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How Words Like “Seat, Cattle, and Bathroom” Are Hurting Your Practice

by Solution Reach, on 11/22/19 12:30 PM

Have you ever taken the time to explore your online reviews? Some are funny, some are touching, and others might be downright infuriating. While most of us do pay attention to the things people write about our practice online, it’s easy to focus on the number of overall stars received and miss important messages. In each review you receive, there are hidden themes that can help you improve the way you run your office. But with so many reviews piling up over days, months, and years, you may not notice critical themes hidden in the reviews.

Our analysts here at Solutionreach decided that it was time to try to make sense of these seemingly unconnected reviews. Using the latest artificial intelligence technology, they analyzed 20,000 online healthcare reviews, seeking any hidden themes buried in the mounds of studies. What they found was surprising. There were specific keywords that, if found in an online review, were the difference between high and low scoring reviews. The study also found commonalities in words and phrases included in one-star reviews.

With the results of this study, practices can keep an eye out for these “red flag” words in their reviews. Here are just a few of the surprising words uncovered by the study. When these words are used in an online review, the reviewer was more likely to give a poor review.

Seat—Have you taken a look around your waiting room lately? How do your seats look? Are they in good condition? Do you have plenty of room (keeping in mind that most people feel uncomfortable sitting directly next to others)? Do you ever think about your seating when it comes to the patient experience? Perhaps you should. When the word “seat” is found in a review, it moves a potentially high review to a mid-tier one. If your waiting room, dental chair, or other seating is subpar, you may want to make a few adjustments.
There are other instances where the word seat is found in reviews. How often do you find yourself telling patients that they need to “take a seat?” Of all the things patients dislike about visiting a dental office (especially for regular visitors like orthodontic ones), one of the biggest irritations is waiting. If you are frequently telling patients to wait, you may need to make changes to your scheduling practices to avoid negative online reviews.

Cattle—Every person wants to feel special. They want to know that you appreciate them as an individual. When the word cattle showed up in online reviews, it highlighted the fact that the practice made them feel as if they were “herded like cattle.” Instead of feeling like someone who mattered, they were just another piece in a long assembly line.
So, how personalized and customized is your patient experience? Do you know their names? Their hobbies? Small things can make a big difference. It is critical that you do not let mundane tasks bog you down so much that patients don’t get the attention they crave. Any tasks that take up time should be automated by technology wherever possible.

Bathroom—Have you ever gone into a public bathroom that was less than clean? Think about how it made you feel. Probably pretty icky. The truth is—patients care a lot about your bathroom. Cleanliness, accessibility, and maintenance levels all matter more than you might imagine. According to a study by Bradley Corp, 64 percent of Americans have made a conscious decision to use a business based on the fact it has cleaner, well-maintained bathrooms.

Patients tend to have higher standards for the bathrooms in public places than they do for the ones at their own homes. After all, they have no idea who else was in there before them. It’s not a lot of work to make sure your bathrooms are clean and inviting—but it will be a lot of work to fill empty appointments caused by a messy bathroom.

Take a few minutes to look through your reviews and see if they contain any of these words. If they do, it’s not too late to make changes to avoid more problems in the future. You can also look for other themes in your reviews. Keeping a finger on the pulse of patient satisfaction can be the difference between a thriving and just surviving practice!

On Tuesday, December 10, at 11:30 am CST, Lea Chatham from Solutionreach will be joining us in a webinar where she will dive into this study in more depth. It will highlight even more surprising words that can make or break your online reputation. Make sure to grab a seat for this webinar now.

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Topics:Marketing InformationDental Practice TipsReviews


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