We’ve posted many, many, many blog posts on customer/patient reviews and how you need to handle them. In case you missed all of them here is the skinny. Online reviews can make or break your business. In the medical web marketing world, according to Tom Seery, CEO of RealSelf, 60% of visitors think website reviews about you are the single most important thing, more important than your own website, social presence, etc. Concerned yet?
For those of you who are working diligently to get more reviews online, Kudos! But we’re willing to bet that a lot of you are still struggling because you think you’re just too busy or have decided you just aren’t good at asking for a review. Just remember that when a bad review comes along (and come along it will, even for the best businesses), it can be very damaging and all of a sudden reviews will become very important.
Between Yelp, Google, local listings, and industry sites that offer up business reviews, what should you do? Here are four steps on what will help your business succeed with reviews.
- Follow the Golden Rule. Always. The fact that you had a bad weekend, morning, call, or whatever is no one’s problem. Treat people how you expect to be treated when you visit a business. Strive to provide an excellent experience, every single time. Make sure your staff understand how much you value outstanding customer service and periodically check to make sure they are delivering.
- Ask for Feedback. Ask your customers, “How did we do? Did we answer all your questions? Did we meet your requirements?” When the response is positive, ask them to review you. Make it easy. Send a follow up email with links to your review pages so they can click through to write about their experience. Hand them a business card with your review page link on it. Dumb it down so it takes just a few minutes to comment about the great service you just gave them. Sure, lots of people will ignore you even if it’s simple as pie. But if you do it enough times, it will pay off.
- Handle Every Situation with Care. Let’s face it, some people are just hard to deal with. No matter what you do or how hard you try, they just have to complain about something. How you handle this negativity is also a chance to shine. If you get a negative review, you are in the spotlight in how you deal with it. Work quickly to make the unhappy person happy and publicly show you are doing everything you can. A huge number of unhappy customers will return to your business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.
- Don’t Forget about Rule #1. It really is the make or break factor for your business in today’s connected world.