5 Steps to Getting More Patient Reviews

March 14, 2017

Reviews are essential to growing and maintaining any business, especially for doctors and medical practices. Reviews not only increase your credibility and reliability in the eyes of prospective patients but also improve your search engine rankings.

Google factors in your Google My Business reviews, Yelp reviews, and other third party reviews in their rankings algorithm. For these reasons, it’s important to learn how to maximize your positive reviews in an ethical manner. Below are five important steps to increasing patient reviews.

1. Ask Patients Following The Appointment

The more personal the review request, the more likely you are to succeed. For this reason, it’s better to have the attending physician ask, rather than the person at the front desk.

Timing is also a huge factor; if you ask the patient right after they had a great appointment, they will be more likely to agree.

Finally, consider how you ask the question. You should initially ask your patient “for a favor” instead of “for a review,” because it sounds more personal. Then, ask them to leave a review later the same day. Explain how your practice can benefit from a review, and tell them that you can email them a link to the review site for their convenience. Lastly, tell the patient that you “look forward to reading their feedback tonight” to set a deadline.

2. Email your Patients

Another method to ask for a review is through email. Emailing is most effective if used in conjunction with asking in person; this way, the email serves as a convenient reminder instead of the initial request.

Paul Morris from Superb Digital provides a handy tip for acquiring more 5 star reviews: search your practice on Google, click “write a review”, and then add “,5” to the end of the URL. Copy the URL to send to your patients. This link pre-fills the Google review with 5/5 stars, so all your patients have to do is enter a comment.

For example, this is a regular link to write a review for docero:


Google My Business Review Link

And this is a link to write a review for docero, with 5 stars selected:


Google My Business Review Link With 5 Stars Pre-Filled

You can shorten this URL using bit.ly, ow.ly, or goo.gl to get a nice, short link to email to patients. This tactic does not prevent patients from changing the star rating, but they will likely keep it as is.

If many of your patients aren’t opening your emails, you can also try this trick from Noah Kagan – all you have to do is send the exact same email with a different subject line to your non-opens a week later. Most email services, such as MailChimp and SumoMe, will allow you to specifically target patients who did not open the email. Noah found that 30% more people read his email after resending the email.

3. Add a Link on your Website

Your website should be a huge driver of new patients to your practice, but many of the people on your site are also returning patients, looking to book another appointment. You can take advantage of this by adding a link to write a review on your website. Chances are if a patient is returning for another appointment, they were happy with their first appointment and are more likely to write a positive review. This method is also a 100% hands off and effortless strategy to getting more patient reviews, so there’s no time wasted if it isn’t fruitful.

4. Use a Review Service/App

You can also take advantage of a review service like Doctor.com or Starloop to get more reviews for your practice. Starloop has an interesting concept, where patients who had a positive experience are prompted to write a review while patients who had a negative experience are prompted to privately contact your office to resolve the issue.

5. Offer Perks/Incentives

Our last tip, which works alongside all of the above methods, is to offer perks! Keep in mind that you cannot offer anything in exchange for a positive review since this is an unethical practice. However, you can offer incentives for an honest review. For example, you can hold a giveaway where patients enter by leaving an honest review; dentists can raffle off an electric toothbrush or teeth whitening kit. You can also offer a coupon for patients who check in on Yelp, and advertise this with a sign in your waiting room.

No matter the strategy you choose to follow, getting more reviews (and managing negative reviews) is imperative for improving your online presence. If you need help getting more reviews or marketing your practice, contact docero today! We are a full-service digital marketing agency, focused exclusively on connecting health care providers with prospective patients in their communities. Let us fill your waiting room with patients!

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