American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs

3 Practical Tips for Getting More Reviews for Your Nurse-Owned Practice

Online reviews play an important role in growing a Nurse Owned practice. Think about your own experience when you need to find a local service. How do you start your search?
 
  1. You might ask your friends and colleagues for a referral.
  2. You Google it.
That’s why having a game-plan for referral “marketing” and reviews can really help your practice grow quickly. (I put the word marketing in quotes because, to me, referrals are really about relationships – not marketing.)
 
I’ve touched on the subject of referrals a few times on social media, and plenty of times within the AANE. So, today, I’d like to drill down into the actual steps and processes we use to increase real and authentic reviews in Google.

Why Google?

In this article, I focus on Google simply because it’s the 800lb gorilla. Google reviews get substantially more views and search hits than Yelp or other review sites. So, it makes sense to push your efforts to that platform. With that said, everything I outline in this article can also be applied to any of your favorite review sites.

Where It Begins

Long before you even mention reviews to a patient, make sure you have established two things: rapport and goals.

Rapport

It should go without saying, but don’t ask for a review during their first appointment with you. It should go without saying, but plenty of practitioners do exactly that. Good timing is key to this process.

 

Goals

What should you do during those first few appointments? Establish goals with your patient. What brought them to see you in the first place? What do they want to accomplish? How do they want to feel? Really understand where they are and where they want to be. Then, be patient. The right moment will show up.

The Moment to Ask

You’ll be able to recognize it because it’s when your patient achieves their goals. They express how much better they’re feeling. They’ll share a specific moment when they knew they turned a corner and that this process is working. That’s when you ask for a review.
 
How do you ask? Here’s how it typically goes in our office:
 
“I’m so glad to hear that. Would you feel comfortable sharing what you just said to me in a review on Google? It really helps our practice.”
 
Baddabing baddaboom. Simple as that.

Making It Easier

At this point, it’s easy for patients to be enthusiastic to leave a review for you, but their follow-through might not match. Why does this happen? Typically, it’s simply because they don’t know how. You can make the review-leaving process a thousand times easier for them by:
 
  1. Having a well-designed postcard on hand in the exam room that gives easy-to-follow instructions for how to leave a review. (Screenshots can help, too.)

    AND/OR
  1. Send them a link (via email or SMS) to a short screen share video that walks them through the process.
This small step makes it less work for them and quicker follow-through for you!

An Option for Company Announcements

I’m very selective about any mass communication I send to my patients. Whenever I send something to all of our members, I make sure that it’s brief and clearly communicates “what’s in it for them.”
 
For example, we recently had two big shifts in our staffing:
  1. We hired a new, amazing NP to staff
  2. One of NPs was going on maternity leave
In each message we sent out, I shared the news (congratulating both people) and then followed it with “How this effects you….” For our new hire, we said “Now we’ll be able to take care of even more of your friends and family members.” And for our NP on maternity leave, I reassured that “We got you covered. Our systems and new team member will ensure that there won’t be a gap in your care.”
 
In our announcements, we also share a brief message that says:
 
“P.S. Patients ask us all the time how they can support us. The best thing you can do is to refer your friends and family. But of course, leaving a review on Google helps us out a lot. If you feel inclined, you can do so here.”
 
The important thing here is that our announcements focus on our patients’ needs and answer their questions first before we drop a short review request.

Review Your Review Process

By making these simple steps part of your routine, you can make your requests for reviews both organic and practical – enhancing your relationships with your patients, and avoiding any awkward moments.
Anytime I mention standardizing your processes, I gotta mention AANE's library of Templates and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Each is designed specifically for Nurse-Owned practices. You don't have to start from scratch. We've done the heavy-lifting for you!

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