Five reasons you should review your hearing healthcare practitioner
What if we told you that you could help other people find good hearing healthcare simply by sharing your own experiences? It’s true. Patient satisfaction with hearing care has been shown to be linked to the practitioner, not the particular brand or type of hearing aid. So, in honor of Better Hearing Month, we’re asking consumers to provide feedback on their hearing care practitioner. Your experience can provide important insight to someone looking for a great hearing care provider, reward a clinic for taking good care of their patients and create a sense of community where you live.
No, we’re not asking you to take out an ad in the newspaper or hang a banner from the eaves of your home. Thanks to today’s technology, sharing your opinion is as easy as logging on to your computer and posting an honest, respectful review. Here are five reasons why you should review your hearing healthcare practitioner this month.
1. Help other people connect with a great hearing care provider
Even though a 2015 BrightLocal consumer review survey revealed that 92 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, a 2013 Pew Research Center survey indicated only 3-4 percent of internet users have posted their experiences with healthcare service providers or treatments. See the disparity here?
More than 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss according to the Center for Hearing and Communication. With more than 72 percent of internet users looking online for health information, it’s probable many are looking for good hearing healthcare. If you have experience with someone who provides it, your comments may help others looking for the same standard of care.
What should you share? Think about what you would like to know:
- Did the provider ask you questions about your hearing health – and answer questions you asked?
- Did they make you feel comfortable and well cared for?
- Was the office staff professional and courteous?
- How long did you wait to see the professional?
- Was the waiting area clean and well maintained?
- Why will you – or won’t you – return?
2. Reward a clinic for a job well done
According to marketing research, consumers who are satisfied are likely to tell four people about their service; those who are unhappy will tell ten people. That makes it even more important for you to take a few minutes of your time to post a good review for a job well done – especially as it relates to patient care or significant improvements in your hearing health.
Most consumers read up to ten reviews before making a decision – which is a good thing given the low percentage of internet users who post about their experiences. And, since satisfaction is so closely tied to how well the hearing healthcare professional and patient get along, your review may provide key insight as others are making a decision about whom to trust.
3. Share a not-so-great experience to warn others (respectfully)
The BrightLocal survey also said 92 percent of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Your firsthand experience can provide the type of insight others want to know before they choose a provider to care for themselves or family members.
While it’s always a good idea to address any concerns you may have directly and privately with the healthcare professional first, it’s always appropriate to post an honest review of your experience. While most hearing healthcare professionals are passionate about helping people hear their best, not everyone has the same business practices or philosophy on hearing health.
4. Engage in your community in a productive, easy way
Advancements in technology have definitely connected us in ways we couldn’t imagine – your former high school boyfriend who found you through social media is living proof of that. And, although social media can seem a bit intrusive at times, community pages can also provide a sense of small town pride we haven’t seen since Sheriff Andy Griffith roamed the streets of Mayberry.
5. Make yourself heard
Not all reviews need to be public. If your clinic sends you a satisfaction survey after each visit, take a few moments to complete it. The feedback you provide may help them improve their customer service, whether it be finding a more effective way to explain procedures or simply educating staff about how to answer the phone more pleasantly. Providing specific examples of why you are satisfied – or dissatisfied – with the visit can lead to a better experience for all patients.
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that it’s important to review your hearing healthcare practitioner this month. If so, here are a few sites you might want to visit to post an online review:
- Healthy Hearing maintains a Find A Professional section which provides clinic contact information, biographies of professionals, and verified patient reviews. You can write a review of clinics in the directory by clicking on the “write a review” button. All reviews are verified by Healthy Hearing staff prior to posting on the website.
- Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit site which evaluates all types of businesses. To write a review, search for the business on the BBB website and choose “submit a customer review” under its listing. If your clinic is not listed, you can ask the BBB to develop a report by clicking the link on the “no results found” page.
- If your hearing clinic has a Facebook page, look on the left hand side for the Facebook ratings and review section. Click the gray stars to choose a rating and then write a review so they understand why you selected the star rating. The clinic can decide whether to make your review public, visible to their “friends” or visible only to them.
- Do you tweet? If so, you can give a shout out to your favorite healthcare clinic or practitioner, especially if they have a Twitter account. Most businesses with Twitter accounts display the Twitter icon on their website or information page. For example, Healthy Hearing’s Twitter handle (name) is @hearingaids and can be found at the bottom of the About us page.