And if trust plays a role in which Thai place you’re going to for dinner, which movie you’re going to see this weekend, which hotel you’re going to stay in, and more, then it’s certainly going to play a role in which dentist you frequent, which doctors you rely on, and which health care providers you choose to give your business to. Customers trust those in the health care industry with their well-being, their safe-keeping, and essentially, their lives.
In the past, the best way to build trust (besides offering excellent service) was word of mouth. Doctors would rely on their current patients to spread the word for them, tout them as reliable and as the best in their field to their neighbors, their families, their friends, their coworkers or others asking for a good recommendation. But today, your customers are putting their trust in something else as well, and turning to yet another source to give them feedback and advice: the Internet.
Building trust, reaching new customers, and growing your practice or business, involves having a positive reputation and great reviews online.
Customers are turning to online reviews to tell them which members of the health care industry to trust. If your business doesn’t have a trustworthy, reliable, approachable, reputable presence online, it’s going to make acquiring new customers (and even keeping old ones) far more difficult; you need to show patients and customers online why you should be trusted. How? Positive customer reviews.
A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of 1,000 representative consumers showed that 48% of them read, and pay attention to, reviews of businesses in the health care industry shared on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Vitals, HealthGrade, a number of social media platforms and more. And even more impressive, 68% of those who read online health care reviews use that information to choose where they will go to receive that care. Acquiring new customers by overcoming negative reviews, and generating better ratings, rankings and reviews on the sites that matter most is key, especially for businesses in the health care industry whose customers have a much higher lifetime value than those of businesses in other industries.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to to strive to collect and share more positive reviews online.
Ask your patients to speak out, make it easy for customers to leave reviews and direct them to the review sites that matter most. Encourage them to share their experiences with others online looking for advice on who to give their business to, but more importantly, who to trust.