70% of Consumers Trust Brand Recommendations from Friends

A recent Mashable article discusses the findings of a new study showing that people are listening to what their friends have to say about brands, on and off-line. What does this have to do with healthcare? Well for starters, the most consistent way to pull patients to your practice is through referrals from friends, family, another physician, etc.  The good news is patients are putting almost as much merit into consumer reviews as they would their personal friends.

A new study from the Forrester Reports shows based on responses from 58,000 respondents, that 46% of consumers trust consumer reviews.  

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Kevin MD shares the same sentiment stating in an article, “According to Nielsen’s 2011 Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 70 percent of global consumers trust online reviews, making them the second-most trusted form of advertising. In a recent survey conducted by Search Engine Land, 72 percent of consumers said they give the same weight to online reviews that they do to personal recommendations.”

If this shows us anything it’s that online review sites are not going anywhere. Some doctors are hesitant to create profiles for fear of negative reviews, but the profiles already exist and reviews are already being written. The best thing a practice can do is claim these profiles, make sure all of the information is correct and up-to-date, generate positive reviews and address the negative ones with an open mind. 

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