Why You Have A Hard Time Getting Patient Reviews

2 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Jonas Leupe / Unsplash
Table of contents

Did you know 77% of patients use online reviews when choosing a new doctor?

This would be great if all of your patients left you a review. But they rarely do. In fact, according to Yelp, patients who had a negative experience are 20 times more likely to leave a (negative!) review than patients who had a great experience. Oh, and in that same article, they quote 4 out of 5 negative comments about a medical practice have little or nothing to do with the actual medical care delivered!

Patients complain about things like parking availability, bad directions, unhelpful front desk staff, billing issues, or difficulty when scheduling or cancelling an appointment.

How come happy patients are not leaving reviews?

In short, because you're making it hard for them to do so.

When you tell someone to "leave you a review", you're giving them homework. Nobody likes homework. So the logical response to it is: "yes, of course! I'll do it when I get home." But by the time they get home, they've forgotten about the whole thing.

In fact, the longer after their visit the less likely they are to leave a review!

Here are 5 simple things you can change today to get more patient reviews:

1. Focus your efforts on one profile at a time.

Choose one profile to focus on every month or even every quarter and ask patients to leave you a review there.

2. Have them review your practice before they leave.

Patients often have to stop by the front desk after their visit. This is the perfect time to ask them to review your practice!

"Would it be too much to ask you for a review of today's visit? It takes less than a minute. Just scan this code while I pull up the calendar for your next visit."

3. Give them a "template" for their review

Most patients want to say something positive about your practice but struggle coming up with anything meaningful. This results in a boring and generic review. Or simply putting it off altogether. Avoid this by showing them examples of what other patients have written.

4. Set up an off-boarding automation

You should be sending your patients a few follow up messages via email and/or SMS after their visit. These are great to summarize their visit, give them further directions about the treatment you prescribed, and keep them engaged. Make sure to always add the direct link for them to review your practice.

5. Reward positive behavior

Every parent (or dog owner!) knows that a behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated. So make sure to send a brief –but personal– message to patients who leave you a positive review. I like sending video messages using a platform like Bonjoro or Vidyard.


This is just one of the many strategies my clients and I work with in our time together. To learn more about my group coaching programs or to work 1:1 with me, just slide in my DMs on Twitter or LinkedIn and I'll send over the info.

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