Online reviews can affect how successfully the aesthetic practice captures prospective patients, and according to a Vanguard Communications analysis of 1.5-million online Yelp reviews, a doctor is 194% more likely to receive a one-star review compared to hotels and restaurants.
“What’s really interesting is that each category – restaurants, hotels, doctors – averages a 3.5-star rating, but the paths to their scores are vastly different,” explains Jonathan Stanley, Communications Technical Director for Vanguard.
Vanguard Communication notes that a doctor’s online reviews generally don’t rate any better or worse compared to the other categories, but that physicians’ reviews can carry as much as five times the weight towards the public opinion of a medical practice.
“On average, a hotel receives 61 reviews, restaurants 27 reviews, and doctors 13 reviews,” according to their analysis.
In a recent article for Dermatology Times, Adam Honeybrook, M.B.B.S., a facial plastic surgeon in Lafayette, La., showcased his research examining factors that influence facelift patients when choosing their surgeons using reviews on RealSelf.
He found that the ability for a doctor to communicate with a patient was much more important than any other factor.
“The most important factors why patients chose their surgeon for facelift was related to their ability to communicate, establish rapport, have an appropriate demeanor and answer their questions…,” says Dr. Honeybrook. “So in terms of facelift, at least, the patients mostly chose their surgeon…for interpersonal reasons.”
This is cemented with the Vanguard’s analysis, which found that the inability to communicate is the primary reason for unsatisfactory ratings.