A couple blogs ago, I wrote about one of our current clients who is getting great results because they started asking patients for reviews and created a system to keep doing it easily and reliably. You can read it here . In this blog, I’m going to talk about the best time to ask a patient for an online review.
In case you don’t want to read the entire blog, I’ll reveal upfront, there is no WRONG time to ask for an online review. Simply asking is more than most of your competitors will ever do, and doing so habitually will serve to position your online presence miles ahead of others in your area. Online reviews have the capability of sharing with potential patients what it is like to be your patient like no other component of your marketing.
But, if you want to dive a little deeper into the art of asking for reviews before you jump into the process, let’s take a moment to answer some questions which will turn your reviews into a hugely persuasive story that speaks directly to your prospective patients, and also helps give you endless content to promote your practice on social media.
Here are a few questions to consider before starting to ask your patients for reviews and recommendations:
- What are your prospective patients’ possible objections to choosing you as their doctor or dentist? Are they afraid that you don’t take their insurance? Maybe they are afraid to come into the office right now because of COVID-19. Another objection could be they don’t have time to sit in a waiting room for endless minutes and wait for the doctor. Think of as many possible objections as you can.
- How is your referral process? Is it easy for patients to refer others to you? Is it easy and natural for both short term and long term patients to make give referrals?
- Do you have your own labs or another medical testing on the grounds?
- Is it the nature of your practice for patients to come just a few times to see you, or do you expect them to come back again and again over the course of their treatment with you?
- Do you do follow-up phone calls or emails to patients any days or weeks after their appointments?
The questions above are important because if you are able to ask a variety of patients at different points along their health journeys and treatment plans with you, their reviews will collectively begin to tell the full story of working with you and your office in a way that no single review ever could.
This is valuable because potential patients who occupy a wide variety of positions along their own medical and health journeys will all be able to find a review that is relatable and persuasive to them.
Once you have answers to the questions above, you can simply set up a system to request recommendations and review requests over the course of the patient’s treatment plan with you, the goal being to alleviate all the possible objections you listed in the first question.
By doing this you can shape your reviews to do much of your selling for you, almost like you’re engineering copywriting, but from happy clients, who are the very best brand representatives you could ever ask for!
For instance, if you are an independent doctor or dentist and want patients to ask to be referred to you, then ask patients within 24 hours of arriving at your office to leave you a review. In the request, ask specific questions about how easy it was to be referred to you.
If your goal is to show potential patients that you do not have long wait times no matter what time or how many times they come in, then send the request after a small handful of visits during which you intentionally track the time they spend in your waiting room, and specifically suggest they talk about your short waiting times.
Once the collective experience of your patients begins to take shape from more and more reviews, take some of them and create a social media experience based on these testimonials. This will bring additional visibility to your practice while helping many prospective patients take the first step of the patient cycle.