Reviews are crucial to the success of a functional medicine clinic. Functional medicine isn’t a mainstream or household term yet. Not many people are “in the know” and may have reservations when it comes to trying a new form of healthcare. When potential patients see positive reviews about your clinic, they’ll be more inclined to give you a call to set up their first appointment.

So, how can functional medicine clinics go about gathering patient reviews?

In this article, the experts at Functional Medicine Marketing are going to illuminate the world of patient reviews. From Google My Business to handling negative reviews, we’ll provide practical steps you can take today to see real results.

By following our recommendations, you’ll achieve the three main goals of patient review marketing:

  • Get more reviews
  • Get 5-star reviews
  • Get descriptive reviews

Optimize Google My Business

Google My Business is going to be your primary source of patient reviews. Google commands an enormous 85% market share of all internet traffic. This means that whenever someone is looking for functional medicine in your area, they’ll likely be using Google.

If your Google My Business page isn’t optimized, you’re losing out on potential visitors and reviewers. Not only will incomplete pages fail to show up in user searches, they won’t be as attractive to reviewers. A customer might subconsciously drop their review from five stars to four stars if, when they go to submit their review, they don’t see photos or descriptions on your clinic’s Google My Business Page.

Follow this checklist when optimizing your Google My Business page:

  • Fill in all information, including business name, address, description, hours, etc.
  • Add high-quality photos of your location and staff. People like to see friendly faces, not just empty waiting rooms.
  • Find a loyal patient to write the first review, perhaps a friend or someone you know personally who has experienced your services. 

Set Up A System for Getting Patient Reviews

Once you have your Google My Business page set up, you’ll want to come up with a standard system for getting patient reviews. Sometimes we forget to ask for reviews. Asking for reviews can also be nerve-wracking. Nobody wants to feel like an inconvenience or take up too much of a patient’s time.

But believe it or not, happy customers like to leave positive reviews for businesses they love!

A standard review system helps you and your team overcome forgetfulness and insecurities. Make sure you can answer these three questions:

  • When do you ask for reviews?

    You should have a set point in the customer journey when you ask for a patient review. Ideally, this is when they’re most satisfied with their experience. Since functional medicine can engage patients for years on end, consider the three-month check-in for reviews. Of course, you should ask for a review any time someone reaches a new milestone or shares positive feedback with your team.

  • Where can people share reviews?

    Google reviews are going to be your top priority. However, there are other places for people to leave reviews. After accumulating 10-plus reviews on Google, you might consider sending people to your Yelp page or Facebook page. Always send reviewers to a specific destination.

  • How can people share reviews?

    Never leave it up to the patient to figure out your review system. In most cases, you want them to leave a review right there in your clinic. Or send them a special link at home. Make it easy!

    • Offer a QR code patients can scan.
    • Send highly-engaged patients a special newsletter asking for a review.
    • Lead the witness by asking specific questions about their experiences.

Respond to Negative Reviews

Nobody likes to receive negative reviews. We want to avoid disappointment at all costs. But eventually, your practice will receive a negative response, and while Google allows you to remove some spam and abusive comments, you’ll likely have to do your best to remediate the negative reviews.

The first step here is to accept that negative reviews happen. The second step is to respond in as helpful a manner as possible. Apologize for the unpleasant experience and offer to make it better. Or outline how your team worked hard to fix the issue at hand.

For example, someone might complain that their appointment was rescheduled. You can reply by saying that you contacted them ahead of time, offered many alternate times, and gave a discount for the inconvenience. 

When you respond to negative patient reviews with professionalism and courtesy, you may win over new patients who appreciate the intentional response. In most cases, people don’t need to see a sterling 5-star rating. Instead, they just need to see that the clinic offers personal, reliable services and cares about their patients’ experiences.

Get Reviews for Other Platforms

To maximize your clinic’s visibility, repeat the Google My Business process for other platforms. The internet is full of free sites that allow you to host business information and collect reviews. You never know where your next patient will be searching for medical care. So cast a wide net and sign up for multiple platforms.

Functional Medicine Marketing recommends creating business profiles on these platforms.

  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Yellow Pages
  • Bing
  • BBB
  • Anywhere your competitors are listed

Make Patient Reviews Part of Your Functional Medicine Marketing Strategy

Most people rely on online reviews in order to decide whether or not to try out a company’s services. One report said that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends. This means that patient reviews aren’t optional. Getting quality, 5-star reviews should be central to your clinic’s marketing strategy.

At Functional Medicine Marketing, we help functional medicine clinics get more patients. We believe in the power of functional medicine. (Many members of our team have benefitted from treatment). If you’d like to become the leading functional medicine practice in your city, the practice that people find when they search online, then reach out for a consultation. 

Ask us questions about getting more patient reviews for your functional medicine clinic!