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How To Manage Patient Expectations: Why Reviews Matter

Image of Soriah Esquivel
Soriah Esquivel

When it comes to establishing a positive online reputation for your therapy and rehab practice, cultivating Google reviews with the help of other engagement tools is paramount. Often these reviews play a vital role in a patient’s first impression, which can set off a chain of expectations that you either did not intend to set, you don’t have the means to fulfill or worse, prevents the consumer from contacting you at all. 

It can be difficult to strategically maintain a positive digital presence, so join us as we take a deeper look at the power of Google reviews, learn more about evolving patient standards and discover how to foster positive first impressions with your target audiences.

Online Reviews Are Important To Your Practice

When it comes to healthcare, a staggering 84% of consumers use online reviews to evaluate providers prior to making an appointment and 80% of consumers trust those reviews as if they were recommendations from a close friend or family member! With numbers like that, it goes without saying that Google reviews can be a powerful asset when it comes to attracting new clients.

While the five star rating system can be daunting, thankfully you don’t have to stress over a flawless score: “More than half of consumers say reviews that are less than perfect appear more ‘authentic’. In fact, six out of ten say that they will continue to do more research on products that have perfect, five-star reviews.” That just goes to show that being genuine and transparent is essential, because even negative reviews can be turned around with a thoughtful, empathetic reply!

That being said, your digital marketing strategy should definitely strive for the best review scores possible. At the end of the day, 92% of healthcare providers are competing for who can boast the better patient experience, because without a visible history of patient satisfaction, your practice may very well not even appear on the first page of search results, much less on a patient’s radar.

Generating More Reviews

Don’t worry - you don’t need to be overwhelmed by patient visits in order to secure a healthy number of online reviews. Studies show that between email, phone calls or even messages on social media platforms, text messaging is the most effective way to reach consumers. In fact, texting has a 209% higher average open rate than other forms of messaging, with 95% of texts opened within 3 minutes!

With the proper digital communication tools set in place, you can improve the chance of your current patient-base leaving public feedback. By sending an automated text message after each appointment with a link to write a Google review, you can better take advantage of those statistics and significantly increase the odds of a patient leaving a review that’s influenced by your satisfaction surveys. For more information on how to utilize patient feedback beyond Google reviews, check out our previous blog post here.

Setting The Standard For Patient Expectations 

Your online presence should cater to the information that patients want to see, but with your reputation relying heavily on the personal experiences of your current clients, it can be hard to guarantee that the details you want to flaunt are actually making it into online reviews. By determining what potential customers are looking for in reviews, you can structure and influence the type of feedback your current patients are leaving. 

To get you started in the right direction, we’ve compiled a small list of patient expectations based on hard numbers that can easily be addressed with the right technology at your fingertips.

  1. Real Time Communication

Patients value highly responsive and accessible channels of communication. When polled, 82% of consumers want immediate responses when they leave a message via webchat, text message, email or phone. Using a practice management system that supports multiple channels of communication as well as the ability to design custom engagement campaigns is key to establishing a seamless and unified online persona worth reviewing.

  1. Virtual Payment Options

In today’s digital age, physical paperwork is quickly becoming a thing of the past and many healthcare practices are making the switch to software based documentation. Despite this transition, InstaMed’s Annual Trends In Healthcare Payments reports that 81% of providers still send paper bills in the mail, an outdated collection tactic that’s dwindling in success.

However, it should come as no surprise that people want virtual payment options and 80% of patients specifically want to pay using their phone. With text messaging established as the most effective way to communicate, combining texting with virtual payment options can give your practice the best of both worlds: streamlined collection rates and satisfied clients. 

  1. High Engagement

Meeting the level of engagement that patients expect can be a lot of work, but with the power of automation, you can satisfy everyone and increase the odds of positive feedback online! High engagement goes beyond just the experience of an actual appointment - it starts the moment a patient decides to make contact with your practice and can continue well after the appointment has concluded.

By combining real time communication channels with automated reminders and follow up text messages, you can create the perfect opportunity to push Google reviews that showcase exactly the kind of information consumers are looking for. Just keep in mind that 70% of clients expect provider followup within 48 hours, so don’t wait too long to send a patient feedback form!

Creating an online presence can be a tremendous task in of itself, not to mention trying to collect positive Google reviews! Thankfully, with the help of automated engagement, taking the time and effort to effectively establish your practice can quickly become a positive feedback loop, with current patient reviews influencing the expectations of future clients.

Interested in a software that can handle all of these needs? Check out our website to see how Raintree’s all-in-one platform can help you facilitate meaningful patient engagement, streamline practice management and more!


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