The Journey to More Positive Online Reviews
Whenever you see a good online review on a business or medical provider’s profile, there’s an entire story that exists outside of the sentence and star-rating that’s been publicly posted. The easy route you could take is to see a positive online review and move on. The right way to reflect on every online review? Think about the journey that went into it and understand how you can replicate it to earn good online reviews on your own online review profiles.
Whether or not you planned on creating a journey that goes into your online reviews, it exists. For both good and bad online reviews, a series of events had to transpire in order for a patient, customer, or client to take time out of their day and go online to find your profile then write a online review.
Much like Jeff Goldblum so clearly said, online reviews…uh…find a way.
This means that, as a business owner or practice manager, you need to think about the events that take place to create a good (or bad) online review. Your goal is to replicate as many good events as possible while minimizing the events that lead to negative experiences, and thus negative online reviews.
Milestone Experiences That Go Into a Good Online Review
When you’re creating a journey for your good online reviews, you’ll want to think about each of the milestones that culminate into the online reviews that appear on your profile. We’re going to breakdown what these milestone experiences look like for both medical practices and traditional businesses.
Encountering the Front Desk
Before you think about anything else, you will want to take a look at the front desk of your business, hospital, or medical practice. Why? Because customers and patients are looking for a human as soon as they walk through your doors, even before they start to look at their surroundings.
Your front desk staff is the first milestone that a customer or patient is going to encounter, as they look for guidance to navigate your business before moving on to the next phases.
Though it’s nearly impossible to have staff that’s 100% on point, front desk staff needs to be trained on how to properly manage busy and difficult situations on top of appropriately greeting individuals that are entering your establishment. Similarly, staff should be trained on how to call patients and customers back for paperwork in a friendly and welcoming manner.
One of the most common complaints found on negative online reviews, especially for medical practices, discuss negative behavior from the front desk staff. These negative online reviews focus on front desk staff that aren’t mindful of what customers and patients overhear, don’t interact with a respectful and friendly tone, and seem to forget to complete certain tasks.
If you are working to create the perfect journey, you will need to work with your front desk staff to hear their concerns and implement new standards that both support staff and provide clients with the best experience possible. Sometimes, this may mean parting way with a staff member who is specifically named multiple times in negative online reviews. In other situations, adding additional staff can alleviate and improve overall service.
Is Your Office Welcoming?
Secondary to the front desk milestone that every customer and patient must encounter is your office in general.
Now, we know it’s impossible for every business to have a top-of-the-line, exceptional office space to welcome customers and patients into. However, offices and businesses should keep any area that a customer or patient could walk into clean and welcoming.
After all, it’s safe to say that no one likes to sign paperwork on a cluttered desk or stare at a stained wall while they wait for their doctor’s appointment to begin.
To make this milestone a positive one, take a good look at your surroundings. Does the office need a new coat of paint? Are chairs and tables wiped down regularly – or do they have cracks or stains in them?
In some cases, these fixes can be completed within tighter budgets while making a huge difference in the experience customers have with your business.
Medical Practices, This Means You too
If you run a medical practice, you understand the importance of patient comfort when it comes to providing them with quality care. The environment of your office is key in making this happen successfully, especially as patients are waiting to see you both in the waiting room and in the exam room.
Take a look around the waiting room: is it cluttered? Are there stains or cracks in the chairs? Do the walls or desks have smears on them? You should be looking at details as small as the magazines you offer: are they damaged or relatively new?
Inside of your exam rooms, make sure containers for non-sterile instruments (such as cotton balls) are clean and closed. Try to modernize exam rooms as much as possible, which may mean a fresh coat of light grey paint, for example.
Interactions with You Really Matter
The next major milestone that a client or patient will reach after encountering your front desk and your business’s environment is their interaction with you!
Make sure that you’re able to provide them with humanistic service that is friendly, compassionate, straightforward, and professional.
What You Need to do as a Business
If you own a business like a retail store, car dealership, hotel, or restaurant, you already know that face-to-face interactions are key.
Make sure you take time to train staff, and yourself, to listen to customers and work with them successfully to ensure that their experience with you is a positive one. As a result of these trainings, staff should know how to properly handle sensitive information (if something were to come up), how to navigate emotional or upset customers, and how to help them even if they may not know the answer to their questions right away.
By working with your staff to provide adequate support to clients, everyone who comes in through your doors should be heading in the right direction toward having a positive experience. If there is an issue, or situation, that requires you as the business owner to step in, you should be similarly prepared to work with them to fulfill any needs.
Medical Practitioners And Doctors Need to Focus on Bedside Manner
Time and time again, bedside manner has proven to be the most important factor in a patient’s experience. It’s true that some patients struggle with being poked and prodded, which may mean that their overall experience isn’t perfect. However, their experience with you should always be a 10/10.
Doctors and practitioners alike understand that connecting with patients is key, but we’d just like to emphasize how much value patients place on this. As you know, good medicine manner is one of the key points taught in medical school that is separate from medical knowledge itself.
Through the years, and throughout busy days, some of those lessons can get lost. It’s important, therefore, to take a breather between patients to decompress and be able to give all of your attention to them.
Better patient experiences come from doctors who take the time to introduce themselves in a friendly manner, who make eye contact and use their body language to follow what the patient is saying. Some physicians like to relate to their patients with (appropriate) personal stories to put the patient at ease, and we always recommend the doctors, surgeons, and nurse practitioners that we work with to do what feels comfortable and natural to them while working with patients.
Asking the right questions
Another major milestone that customers and patients alike will encounter is your ability to ask the right questions. Like most things in like, asking the right questions may get you further than you think possible.
When working with customers, or patients, face-to-face, make sure you are asking them the right questions. This could mean that you ask them what color and size of a dress they’re looking for, and bringing a few extra size options for them to try on.
Similar, in the medical industry, the right questions could not only help lead you to a proper diagnosis, but also to a better relationship with the patient if they see that you are actively participating in learning about them and their history.
Us at RepCheckup, as a reputation management team, understand that following up is a huge milestone you want to reach if you are hoping to gain a positive online review and a repeat customer.
It’s important to follow up with a client within a day or two of their in-store or in-office experience. This is key when it comes to ensuring that person remembers their experience and that they’re motivated to actually post their opinion publicly.
Because text messages are the number one form of communication that garners a high open rate, we always recommend using text messages to follow up with customers and patients alike. Though this can be done manually, using a tool like RepCheckup would allow you to save valuable time reaching out for and responding to online reviews.good online reviewsgood online reviews