We use online reviews for everything — finding a new restaurant, seeing if a new movie is worth checking out, deciding if a purchase is worth our money, etc. But did you know that 90% of people use online reviews in some capacity to evaluate healthcare providers?1
While this may initially be a scary thought, it doesn’t have to be. Online reviews do expose our vulnerability by capturing the customer’s raw emotions, but they also create opportunities to thrive and shine. And when it comes to online reviews in the rehab therapy industry, many providers are missing out on some of these major opportunities.
In a recent webinar titled Online Reviews: The Best (and Worst) Trend in Rehab Therapy, Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA and Net Health’s VP of Therapy, discussed the opportunities rehab therapy practices may be missing out on when it comes to online reviews.
The Opportunity to Set the Conditions
There’s a tendency when receiving a negative online review to attribute the problem to the reviewer.
“They must have just had a bad day.”
“They didn’t follow our instructions and that’s why they had a bad experience.”
“They were just an unpleasant person.”
And while, yes, sometimes these things are true and outside of our scope of control, that’s not always the case.
The opportunity here for rehab therapists is to cash in on the value of honest feedback. If a customer shares they had a bad experience, take an objective look at what they’re sharing. Are there ways that we can improve?
The inputs that drive reviews are the conditions we set that are experienced by customers. If we can identify areas where we can improve, we can strengthen these conditions to output better reviews.
Embrace the quality feedback and do what needs to be done to improve the customer experience. It’s an amazing opportunity that often gets dashed by ego.
The Opportunity to Slay the Giant
Competing in a market that’s dominated by a major hospital group or a sizeable and established player can seem daunting. In the pre-review times, the only way to beat these giants that had unlimited marketing resources was to build word-of-mouth referrals by offering superior service.
Today, that same opportunity exists. Think of online reviews as the new word of mouth. It’s the new water cooler. When people visit online review sites to choose a rehab therapy provider, they aren’t looking at the size of the businesses—they’re looking at the quality of the reviews. They aren’t asking how many locations a therapy provider has; they’re asking about results and customer experience.
Online reviews are an incredibly cost-effective way for smaller players in the market to get a leg up, especially when you’ve set the conditions to offer a better customer experience.
The Opportunity to Tangibly Capture Wins
Just because you deliver a five-star experience to a customer doesn’t automatically translate into a glowing review. People live busy lives, and they may not be as well-versed in the importance of these reviews to your practice.
The opportunity here is to find ways to identify customers having great experiences, ask them if they’d be willing to share a review at the right time, and provide the resources to make that happen with minimal effort from the customer. Getting these three elements right can be a challenge, but it’s important.
For example, if you have a patient who comes in and has an amazing time with treatment, but you wait a few weeks to get the review, you may run into problems. Maybe they had a bad experience with their insurance company that they’ll incorrectly blame on you? Maybe they reinjured themselves and attribute that to you?
By capitalizing on this opportunity at the right time and in the right way, you minimize these issues and increase your chances to drive quality reviews.
How Do I Capitalize on These Opportunities?
There are several concrete steps you can take today to start capitalizing on these opportunities to drive business and better the customer experience. Net Health offers a full suite of tools to help drive online reviews and boost your business.
Why Online Reviews are the Best (and Worst) Trend in Physical Therapy
1 Software Advice, “How Patients Use Online Reviews”, 2020.