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Analysing the Impact of Online Reviews on IVF Clinic Selection

Impact of Online Reviews on IVF Clinic Selection

The impact of online reviews on IVF clinic selection cannot be overstated, particularly when considering the emotional and financial investments involved in the journey towards parenthood. One less-known yet critical aspect is the profound influence these reviews have on trust-building between prospective patients and the clinic. In a field as sensitive and complex as fertility treatments, trust becomes the cornerstone of the patient-clinic relationship.

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Your IVF clinic needs an online reputation management plan

online reputation management

Online reputation management plan for your IVF clinic  should focus on the strategies and concepts that have the ultimate goal to create a positive public perception for your business. The key to succeeding in this competitive digital atmosphere is to serve the customers with the best content, review, services, and ensure that you stand for your customers at all time. You also need to prevent and monitor any content that could disrupt the brand's image. To make more sales and revenue in your business, you would like to have more new customers along with the existing ones.

However, the trickiest part is to attract the new ones who your competitors could also influence. Hence, the best opportunity that you could have is to create persuasive content and have convincing materials online that could showcase your trustworthiness and authority in your fertility niche. The processes include addressing content and customer feedback that could hurt the overall image and reputation of the brand. 

The first step towards solving a problem is analysing where you stand and what further steps could be taken to solve the issue. You could look at the social sources or other blogs and news websites that publish content featuring your business to know what comes to their mind regarding your business. Look at the complaint websites and review websites to analyse your customers' feelings about you and your services. 

You could also use other online sources to track your brand, competitors, and customers by checking the online sources from social media networks and forums, blogs, and many other websites. Google Alerts is yet another way to keep track of the content that revolves around your business. You could make use of Google alerts to be alert about the industry news and follow your competitors.

Online reviews influence healthcare choices

Online reviews influence healthcare choices

Online reviews have become a critical factor in how patients choose healthcare providers, including IVF clinics. Various studies and surveys have highlighted the significant impact of these reviews on patient decision-making. A large portion of patients now turn to online reviews as a first step in selecting a healthcare provider. For instance, a study by Software Advice found that nearly 72% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. You would also be amazed to know that 65% of respondents consider it important for health care providers to respond to reviews, as this feedback drives decision-making and prompts patients to become more selective; and 55% of millennials have made decisions about health care providers or locations based on online reviews.

Patients tend to trust personal narratives and detailed accounts of experiences more than general ratings. Detailed reviews about personal experiences at IVF clinics can provide insights into the clinic's approach to patient care, success rates, and the overall patient journey, which are critical factors in the decision-making process.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, approximately 47% of internet users search for information about doctors or other health professionals. Within this context, positive reviews can significantly enhance an IVF clinic's attractiveness to potential patients, while negative reviews might deter them. 

For IVF clinics, reviews that mention high success rates, empathetic care, and supportive staff can positively influence potential patients. People are especially interested in success stories and testimonials from others who have gone through similar fertility challenges.

Integrate reviews into marketing materials

Integrate reviews into marketing materials

Create a dedicated testimonials page or a highlighted section on the homepage where positive reviews are prominently displayed. Use direct quotes from patients, ensuring their privacy is protected, to share their success stories and experiences.

Share positive reviews on your clinic's social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use engaging graphics or videos that include quotes from the reviews. Tagging or mentioning the reviewer (with their permission) can add authenticity.

Include a section in your email newsletters that features recent positive reviews or testimonials. This can reassure current patients about their choice and encourage prospective patients to consider your services.

With patient consent, create video testimonials that can be shared on your website and social media. Videos can be more engaging and persuasive, providing a deeper insight into the patient's journey and experience with your clinic.

Reviews from peers bring many psychological factors at play

When potential patients see positive reviews about an IVF clinic, it acts as a form of social validation, suggesting that the clinic is a trustworthy choice. Your potential patients might give more weight to reviews that align with their initial impression of a clinic or their hopes for a positive outcome, thus using reviews to confirm their choice rather than as an objective source of information.

If you see the psychological factor, the halo effect plays a major role as well. This effect states that an observer's overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences their feelings and thoughts about that entity's character or properties. It can be triggered by a single positive trait or review. A few positive reviews can significantly enhance the overall perception of your IVF clinic, leading potential patients to overlook or undervalue any negative information.

Potential patients use online reviews to mitigate the risk of choosing an IVF clinic that may not meet their needs or expectations. Positive reviews serve as a form of reassurance that they are making a safer choice. In healthcare decisions, the stakes are high, and the desire to avoid negative outcomes is strong.

Negative reviews damage your reputation exponentially

Online reviews can lead to a polarised perception of a clinic, with potential patients viewing it as either exceptional or subpar based on the balance of positive and negative reviews they encounter. This polarisation can obscure a more nuanced understanding of the clinic's capabilities and performance.

Negative reviews often have a more significant impact than positive ones. A single negative review can outweigh multiple positive reviews, as potential patients may focus on avoiding negative outcomes rather than achieving positive ones. See, we earlier talked about how risk aversion comes into play and when the stakes are so high, the first priority of your patients is to eliminate the negative services rather than choosing the positive ones in the first look. Also, for individuals already hesitant about a particular clinic, negative reviews can reinforce doubts, making them more likely to dismiss the clinic as an option.

How do you manage the negative reviews about your IVF clinic?

Negative reviews damage your reputation exponentially

The first step is always to acknowledge negative reviews quickly and with personalised responses rather than generic ones. This would show that your clinic values patient feedback and is attentive to their concerns. You can allocate a team member to monitor reviews and respond within a set timeframe, tailoring each response to address the specific issues raised by the patient.

As we have discussed, the IVF clinics need to respond with empathy and show commitment and care to their patients. Hence, you should always begin responses with empathy and, where appropriate, an apology. An empathetic approach demonstrates that your clinic understands the patient's feelings and regrets any distress caused.

See, the entire negative review issue would be solved, if you solve your customer’s concert or the problem they have. Hence, wherever possible, offer solutions to the problems raised in the review. If the issue can be resolved, propose a clear path to remedy it and offer to continue the conversation offline. And, finally when the negative feedback has been resolved or improved, highlight these changes in the response. This demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement.

HIPAA Compliance

Maintaining patient privacy when soliciting and publishing reviews is of paramount importance, especially within the healthcare sector, due to the stringent requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA compliance ensures that sensitive patient health information is protected from unauthorised access or disclosure. 

When soliciting reviews, IVF clinics and other healthcare providers must be cautious not to inadvertently disclose any Protected Health Information (PHI), such as the patient's name, date of birth, treatment details, or any information that could be used to identify the patient, without their explicit consent. This extends to publishing reviews on websites, social media, or any marketing materials. Patients must be informed about how their information and testimonials will be used and must provide explicit, informed consent for their use, ideally in writing. This not only protects the clinic from potential legal repercussions and fines associated with HIPAA violations but also builds trust with patients by respecting their privacy and autonomy. 

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

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About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

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