Hey, chiropractors, this one's for you! Ready to get a handle on your practice's online reviews and reputation once and for all? Read this blog post to learn when and how to ask your patients for online reviews as well as how to respond to those reviews and keep your response HIPAA-compliant.
So, how important are online reviews to your chiropractic practice?
Well, research shows that even one negative review can cost you around 30 patients. In addition, only two percent of patients are likely to visit an office that lacks reviews or online ratings.
When patients want to find a chiropractor, 80 percent typically use online reviews as the first step in their search. That's why you can't afford to ignore your online reviews, star rating and reputation.
Let’s review best practices to get new reviews, so you can prove to potential patients that you truly have their backs.
How Chiropractors Should Ask for Online Reviews
Well, this part is easy. The first step is to just ask.
We suggest asking the patient if they are willing to leave their feedback about their adjustment while explaining to them that you value their opinion. When you ask the patient yourself, they will feel that the request was personalized to them, and it's more likely that they will be happy to leave you a review.
When you ask, don’t offer an incentive to the patient.
Although we know that many businesses offer a dollar amount off a next visit or an entry into a monthly drawing, this strategy won't get you high-quality reviews.
And, you do not want to be the office that receives a not-so-friendly review from an upset patient who writes that they were promised something for free for leaving a review, as this will discredit your positive reviews, too.
When Should Chiropractors Ask for Reviews?
If you work in the hospitality industry or the retail industry, you could probably get by with asking every new customer during their first visit. But, remember, you are in the “feel good” wellness industry.
We're sure that your patients start to experience relief during their first visit, but they probably haven’t had enough time to really process what you're doing for them.
We suggest asking a new patient for feedback any time after their third visit.
By this time, the patient will begin to feel better, and they will understand the benefits of receiving multiple adjustments.
How to Respond to Your Online Reviews
Here's your step-by-step breakdown for replying to your reviews.
- Respond to all reviews in a timely fashion by designating someone on your team (or at your marketing agency) as the person who replies to all reviews. You want to make sure that all patients feel heard and appreciated. Also, please don’t respond back to reviews six months from now, as it will no longer be relevant. It’s best practice to respond to reviews within a few days, if possible, a couple of weeks at the very latest.
- Acknowledge your reviews. During the patient's next visit, feel free to tell them that you saw their review and thank them.
- Be positive and apologize when replying to negative reviews. You do not want to fight with a patient online, even if the bad review isn't your fault. It’s best to apologize to the patient for their experience, offer a solution and direct them to take the conversation offline. Don’t be afraid to follow up to the patient with a phone call so you can address their concerns.
- Stay HIPAA compliant by never revealing any protected health information. It’s best to write your response in generalities, and do not share the reviews on any additional platforms.
Online reviews matter for chiropractors. They're how patients choose you over the competition. It’s a good guarantee that your competitors are doing their best to generate online reviews, so now it’s time for you to create and maintain a strategy that helps build your online reputation. And, shameless plug, we can help with your chiropractor marketing strategy!