Online Review Sites: Your Powerful Marketing Tool

Are you concerned about online review sites like Yelp and Citysearch, where patients can post comments about their experience with you or your practice? TMA members have told us they worry that one disgruntled patient can mar their reputation and cost them new patients.

But there are two sides to this coin. You can turn an online review site into a marketing tool for your practice for a few cents and a few minutes per patient — simply by asking your patients to post positive reviews about you.

Assign one or more staff members to send a short, handwritten thank-you note within a day or two of a visit to patients you select. You can develop a standard message for the notes, along the lines of: “Thank you for visiting (practice name) yesterday. Your opinion is important to us and to others in the community. Would you please take a moment to share your experience with us on (name some sites) or other review site? We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for letting us take care of you.” Have the staff member sign the letter (first name only is OK).

To make it easy for patients to respond to your request, you could insert a list of sites in the card, or have a list (see below) preprinted on the cards.

We know of a patient who received just such a note from a physician clinic. The patient, who reported posting a positive review of the practice, said, “As small as it was, a thank-you card made a world of difference to me as a patient, and I will definitely be using them again.”

Some Doctor Review Sites

 

Angie’s List www.angieslist.com
 
Citysearch       www.citysearch.com
         
Google       www.google.com (through Gmail)
         
Dr. Score       www.drscore.com/
         
Rate MDs       www.ratemds.com/social/
         
Health Grades       www.healthgrades.com
         
Vitals       www.vitals.com/
         
Yelp       www.yelp.com

 

 Reviewed Oct. 23, 2013


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