Prospective plastic surgery patients count on patient reviews marketing to help them decide which plastic surgeon is right for them.
What other patients say gives them reassurance they are choosing wisely and it helps them avoid regret is choosing poorly.
That’s why you want to focus on good patient online reviews since reviews have become EVERYTHING for a plastic surgery practice to attract new patients and grow.
Online review Stats
The stats below how much weight reviews have when consumers are trying to make a good decision:
#1 – 72% of Consumers Trust Online Reviews as Much as Personal Word-of-Mouth Referrals.
#2 – 90% of Customers Say Buying Decisions Are Influenced by Online Reviews
#3 – Doctors are the SECOND most reviewed search group with restaurants being the first. (BrightLocal)
Here is some more crazy reality for you. In today’s social media world, patient online reviews have become as significant as your skills as a surgeon. Yikes!
A surgeon can be excellent at his kraft yet stir up negativity by keeping the patient waiting too long or be dismissive or staff is rude and that can start a stream of bad reviews that will haunt you forever.
Prospective cosmetic patients see that “bad press” and, since they have so much choice, decide to go elsewhere.
That means what OTHERS say about you is infinitely more important than what YOU are saying about you on your Website and in your advertising.
So, do NOT leave this to chance. They are one of the most important plastic surgery marketing: what’s working now strategies to build trust and credibility between you and new cosmetic patients.
Why Patient Reviews Are So Important
Positive patient reviews are great for marketing your practice because they do so much of the heavy lifting for you such as:
- More prospective patients are attracted to you to learn more
- Google sees you as credible and ranks you better in the search results
- This social proof helps prospective patients say yes to you
Patients reviews are the closest to word-of-mouth you can get. Since they are so vital to your online footprint, you can hope they happen, or you can proactively set up systems to make them happen a whole lot more often.
By the way, if you want to see your own reviews, simple type, “your name, MD reviews” into the google search box and see what comes up:
Which Review Sites?
There are numerous consumer review sites to help the general public find a reputable plastic surgeon and these are the most used for our industry:
Since a patient is not likely to post a review on all of them, I would prioritize with google and Yelp being the top two since google will help your search rankings and patients love Yelp (even though you may not).
How Do You Get Great Reviews?
This is a given…A good review starts with a happy patient who was treated well and got a good result. They like you and feel a connection with you.
Be sure your staff, office, ambiance and processes are set up for a 5-star patient experience. Once you have that right, here are patient review strategies that work well:
In order to get the most candid feedback, display a suggestion box for your patients to stop by after checking out from that day’s visit. This not only gives you great feedback, it can also stop a bad review from happening when the patient was able to vent their frustration if something didn’t go well.
I highly recommend conducting a patient survey for your cosmetic patients at least annually to get their feedback. You’ll learn so much about what’s working or not.
A survey should be digital, quick and easy to complete and include a compelling reason to do it ($50 Gift Card towards their next visit works well).
It tells your patients you care about them and you are listening to them with the intent to improve their experience with you and your staff.
Vendor Review Automated System
You can also use one of the vendor online review systems where you hand your patient an ipad to complete the review process right then and there. If the review is good, they will upload it to the various review sites (be sure they can upload to google).
It’s similar to the suggestion box and a great idea but it has drawbacks. The patient might feel bamboozled and pressured to leave you a good review and/or they may hurry through it by giving you the stars but no comments and that defeats the purpose.
No matter how you do it, the trick is to get way more HAPPY patients giving you 5-star plastic surgery online patient reviews than unhappy patients.
For example, some of your high-maintenance patients may have criticized your staff and you unfairly in their review, so you need to drown them out with the patients who are happy with your work and with their experience with you.
Here are the steps to follow to get great plastic surgery online reviews quickly:
Patient selection and timing is crucial.
You need to catch your patient when they are gushing about you and their result.
Most likely, that is at their post-op appointment when they are looking good and feeling ECSTATIC about their result.
This is when YOU, the surgeon, ask them for a review in a comfortable way; i.e.,
“Susan, I’m so glad you’re happy with your result. Can you please do me a favor? You know how important online reviews are for others who are also looking for a good result. Would you mind writing a review?
Now your staff meets with your cosmetic patient to go over the contents of your patient review kit.
Focus on google. Find out if your patient has a Gmail account set up. If they don’t, offer to set up the account for them so they can then write the review at home on their own computer.
Or, better yet, have them write the review right now, in your office, from their cell phone.
So, the plastic surgery patient online review kit contains:
-Introductory heartfelt letter
-Instructions for posting a review online
-Starbuck gift card*
*While you never want to pay anyone for a review, you can certainly thank them for their time in a small way.
What is a Good Plastic Surgery Online Patient Review?
One of the biggest reasons your happy patients don’t give you a review is that they are busy. You are asking them to stop their day and write something that will go out to the world.
Help them help you. The introductory letter includes starter sentences for them to complete since a good review tells a full story; i.e.,
I wanted to improve ___________because ________
I chose Dr. Smith because _____________________
My experience with the doctor and staff was _________
How I feel about my result _____________________
If your patient does NOT upload a review within 48 hours, have the same staff person who walked them through the review kit call them and say,
“Hi Susan, Dr. Smith and I are looking forward to your review and haven’t seen it yet.
Is there anything I can help you with?
Most likely, that will prompt them to do it now.
Thank them in any way that really shows your appreciation. That could be a simple phone call, a handwritten letter, a little extra Botox at their next visit, etc.
There is a saying “Behavior that is rewarded is repeated? Just be sure your patient knows how much you appreciate their support.
This strategy works. A plastic surgery practice followed these instructions and handed out 12 packets and within 21 days, they had 7 new plastic surgery patient online reviews.
Please get together with your team and come with a process to create your own patient reviews marketing plan to get a steady flow of plastic surgery patient reviews. It’s that important to your success.
Patient reviews are a funny thing. Most practices don’t pay much attention to them until they get a bad one and it’s too late.
Please see reviews as a vital part of your marketing plan that you plan and monitor carefully.
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