Google Reviews & Patient Engagement for Specialty Practices
At Intiveo, we get a lot of questions from specialty practices about Google reviews. What is the importance of Google reviews? When should my practice ask for them? Why should this be a priority for me? And what does this have to do with patient engagement?
Google reviews are an essential part of building your practice’s reputation. This is part of what makes them so essential to practice management for specialties. And, the good news is that it can be both strategic and easy to implement.
Let’s see how.
Why Google Reviews?
Online reviews are a powerful tool in practice management for specialties. Many patients can be anxious about specialty procedures. Often, these procedures are more intensive than something they might experience at a general dentistry office.
This is where seeing other patients’ reviews become part of advocating for your specialty practice. BrightLocal’s Consumer Review in 2023 offered some key statistics on this. It revealed that Google is far and away the most trusted review platform for any industry, including healthcare. Not only this, in response to the question “How important a part do online reviews play in your decision to use them?” for healthcare, this review discovered that:
- 31% of respondents said that reviews were “important”
- 53% of respondents said that reviews were “very important”
If we add these together, this means that 84% of potential patients are choosing your practice based on Google Reviews
This is especially revealing because 66% of respondents said that they use reviews to select a healthcare provider. This is an incredibly promising statistic for any business – and, specifically patient engagement for specialty practices, where supporting patients through sometimes complex procedures is a key part of the work.
Naturally, a question that comes up a lot for many practices is what happens when someone leaves a negative Google review.
As it turns out, this is not a common occurrence! Patients are mostly moved to write positive reviews. In fact, we know that:
- Only 1% of patients leave extremely negative reviews
- Only 10% of patients leave somewhat negative reviews
Google reviews, in particular, are powerful because they move your practice up in the algorithm. Google privileges well-reviewed businesses in their algorithm, allowing more potential patients to see your practice.
What we can conclude is that harnessing the power of reputation management is an essential for sustaining your specialty practice.
Patient Engagement: The Right Message at the Right Time
A natural question that comes up in practice management is: when is the right time to ask for a Google review?
Choosing to send the right message at the right time is a key part of patient engagement. It is part of a messaging cadence that is specific to the procedure and to the patient.
Many practices choose to send Google review requests in bulk. While this method may seem efficient, because this way lots of patients are being asked at once, it doesn’t catch most patients at their emotional peak. If you are sending in bulk, you may not be catching patients who are fresh from an appointment cycle with your practice.
At Intiveo, what we’ve seen from our clients is that it is always key to contact their patients at that emotional peak. Sending a request for feedback or review should come at the end of the patient’s appointment journey. Not necessarily right after the procedure itself – be sure to send after the follow-up appointment! This allows the patient to comment on the full spectrum of their treatment.
It’s also important to make it easy. From the patient’s point of view, simply clicking on a link that sends them to Google, or a link that allows them to give constructive feedback.
How Intiveo Can Support You
As we’ve mentioned in this blog already, we’ve received some great feedback from our clients about the importance of patient engagement and Google reviews alike. You can hear more from our clients on the different ways that leveraging patient engagement software has helped their practices. We also offer a number of resources to help you strategize for reputation management and patient engagement.
Our software solution is fully customizable and elevates specialty practices through user-friendly automated messaging and reputation management. We are proud to be the leading choice for OMS practice in Canada and the United States, as well as trusted by many other specialty practices.
Curious to learn more about how Intiveo can help manage patient engagement and build your reputation? Book a meeting today!