Positive Google reviews are critical. 5-star reviews establish your business as reputable, professional and trustworthy. And while solid reviews are important for any business in any field, they’re essential for businesses that provide healthcare services, like urgent care centers.
Why is that? In a word, trust.
78% of your potential patients trust what they read about your urgent care center in online reviews as much as they would trust a direct recommendation from a friend or family member.
Not only that, but folks tend to want to see several online reviews before trusting a business. On average, your potential patients will want to read 10 positive reviews before they can feel comfortable trusting you. That means a single testimonial, even if it’s glowing, isn’t enough. You need quantity as well as quality.
Of course, it’s not easy to get positive Google reviews. That’s why every business can’t pull it off. But we can help you there.
In this article, we’ll cover several tips for getting positive Google reviews. We’ll walk you through the basics of setting your urgent care center up for success, what patients look for in deciding how to review a medical practice, and even what do to when you get a less than positive review.
If you’re ready to put Google reviews to work for your urgent care center, keep reading.
Tips For Getting 5-Star Online Reviews
The tricks to getting positive online reviews aren’t tricks at all. In fact, they’re simple, straightforward, and all about authentic patient experience.
Here are our best tips for getting the best possible Google reviews.
Check Your Google Business Profile
Google reviews don’t exist in a void. They’re actually built right into your Google Business Profile.
Your Google Business Profile is what potential patients will see if they do a Google search or a Google Maps search for urgent care centers. Your profile should include basic information about your business, like your address, phone number, web address and hours of operation.
This information is important for three reasons. First, it’s core information about how your urgent care center operates. Second, this is the profile patients are likely to see when they actually need urgent care. In the midst of an emergency, few folks are going to attempt to utilize an urgent care center if they can’t even find an address or hours of operation.
But thirdly, an accurate Google Business Profile makes it infinitely easier for patients to leave reviews.
Always Put the Patient Experience First
As we covered above, there’s no real trick to getting great reviews on Google. Instead, online reviews tend to reflect the patient experience. While there will always be outliers, for the most part, folks will leave reviews that match how they felt about the care they received at your office.
So, if you want solid reviews, put the patient experience first.
The patient experience is more than just the medical care you provide. It’s everything about the experience of visiting your urgent care center, including:
- Bedside manner
- Listening attentively to questions or concerns
- Making the patient feel like a priority
- Fostering trust
- Making the billing and payment process as clear and easy as possible
- Even the comfort level of your waiting room
The easiest way to take stock of the patient experience (aside from looking over recent reviews) is to consider what it’s like for a patient from the time they enter your facility until they’ve completed the billing process. If there are bottlenecks or common points of friction, those are the areas you likely need to address to make the patient experience better.
Promote Your Review Platform
Even if you provide the most incredible experience for your patients, they can’t leave a review if they don’t know how. That’s why you need to make it as convenient as possible.
But this is a bit of a balancing act. While you want patients to know where and how to leave a review, you don’t want to come across as pushy or overbearing. After all, you work in healthcare. Empathy is essential.
Try to make your online review promotion naturally and respectfully.
There are several ways to do that. You might choose to display a review widget or a link on your website. You could send patients a follow-up email that includes, among other things, a request for online reviews. You could even directly ask patients, in follow-up calls, for example, to leave a review.
The key here is to make sure any request for reviews is empathetic and appropriate. You don’t want to ask for a review while a patient is still in significant discomfort.
Reply to Negative Reviews
It’s easy to respond to positive reviews. It feels good to thank a patient for confirming that your staff did a good job. Negative reviews, however, are less pleasant.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Instead, use negative reviews as an opportunity to engage in some strategic reputation management.
Here’s what to do when a patient says they had a less-than-stellar experience.
1. Start with an Apology
Their complaint was public. Your response should be public, too, and it should begin with an apology—even if your apology is as simple as, “We’re sorry you had a bad experience.”
A simple apology conveys empathy and compassion. It’s also the opposite of taking an argumentative stance. (Never do that in response to a negative review.)
2. Fix the Problem
If possible, offer a solution for the issue.
There will be times when no solution is readily available. If they feel you charged too much, you can’t just waive the fees. But you could certainly invite the patient to call your office to “explore other options.”
Keep in mind, your response is public. That means you’re still being held to HIIPA standards, regardless of the information the patient discloses. Never reveal any confidential information in response to a review, positive or negative—directly or by confirmation.
3. Say Thank You
Finally, thank the reviewer for bringing the issue to your attention.
Closing with a thank you conveys an optimistic outlook and also brings a sense of closure to your response. When potential patients read the negative review, they’ll likely look over your response, too. They’ll see that you were gracious, solution-oriented, and even thankful.
Ironically, that kind of response can turn even a scathing review into a positive. It shows how level-headed you and your staff are and casts you as an empathetic medical professional.
Online reviews are the ultimate marketing tool for businesses like yours. After all, you’re genuinely invested in helping people. That will come through in your Google reviews over time.
Just make sure it’s easy for folks to find you online and easy for them to leave reviews. Provide the kind of patient experience that makes positive reviews likely. And when the occasional negative review surfaces, meet it head-on with a kind, generous, humble response.
In doing so, you harness one of the most powerful local marketing tools online. Before long, your urgent care center will be the natural choice for anyone who turns to Google to find quick medical help.
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