Online Review Management for Healthcare Facilities: 5 Tips

A nurse takes notes as she talks with an elderly couple at an assisted living facility.

Online review management is essential to your business, even if it’s a healthcare facility. An astounding 93% of internet users report online reviews impact their consumer choices. The cost to your facility of not having a strategic approach to online customer feedback is a loss of potential business and damage to your hard-earned reputation.

This begs the question: Are you managing your online reviews, or are they managing you? An online review management process helps your business by monitoring customer reviews across the web to respond to feedback, report fake reviews, and address complaints. In this article, we’ll ease your burden by providing valuable tips on how to manage online reviews.

1. Learn the Benefits of Customer Reviews

Understanding the benefits of online reviews provides insight into what a great asset they are to your facility when leveraged appropriately. In addition, you can share these benefits with senior leadership to enlist their support for any additional staff hours or costs required to implement your strategy. Customers use online reviews to get information that other sources, like CMS reports, can’t provide, including resident and patient opinions and perspectives.

The benefits of managing online reviews include the following:

  • raising your resident and patient satisfaction ratings, and in turn, your facility’s reputation, by addressing issues and concerns
  • increasing Medicare reimbursement to your residence as a direct result of higher patient satisfaction scores
  • building trusting relationships with residents, patients, and their families
  • offering the highest level of care by adapting to the needs and trends identified through the reviews

2. Respond to the Reviews

Potential clients and their families judge how engaged and invested your facility is in your current residents by seeing if you reply to reviews and how well you address issues and concerns. Readers trust online reviews as an attestation to your facility’s credibility and reputation. Not responding to reviews, particularly the negative ones, is a response in and of itself.

Here is some practical guidance from Google on how online review management can protect your reputation and attract prospective residents and patients.

Positive Reviews:

  • Respond to residents, patients, or their families with a simple and genuine thank you for their positive feedback. Acknowledging them to show appreciation helps build loyalty.
  • Example: Thank you for sharing! We’re delighted that you are enjoying your experience at Sunnyside Assisted Living.

Negative Reviews:

  • Respond promptly.
  • Stay professional and polite — the reviews are public for everyone to view.
  • Understand their experience with your facility — this is an excellent opportunity to learn and improve your business.
  • Apologize when appropriate.
  • Offer to talk it over if they have a complaint — this prevents getting into a lengthy response exchange while demonstrating your desire to rectify.
  • Sign your name or initials to the response to show you’re authentic and genuine.
  • Example: Ms. Doe, thank you for bringing this misunderstanding to my attention. Please call at your convenience so I can learn about what happened and quickly resolve this matter for you. – Florence (Nursing Administrator)

Fake or Inappropriate Reviews:

  • While most reviews are genuine, there is always the possibility that your facility will receive a fake review or one containing illegal or offensive content.
  • Take these reviews seriously; they can harm your hard-earned reputation and business.
  • Flag the review so the online platform can investigate for violations against their content policy and remove it.

3. Prioritize Your Responses

Your time is valuable. Part of an efficient strategy for online review management is prioritizing your responses based on where reviews are posted. They’ll have their choice among many review platforms, but there are clear favorites. Collectively, three sites have amassed 82% of online reviews:

  • Google Business Profile (73%): As the platform that three out of four customers use to check reviews, Google can make or break your standing among your healthcare competitors.
  • Yelp (6%): Besides providing customer reviews on nursing facilities, Yelp has teamed up with ProPublica to provide key information based on federal data, such as the number of beds, fines, serious deficiencies, etc.
  • Facebook (3%): People regularly check Facebook reviews due to convenience since they’re already on the social media platform. The reader also has the benefit of being able to direct message the review writer for additional information.
  • While not among the most popular, this website is worth an honorable mention. They’re gaining recognition for the integrity of their resident nursing home reviews as a senior care expert reads every submission before publication.

4. Showcase Your Reviews

Happy residents, patients, and families are a testament to a wonderful facility. An impressive 74% of consumers will trust a business more if they have positive reviews. Showcasing positive reviews is an intelligent, cost-effective approach to bolstering your reputation and marketing your facility.

To do this:

  • Ensure your facility webpage makes a great first impression.
  • Selectively choose and spotlight positive reviews on your website.
  • Place them strategically — i.e., near your blogs or press releases — to increase engagement.
  • Provide Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. links on your homepage to make viewing and submitting reviews easier.
  • Email clients and their families to ask for their review and provide the link. It’s a natural prompt for those with a positive experience to respond.

5. Invest in an Online Review Management Tool

Your facility may feel confident in knowing how to manage online reviews or may wish to enlist help. There’s a wide selection of ratings and reviews software companies that specialize in customer online feedback, including reviews for facilities.

Depending on the company and the package option you choose, services can include:

  • Sending automated personalized feedback requests to clients.
  • Consolidating all your reviews across the web into one dashboard.
  • Promoting positive testimonials.
  • Sending email notifications of negative resident or patient reviews.
  • Companies such as BrightLocal, Birdseye, RepuGen, etc., have options with a healthcare focus.

Are You Striving for 5-Star Online Reviews?

Online review management can boost your online ratings, along with a properly designed website and other marketing tips. Learn more about managing your facility’s image, in addition to the latest free news and industry insights, today.