How much time do you spend every day trying to get good reviews and testimonials for your physical therapy clinic?
If you are anything like any other practitioner with a myriad of tasks on your hand, you probably let your online reputation work slide. And that’s not good at all.
According to a 2013 study, 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, they rely on testimonials, comments, and ratings to make purchasing decisions. Another study showed that 54% of the people questioned decided not to do business with a company based on the information they learned about the way the company handled delivery, products, customer service, etc.
It goes without saying that reviews are a crucial source of information that can make or break your physical therapy clinic. After all, if you don’t trust someone, would you be likely to do business with them? Probably not.
You don’t have to look hard to find examples of how bad online reviews can affect a practice. If you’re a small physical therapy clinic just starting out, it’s even more important to build a credible online reputation through positive reviews.
But, that’s usually easier said than done, right? How can you get good reviews and maintain a strong reputation?
Here’s a plan.
Back in 2011, while bored in an airport, Peter Shankman asked Moron’s Steakhouse via Twitter to deliver a porterhouse steak at the Newark airport where he was to land in a few hours. Little did he know that the folks at Moron’s Steakhouse took his request very seriously. When arriving at the Newark airport, Peter was welcomed by a Morton’s servant with a huge Porterhouse steak, potatoes, shrimp, and bread. A delicious meal, for free.
Not only did the restaurant make a customer very happy, but they also received media coverage for their spontaneous act.
The moral of the story: when it comes to getting good reviews, there’s one thing that can make all the difference in the world: delivering an amazing customer experience.
A study from Oracle showed that 86% of people would pay more for a stellar customer experience. Not only that happy patients will remain loyal to your business, but they will also spread the word about your physical therapy clinic. According to a survey by American Express, happy customers share their experience with an average of nine people. That means that one positive review can get you nine new referrals. That’s huge!
But, as much as you’d want, you can’t always do something unexpected for your customers. So, how can you get positive reviews constantly?
1. Ask the Right Patients
An effective online reputation strategy is the bedrock upon which you can get more positive reviews. Your patients might like the services your PT clinic offers and they might be satisfied with the personnel, but they don’t really care about your business. If you need their help to spread the word about your practice, then you need to ask for it.
But, be careful, if great reviews are what you are looking for, then you need to be asking the right patients. Unless they are getting the most value out of your products/services, any attempt to get a review from them will likely fail.
So, how do you identify the right patients? Here are some helpful ways:
2. Ask at the Right Time
How many times have you gotten an email from a company asking for your review weeks after you’ve ordered a product? How frustrating was it to remember the details of the experience?
Don’t make the same mistakes.
Asking your patients for reviews at the right time is paramount the reputation of your physical therapy clinic. Experts agree that the best time to ask for reviews is when the value you’ve provided your customers is at the top of their minds
3. Ask Them the Right Way
Do you know what the fastest way to lose your credibility is? Ask your customers for “positive” or “good” reviews. While getting positive online reviews is important, under no circumstances you should ask your patients to ask a positive comment about your physical therapy clinic.
Encourage them to leave a comment or review but never suggest them what to write about their experience with your clinic. That’s the fasted way to lose credibility and be perceived as a dishonest business. And, that’s the last thing you want.
4. If They Ignore You, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Again
If a patient didn’t answer to your review request, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to help you. Maybe you’ve caught them a bad time, or maybe your message got lost in their inbox. So, don’t be afraid to send them a follow-up email, asking them to review their experience. Make sure to write a compelling subject line to capture their attention.
5. Answer Every Review
Many physical therapy clinic owners ignore patients who leave positive reviews on their site or social media networks. They focus all their energy on handling negative comments and addressing patients who weren’t satisfied with their services.
Think about it this way: if a friend said something nice about you, wouldn’t you thank him? Of course, you would. The same goes for your patients. A simple “Thank you, ” or Facebook like can mean a lot, and it can be a great way to reinforce your relationship with that patient.
6. Make It Easy for Them to Leave Reviews
Most people avoid leaving reviews because it requires too much of an effort. Provide clear links to where you want them to leave their reviews or show them how to do it.
Here at PatientSites, we’ve put a great system in place for our clients to get more positive reviews from their patients. We’ve created a net promoter score satisfaction that physical therapy clinics can include in their email marketing and send it to their patients. If the responses they get are favorable, then the patients will land on a thank you page where they will be asked to leave a Google review. You can also send another email with links to your Facebook and Yelp pages and ask patients to leave their comments on these platforms too.
If the review is negative, your patients will land on a different thank you page with a form asking for their feedback. That way, you can learn from their complaints and fix any potential issues that might affect the experience of future patients.
7. Monitor Mentions
Whether you are a big physical therapy clinic or just a small practice, you need to know what patients are talking about you online.
It takes time and effort to monitor every mention related to your practice, but it’s worth it. Negativity spreads extremely fast, especially in an environment that is open 24/7, like the Internet. Any mention, negative or positive, impacts how people view your physical therapy clinic.
To find out if prospective patients are talking about you, carefully and regularly review your website and blog comments. Check your Facebook and Google Plus notifications, Twitter, and other social media networks. If you post content on YouTube, make sure to check the comment section at least once a week.
Google yourself to find any pages that mention your physical therapy clinic or websites that allow users to add their feedback about your practice, such as Yelp, Yahoo Local Listings, Angie’s List, or Google My Business.
It might seem like a daunting task, but with just 60 minutes a day, you can review some of the most important networks your physical therapy clinic is active on and manage any potential issue before it turns into a serious problem.
If manually searching for brand mentions feels like a challenge, you can use tools like Google Alerts or Social Mentions to find out if someone is talking about your clinic.
A negative online review can feel like a punch in the stomach. You’ve worked hard to create and deliver outstanding services to your patients; you’ve sacrificed so much to run your PT clinic, manage your employees, and keep your patients happy. So, when a damaging remark appears on a social media page, in a blog comment, or a review website, you’re instantly thrown into DEFCON 1.
As frustrating as it might be, getting a few negative reviews doesn’t mean the end of the world. Contrary to popular belief, bad ratings will not immediately turn patients away from your PT clinic. Sure, you should strive to provide a stellar customer service to your patients, but a negative comment shouldn’t get you into panic mode. If you know how to handle them, they can be a great opportunity for your business.
Use any negative review as an opportunity to improve your services and highlight your stellar customer service. Also, try to understand that a mix of both negative and positive comments will make your physical therapy clinic look more authentic in the eyes of prospective patients. After all, any product or service with 100% review is suspicious.
As much as we’d wish, positive reviews don’t happen overnight. They are the result of hard work and consistent customer experiences. But, with the right tools and strategy, you can get more patients to say nice things about your physical therapy clinic.
If you need help managing your online reputation, we here at PatientSites.com can help you boost positive reviews and intercept negative ones. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to talk about your physical therapy clinic.
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