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Ask an Expert Desra Simpson

We want more reviews but how do we ask for them?

Great question! I think most people find it difficult or at the very least, uncomfortable, to ask for reviews. I think it’s even harder for those in healthcare.

Most businesses today are asking for reviews one way or another. They have links on their websites and social media pages. They use review generation platforms and send emails or texts. Automation is great and it should be part of your overall reputation management strategy. But the number one way to get a review is still to … ask in person!

Technology will never take the place of the human connection that comes when you look someone in the eye and tell them their opinion matters to you. That’s the advantage those in healthcare have over businesses that ship a product and never see their customer face-to-face.

But I feel weird asking…

I get that! I think it’s important to understand why it feels weird to ask. It’s much easier to ask someone to review something tangible like a beauty product or power tool than asking them to give their honest feedback about the “care” you provided.

Why? Because products either work for someone or they don’t. It’s pretty black and white. But how someone feels about the care you provided is more of a gray space; an intangible. The client’s honest answer will be far more subjective than “it worked great, my skin has never looked better” or “it didn’t have nearly enough power for the job I was doing.” I think this is why so many healthcare providers really struggle when asking for reviews.

Like me - yes or noIt’s intimidating and scary because it feels a little bit like passing a note to your third-grade crush, right?

In our modern “one on every corner” ever-growing competitive landscape, healthcare has evolved into a service industry. People “like” or “don’t like” service and everyone wants to be liked! It’s the human condition.

It’s ok…they expect you to ask

For many years hotels and restaurants have been asking us what we thought of their service. We expect to get the “How was your visit” form when we check out or pay our bill. Asking a patient about your service is the same thing. It is becoming the norm. The general public understands that online reputation is important. Reviews are important to them too.

88% have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision.

And you could neglect to tell them where to leave a review for you and if they aren’t happy…they’ll find a way right?

45% share bad customer service experiences and 30% share good customer service experiences via social media. {source}

Again, human nature drives unhappy people to complain while happy people will stay silent…until you ask!

I think overcoming the fear or awkwardness in asking for reviews happens when you change your mindset. And when you help, your team does the same. Don’t see it as “how many reviews can we get”, look at it as we want every client to know that their happiness is our priority. Think “how well are we serving our clients?” instead of “we need more reviews”.

Let it be natural…

In healthcare especially, people are looking for someone they can trust to genuinely care about them. Tell them you do. And then ask them what they think. Using an open-ended question will give you the greatest opportunity to get meaningful feedback.

“My team and I genuinely care about our client’s happiness. What do you think of our service?”

Let them tell you how they feel. Show them you are open to their feedback. Thank them if they share with you. Some will and some won’t and that’s ok. You have laid the foundation and communicated to them that their opinion matters. That will make the follow-up question easier…

“I am so glad you’re happy. Sharing your experience will help others choose us. You can help give them a sense of our service. We’d so appreciate a review from you. Would you do that for us?”  

Whatever you say, let it be natural! Like you’re asking a friend … “hey what did you think of that new burger place?”.

Timing is everything…

It will be much easier to ask your client for their review when you pick the right time to ask.

  • First, make sure you’ve communicated that you truly care about what they have to say
  • Train yourself and your team to look for opportunities to work the request into normal conversation
  • Be looking for signs that they are happy with your service – strike while the iron’s hot!
  • Choose a time when they aren’t rushed to answer and you have time to listen

If you need a boost…review them first!

Plant review seeds while they are in your office by providing them feedback first. Something like…

“You are a great client. I appreciate your loyalty and you always have great stories to tell me.”

“I love having you as a client. You’re a great person to be around.”

“I’d love to have more clients like you.”

OR…

“If we could review clients on Google. I’d give you 5 stars!”

See what I did there? #BOOM

Look for opportunities to genuinely compliment them. It makes it a lot easier to ask them if they like you when you’ve told them you like them first!

Already part of the Affordable Image family but curious about how we can help you generate more online reviews. New to Affordable Image and want to know how we can help with your overall marketing strategy? CALL 800.405.1434 NOW! We’ll help you get started before you can say “I give them five stars!!”