We all spend a lot of time worrying about that one negative review- how to respond to it, how it will look to clients, the stress it will inflict on us and our teams. While that concern is valid and we do need a strategy for handling negative reviews, we need to put a similar emphasis on building that library of POSITIVE reviews. Think how much stronger our reputation could be if we spent the same amount of energy eliciting positive feedback from those who do support us and will likely continue to visit and advocate for our practice!
Positive reviews are just that- positive all the way around. Not only do they help bolster our reputation and earn client trust, but they can help us attract new clients, reinforce our ideals and give us feedback on what’s working well. They can brighten our spirits and help our teams remember why we do what we do. So why are we not trying to get that information? Here are my four tips to getting more reviews.
#1 Make It EASY!
We can’t assume that our clients know that we’re on Facebook. Or Google. Or Yelp. Or that we even want reviews. We need to make it as easy as possible for our clients to GET to our review sites and as easy as possible to leave a review. Here are a few tips to make it easy for both your clients AND for you to access your reviews.
Create direct, one-click links to your exact practice’s review sites whenever possible.
Want to send your clients directly to your Facebook reviews? Your direct review link is www.facebook.com/yourclinicpageusername/reviews.
Create a direct link to your Google reviews by following these steps.
Send your clients straight to your Yelp page by creating a direct link. To do so, search for your practice on Yelp, and then click on “Write a Review.” Copy the URL that appears. You may want to visit bitly.com to shorten it into a more manageable link.
Make sure your Facebook recommendations (the new term for reviews) are turned on! If you don’t see reviews on your Facebook page, they’ve probably been disabled at some point. To change this, visit your Page’s Settings > Templates & Tabs > Reviews > Click “settings” and toggle the “Show Reviews” button on or off.
Outside of Facebook, we don’t have the ability to control if reviews can be left. But we can control how we find out about them and how we respond to them. Make sure you’ve claimed your Google My Business site and your Yelp for Business profiles, set up the proper notifications of new reviews, and incorporate them into your regular online reputation monitoring.
#2: Ask….nicely. If we’re not asking for feedback, we’re much less likely to get it. While an in-person direct request can seem pretty awkward, there are many ways to elicit feedback indirectly. Here are a few ideas:
Incorporate a “Would you be willing to share your feedback?” option into your post-visit emails or texts
Add a “we’d love your support” option with direct, clickable links in your regular digital newsletters
Share your 5-star reviews from Facebook, Google or Yelp onto your Facebook page timeline. Thank the individual reviewer, and ask for others to share their feedback too. Be sure to include a direct link in the post!
Be careful not to offer incentives for reviews, or overtly tell clients that you need more reviews. This can violate the terms of service of some platforms, especially Yelp. Leave the trail of breadcrumbs so they are prompted to and can easily share their experience.
#3 Don’t Forget About the Visual Reminders
Don’t forget about the power of a visual image. Here are some ways that simply providing signage in your hospital can increase client awareness about your review sites.
Get a “Find us on Yelp” window cling for your windows or doors. You can request one for your practice from Yelp here.
Download and print table tents and actual reviews from Marketing Kit With Google, and place these in your exam rooms or lobby
If you’re lucky, Marketing Kit With Google is still offering personalized free materials by mail (check out my unboxing here). This includes:
A poster-sized print of one of your top reviews!
Screenshot recent reviews and incorporate them as images into computer or TV slideshows in your exam rooms or lobby
Add an invoice message that prints at the bottom of all receipts. Try something like “Please share your experience with us on Yelp!” or “We’d love your feedback on Google!”
Again, share the actual review, Marketing Kit social graphics or screenshot of previous reviews directing your clients to review sites from your social media channels. Don’t forget to include the link
#4 Follow Through
Just like any relationship, nurturing your online connections with your customers and your community takes some work on your end.
Make sure you’re responding to ALL reviews- not just the bad ones. Thank your clients for their feedback, and personalize the message whenever possible. This demonstrates a commitment to communicating with your clients and valuing their opinion.
Consider sharing the love and reviewing more businesses yourself- especially if your practice works with other local establishments. Remember, what goes around comes around! Local businesses can often have symbiotic relationships and help each other out when it comes to client referrals.
Monitor your comments and follow through on responding to them where appropriate. In some cases, a client may leave a glowing comment on a regular post- and now you have an open avenue to communicate with them and ask them to share their post in a review format.
Get to work, and get those reviews! -The Social DVM Team