Online reviews are the new referral. Rather than word-of-mouth, people are turning to reviews to help make the decision of which chiropractor to see. Your practice needs to be generating more positive online reviews, no matter where you are located or the services that you offer.
Why Do You Need More Online Reviews?
The simplest reason that you can place value in having online reviews is that people will use the reviews to help make a decision when searching for a new chiropractor. Ultimately, it comes down to building trust.
A recent article from BrightLocal, "15+ Ways to Increase Customer Reviews," points out why you need online reviews and how you can get more reviews.
You need lots of online reviews.
Every year, BrightLocal surveys consumers to reveal the way they interact online with local businesses. In their latest survey, they showed that consumers needed an average of 40 reviews before they trust the accuracy of a star rating.
It's important to mention that the minimum threshold continues to increase. In 2017, the average was only 34 reviews.
Additionally, consumers reported that they need to read an average of 10 reviews before they trust a business.
You need lots of recent reviews.
Not only do consumers look at the quantity of reviews, they look for reviews that were recently posted. This means that you need to put effort into generating a constant stream of positive online reviews.
The expectation of fresh reviews has increased:
- 40% of consumers only took into account reviews from the last two weeks
- Back in 2017, only 18% disregarded reviews older that two weeks
- 85% of consumers disregard reviews more than three months old
Reviews attract people exactly when they are looking for a chiropractor.
How do patients use online reviews while searching for a chiropractor? When a potential patient is in pain and needs treatment, they are probably going to read the reviews before putting their health into the hands of a new chiropractor. This immediate connection of displaying your trustworthiness at the time a person in pain needs a trustworthy chiropractor is invaluable. It is exactly why you need to be focused on your online review building.
How do your reviews compare?
Use our free Local SEO Report to generate an instant report and see how your practice appears on local review sites.
How Do You Increase Online Reviews for Your Chiropractic Business?
The best way to get reviews from patients is to ask. BrightLocal's consumer survey, mentioned above, reports that 70% of consumers that have been asked to leave reviews went on to do so.
Follow the rules.
Regardless of the way that you ask your patients for online reviews, be sure to play by the rules. As a healthcare provider, this goes two-fold.
Follow the rules as a healthcare provider.
First, you must adhere to the regulations to protect your patients privacy. You need to be careful in how and where you use patient testimonials or reviews. Additionally, you need to be careful in the ways and through which channels that you communicate with your patients when asking them to leave you a review.
Follow the rules of online review platforms.
Second, you must obey the rules of the online community. All online platforms prohibit fake reviews. Although it may not be directly against a particular platform's rules, we generally advise against writing a review about your own business. Also, don't have your staff, family, or friends write reviews unless they have also been treated as a patient.
Official rules vary from one platform to the next. Yelp! directly prohibits you from requesting reviews. Facebook doesn't permit incentivizing reviews. Whatever platform you are aiming to build reviews on, familiarize yourself with their policies so that you don't misstep. Violations can cause the removal of your profile and you will lose all of your hard-earned reviews.
Here are 11 ways to ask patients for online reviews:
1. Ask for reviews in person
Asking for reviews in person is both the easiest method and extremely effective. You are the person to have worked most closely with your patient, so it feels personal when you ask. Requesting a review after you provide a patient with quality chiropractic care wins spot #1.
2. Ask for reviews via your website
It's a great idea to display your online reviews on your website. It's also a great idea to include a link to the review platform where you would like your patients to leave reviews.
Check out our Chiropractic Online Review Building service. It makes it easy to point patients to the review sites where you need reviews and it automatically collects your reviews from across the web to display them on your website.
3. Ask for reviews via in-office messaging
A simple sign that says, "Review Us on Google," can contribute to encouraging and reminding your happy patients to help you grow your business.
Check out this Google My Business Marketing Kit. It provides free assets for creating stickers, posters, and social media posts based on your Google My Business Location.
4. Ask for reviews via in-office kiosk
Patients are most likely to write a review when it is at the top of their mind and is made easy to complete. Providing a kiosk (which can be as simple as a tablet on the counter) in your office can be combined with asking patients in person to create the perfect equation.
When considering the use of a kiosk, check review platforms' policies to ensure that you will not violate any rules.
5. Ask for reviews via business card
Another way to make it easier for your patients to know where to go online to leave you a review is by including a short URL on your business card.
There is a better option than printing a web address that goes directly to any one review platform. The best option is to use a dedicated landing page on your website. This ensures that the address will remain the same. You will get more longevity out of your printed business cards. Also, you can modify your webpage to direct patients to different platforms as needed.
You can also use a QR code to help patients navigate to your review page. If you use a QR code, also include the spelled out URL. Although the most common mobile web browsers make it very easy to scan QR codes, there are still plenty of people who are not aware how to scan codes.
6. Ask for reviews via your booking system
If you are using an electronic scheduling system or patient portal, then you can include review requests in post visit messaging and on the dashboard of the patient portal.
7. Ask for reviews via physical receipts
Similar to your business cards, printed statements/receipts can include a short URL and QR code to direct your patient to where they can leave a review.
8. Ask for reviews via NFC box at reception
This option is advanced, but worth mentioning. Near-field communication (NFC) is used to transmit data from one device to another (like a smartphone) when they are in very close proximity. It is the same technology that is used for contactless payments.
Newer smartphones come with the ability to decode NFC enabled. This wasn't always the case as it used to require third-party apps. You can expect to see this technology used more frequently.
Using an NFC tag allows your patients to navigate to your review page without having to type the URL. The patient only has to bring their smartphone near the NFC tag and the phone will launch the page.
9. Ask for reviews via email
Email can be the best channel to deliver a message containing a link to navigate your patient to where you want them to leave a review.
As we already warned earlier, be sure to follow your requirements as a healthcare provider when considering communicating with patients via email.
10. Ask for reviews via SMS text message
SMS text messages are another great channel to communicate with patients because it is delivered to their phone. People are very likely to read text messages promptly and more frequently than emails.
If you include a link in your SMS message, you may run the risk of your patient not having a smartphone, but if they do, the link will launch in their mobile browser.
Again, just like email, be sure to follow the rules and regulations of communicating with patients via SMS.
11. Use review platform tools to generate reviews
Many of the above recommendations for asking for reviews can be executed through a single online review platform or service. For instance, our Chiropractic Online Review Building service includes the following functionality:
- Dedicated landing page that makes leaving a review easier for your patients
- Single web address (perfect for printing on business cards or in-office assets like poster, stickers, or table tents)
- Use in Kiosk mode
- Encourage negative reviews to provide feedback in private form rather than in public platforms
- Review Stream automatically displays your 5-star reviews from across the web on your website
- Send email review requests
- Send SMS review request
Now Go Get More Reviews
Now that you have a list of 11 ways to get more reviews, get out there and start asking patients. It's important that you don't rely on any single method from the list above. Additionally, be sure to diversify your online reviews so that you can start building trust across multiple platforms.
A final reminder, before you use any specific channel to request reviews from your patients, make sure that you are operating within the laws and regulation required of you as a healthcare provider. Additionally, review the policies of a review platform before you start requesting patients to go there and write reviews.
Let Us Help Build Your Reviews
We help chiropractors like you generate more positive reviews on the platforms that you need. To learn more, check out our Chiropractic Online Review Building.