Posted on April 21, 2014
The Importance of Online Reviews
According to an article by Forrester Research, online reviews are very important. Next to word of mouth and professional review magazines, like consumer reports, online reviews are the third most likely source to get a consumer action for your product or service. As a medical practice you may have already received some bad reviews. If not, consider yourself lucky! As a practice marketing manager you cannot sit back and let reviews destroy the reputation of your physicians and the brand that you have been building for several years. I would in fact suggest a proactive approach. Typically most practices actually sit back and wait for something bad to happen and then react. This is a hard position to be in because to get credible reviews, web content and more in front of searchers on the web, many months could go by where this bad review is harming your practice and even costing you revenue. You should simply proactively seek reviews. Here are a few suggestions:
- Add a Review Us Online page to your website.
- Have review postcards in your office at the front desk and proactively hand them out.
- Have office staff engage when they see a happy patient and use a tablet to get their review.
- Have a review link in your newsletter.
Ask your patients to do a review for you online. Your happy patients will be happy to do this for you, so make it as easy as possible for them. Send them an email with direct links to the review sites to make it easier.
Quotations regarding online review impact
According to the search engine land website, approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
According to BrightLocal, an astonishing 79% of consumers state that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
At the end of the day we have to admit that online reviews have made some serious headway in marketing impact. They have created a new form of marketing and consumer communication that enables the buyer to have more knowledge. The consumer now has more power over your brand than back in the day where interruption style TV commercials dictated purchases. We have watched this change from the TV industrial complex to importance of consumer reviews right in front of our eyes. Businesses that seize the moment will do very well in this new era of marketing. We are seeing massive examples of this in all sorts of businesses. As a consumer why not expand your options for quality instead of settling for what you already know?
Online reviews have power and can…
- Improve brand awareness
- Increase sales
- Improve your local search rankings
- Create patient engagement
- Enable happy patients to market for you
The importance and value of online reviews is getting more important and consumers are acting on purchasing decisions because of what they read. Local consumers are becoming more familiar with online reviews and therefore placing more value and trust in them. If I am putting together my marketing plan for this year and next, you can bet I am going to put a great deal of effort into this part.