Why Online Reviews Are One Of The Most Important Deciding Factors For Patients

Why Online Reviews Are One Of The Most Important Deciding Factors For Patients

Our Findings From Interviewing Past Patients

When it comes to patients reviewing your dental practice or your plastic surgery clinic, it’s important to realise why this is so important – in the eyes of a potential patient that is.

Upon researching and personally interviewing two separate groups of patients that had undergone;

  1. Extensive dental work
  2. A surgical cosmetic procedure

We found the two factors that make or break someone’s decision to go with a particular provider.

That was:

  1. Their results they believed they were going to get
  2. To know that they were in safe hands

I personally think that the outcome of this project was like finding liquid gold. You see, the single most important factor to someone is to know they are going to get their desired result and to know they are in safe hands.

Reviews can easily provide a sound ‘success portfolio’ for your potential patients – either on Google, Facebook, Real Self etc.

It is important to note though, that not all review platforms or sites are equal!


Google Reviews

Having a sound portfolio of Google reviews comes with many benefits. Not only are you going to be capturing the attention of patients already searching for your procedures – but you are also going to get the SEO (search engine optimisation) benefits from this, in that your site will start to rank higher the more reviews and visits you get.


Facebook Reviews

Facebook is where potential patients come to find ‘social proof’. Now one of the key deciding factors of your market right now, it’s very hard to ignore this beast of a platform. The best way to think of your Facebook reviews is like you asking a close friend if they would recommend the brand of car they just bought. By having a sound portfolio of Facebook reviews, you’ve essentially collated a number of personal ‘thumbs up’ to potential patients looking for your services!


Real Self Reviews

There are many benefits of featuring positive reviews on Real Self (for plastic surgeons in this case). Similar to Google, you will come up higher in your listing if someone is searching for a particular procedure plus, the potential patient can also showcase your before and afters, your qualifications and request a consultation on the spot.


Why Getting Reviews Isn’t Always That Simple

So, you’ve been sending out your review links, and emailing patients to leave you a review and you’re frustrated because no one seems to be leaving any!

Well, the short answer to this is – people simply get busy with their daily lives.

Yep, it’s that simple.

The good news is, there are a few options to combat this

  • Having an ‘automated review funnel’ is one option to minimise your time and reception staff
  • Consistency is key – don’t send 2 and then give up if you haven’t seen a review posted
  • Throw out your generic email template, that patients know you send to everyone else
  • Get personal – send a personal email, card, note, letter. Get creative with your approach and deeply show your appreciation


Combatting Negative Reviews

We get it – there is always that 1 patient that will never be happy no matter what you do!

The reality is, is that all good businesses will get a negative review at some point. Whether it’s now or 5 years down the track, it’s coming.

To help combat these, there are a few precautions and courses of action you can take:

  1. Choose carefully who you ask to leave a review – you want to ensure the patient is a happy one
  2. An automated review system can automatically filter out negative reviews, and only post positive reviews to your public platforms like Google & Facebook
  3. Never leave a bad review – always address the review with elegance and compassion. Read on…


Addressing A Bad Review

 If you missed it in the last paragraph, I’ll say it again – never just ‘leave’ a bad review. You need to address it.

Whether a patient is wrong or right simply does not matter. It just doesn’t matter.

The MAIN purpose of addressing a review in an elegant & professional matter is…….…

(drum roll please)

For OTHER potential patients looking at your reviews!!!

I have seen countless responses that don’t do anything but add fuel to the fire.  The way you handle feedback shows true to your character and therefore to your work. Believe it or not, a negative review can be spun into a positive if handled with class and care.

And lastly, of course, the other main purpose of addressing a negative review is to help that disgruntled patient – to offer your compassion and to arrange a call or for them to come back into the practice so you can immediately address the situation.


And so I hope this has provided some guidance and further insight into the importance of reviews for your dental or cosmetic practice. For further insight’s or help to implement some of these strategies into your business, contact us here at Aesthetic Digital at info@aestheticdigital.com.au.