Online Reviews: Something Your Practice Can No Longer Ignore
Online reviews have been around for a while now, but you still see local businesses that are not devoting resources to building their reviews, managing their reviews, and addressing negative reviews. Having a strategy not only to build your online reviews but also to manage your online reputation is no longer simply an option for a local business — it’s a necessity.
A Few Stats That Illustrate the Importance of Online Reviews
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Negative reviews have convinced 94% of consumers to avoid a business.
- In 2018, 28% of consumers say they are likely to leave a positive review after a good experience.
- In 2018, 34% of consumers say they are likely to leave a negative review after a bad experience.
- Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business — up from 6 last year.
Beyond consumers loving and trusting reviews, Google and other search engines are trusting online reviews more and more. In fact, many experts agree it is becoming one of the top-ranking factors for small businesses. One stat shows it can account for 13% of your overall local search rank on Google.
Local Business Ranking No. 1 With a Strong Online Review Portfolio
Where to Focus on Getting Online Reviews
There are many sites that offer a place for consumers to post online reviews of your business, but there are three that can have the most impact for your practice.
If your business is going to focus on building and managing online reviews, we recommend having a solid presence on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. These are the top three most-visited sites providing business reviews.
Not only are these the most relevant review sites for your practice, but other sites like Bing will pull reviews directly from your Yelp and Facebook pages, making them even more powerful. Keep in mind that even though Google does have over 63 percent of search engine market share, Bing has 24 percent market share.
Bing Business Listings Pulling in Reviews From Facebook and Yelp
Ready to Respond to Reviews? You Need to Have Your Business Claimed
To manage and respond to reviews on these sites, you need to have claimed or created a business page.
Something that is extremely important to understand is that even if you have not claimed a business listing on Google or Yelp, your business could still be listed on one of these sites where people are posting reviews.
This is a perfect example of a local business that has received reviews on their Yelp business listing despite their page being unclaimed, which means they are unable to respond to the two negative reviews they have received.
It may seem obvious that a business should respond to a negative online review, but we run into many instances where a negative review goes unaddressed. The fact that the business is not addressing and working to resolve the issue with that person means it is affecting the decision-making of prospects who are looking for the services and products the business offers.
- Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses.
- 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.
- 63% say that a business has never responded to their review.
To ensure you are able to respond to reviews and have a quality online review strategy, you need to check if you already have a business listing and if that listing is claimed.
- For Google, you can visit their My Business Page to check if your listing has already been created and claimed or if you still need to set one up.
- For Yelp, you can visit The Yelp For Business Owners Page to check whether your listing has been created and claimed.
- Most people already have a Facebook business page, but if you don’t, you can visit Facebook Business to begin setting up your Facebook business page. Keep in mind that you need a personal Facebook account to set up your business page.
Start Building Out Your Reviews
Now that you have ensured your business listings have been claimed, you can really start increasing your reviews.
7 out of 10 consumers will leave online reviews for a business if they’re asked to
It simply goes back to the common saying in sales: “You need to ask for the sale” to get the sale. There will be patients who post an online review without you having to ask, but to see a significant increase in online reviews across various sites, you need to ask your patients for the review.
Here are some different ways you can ask for online reviews from your patients. The key here is to be diverse in the way you ask and to give the patient several options for where they can post the review. (This is why it is critical to have your listings claimed and optimized.)
- Create a page on your website with links to each review site. Again, give the patient the option of which site they want to leave a review on. This also helps create diversity in where your reviews go. It adds more credibility to your practice.
- Send an email to your patients asking for an online review after they have had a positive experience at your business. If you don’t have an automated system like Audigy’s Online Review Builder, it is critical to be 100 percent positive you only send these types of emails to your happiest patients.
- Create marketing materials such as posters, postcards, and table-top cards that you can leave in your office and share with your patients reminding them to leave reviews. Google is now offering a free tool that allows your business to easily create posters, stickers, table-tent cards and social media posts. Keep in mind these are strictly focused on asking for reviews on your Google business listing, so this can be a good start for a practice that does not have the resources to build out custom materials and content for all their review sites. Here are some examples of what the Google site can do.
YouTube Video Featuring Multiple Reviews and Thanking Your Reviewers and Customers
- Use an Online Review Builder platform if you want to streamline a lot of these processes. It can take time to create all the marketing materials needed to build out a quality program. Online review programs can offer services that automate a lot of the manual processes of sending one-off emails to patients. There are several options out there for online reviews, so make sure you do your research to ensure the program you consider is HIPAA compliant.
Audigy does have an online review builder that we’ve vetted and designed specifically for hearing care practices. If you would like to see how this program works or the results that it is getting practices like yours, visit our review site to learn more or to request a consultation.
Whether you start with building your own online reviews program or choose to use an online review builder platform like Audigy’s, your practice can no longer sit on the sidelines without increasing your online reviews.