Do Online Reviews Really Matter?
(hint: your reputation is directly linked to your revenue)
In a word, yes. Your online reviews matter a great deal so you (literally) can’t afford to ignore them. In 2019, most people know that reviews and online reputation now play a major role in consumer spending decisions; that includes how patients choose their doctors! Consumers increasingly use reviews left by other consumers as part of their research efforts.
Studies show that good reviews drive revenue up, while negative reviews do just the opposite. Most people, when asked, state that reviews are important when researching a procedure and selecting a doctor. Yet, in spite of the data, many of the great medical practices we have worked with don’t fully appreciate the importance of gathering and promoting great reviews while not ignoring bad ones!
We’d love to share the three ‘A’s you need to do for your practice or business in the area of reputation and reviews since you can be sure, both will impact your revenue.
Ask for Reviews!
It’s okay to ask. Really, it is. In fact, studies show that your practice or business is seven times more likely to have a 3-star rating (or even lower) on Yelp if you just let reviews happen organically. Additionally, organic reviews tend to skew more negative. Everyone knows it’s the disgruntled people who voice their negative views while people who are happy with the service or treatment they received tend to just enjoy their outcome. For this reason, ask! Most patients are pleased with their care, most consumers are happy with their purchase or service, and most are happy to say so – if you ask them. At Miller Public Relations, we have several ways we help our clients with “the ask”. From in-office request protocols to automated review requests and follow-up emails, we can help you pull some glowing reviews you’ve earned and boost your ratings on all the major places consumers go to learn about you (Google, Yelp, Healthgrades and more).
Always Promote Them!
Positive reviews are great and all but they’re even more valuable when shared. Without exception, the BIGGEST mistake that we see practices and businesses make is failing to promote their positive reviews. Publishing positive reviews on your website and social media is a breeze if you use an automated tool (we can help with that!). This allows you to keep searchers on your site rather than them navigating away to Yelp or Google to look for reviews, increasing your chances of converting them on the spot!
Address Negative Reviews.
This is no time for sticking your head in the sand. Like it or not, negative reviews must be addressed head-on. If you’re able, reach out directly to the person who left the review as, in many cases, the negative review is the result of a miscommunication or a misunderstanding that can be cleared up with a conversation. It’s even okay to ask the reviewer to remove their negative review. If you’re unable to identify the reviewer or the reviewer won’t remove the negative comments, a heartfelt, sincere response can a long way. This allows potential patients or customers to see both sides of the story. It reinforces your online reputation as a caring provider while at the same time, reduces the impact of any negative comments.
Reputation management is an area where partnering with an experienced marketing and public relations firm can really help. Miller Public Relations is committed to aggressively growing businesses by helping our clients establish themselves as trusted industry leaders in their respective markets. We do it in a variety of ways.
Here’s a final thought. According to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, on average, more than 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation. So, it makes dollars and common sense to invest in a reputation management strategy. We are here when you’re ready to talk.