social media marketing. This is particularly true for clinics targeting younger clientele, with an average 61% open rate on mobile compared to just 30% of Instagram posts being seen by your regular followers. Consider what email promotions may be appropriate to your target clientele. For those serving more budget-conscious patients, offering a discount on the next treatment in exchange for an honest review may be worthwhile. Be sure to treat both glowing and critical reviews equally when offering these promotions—consumers can certainly spot a lack of authenticity and/or a dishonest review. For more discerning clientele who aren’t concerned about promotions, it may be better practice to simply ask patients for their help in spreading the word about your services and supporting your growth.
While it may generate results to ask for an online review, don’t pester a patient about leaving one. If you push too hard, they may stop taking your calls or opening your emails altogether. Be sure to balance your requests with valuable, useful information to avoid scaring off patients. As well, always thank patients for their time and support. Be humble and appreciative, and patients will feel more valued.
If time and circumstances are appropriate, offer some starting points patients can use to guide them through authoring a valuable online review that’s more likely to benefit prospective patients and your business. Offer up questions such as “How was your experience?” or “Were your results what you expected?” as entryways into a thorough review. You may also simply ask them to be honest and include details they feel are most valuable if they were considering booking a treatment with you.
While it is certainly beneficial to post reviews to your medical aesthetic clinic’s website, you may find that you’ll get more mileage from positive reviews posted to more popular and focused review sites, such as Google Reviews, Yelp, or RealSelf.com. In fact, when consumers are researching a new service provider, Google is their first stop to scan reviews, with RealSelf coming in second and boasting a 50% contact rate. What that essentially means is that for every one million unique visitors each month, RealSelf users reach out to clinics directly via the contact information provided in their RealSelf profiles. This particular site also offers unique links to treatments and physician or business profiles (each of which is fully verified) to make it even easier for patients to leave a review when asked and supplied with the direct link.
If you’re interested in registering today, simply visit https://claim.realself.com/venus/ to claim your free RealSelf profile (or click the blue button below), be featured on the Venus Concept brand page, and meet your next great patient.