Listen Up Doctors: Study shows customer service trumps expertise

August 11, 2014

Ask for reviews--they'll mostly be positive. Though of course, patients care more about bedside manner than medical outcome, so you need to focus on perception. With people increasingly turning to review sites to rate their medical experiences, customer service has become a crucial factor for doctors trying to attract new patients. A recent study conducted by popular doctor review site Vitals found that patients care more about interpersonal skills and bedside manner than about the medical expertise of their doctors, and these “soft” customer service elements play an outsized role in the online reviews patients post.

The study analyzed the text of one thousand doctor reviews and found that the actual medical diagnosis ranked behind a long list of other concerns: first impressions, patient experience with the office staff, wait times, and the doctor’s willingness to listen among others.

“These softer metrics reinforce the importance of a patient feeling heard and valued,” said Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals:

“They’re more than just a feel-good measure, too. Studies show that the better the patient experience, the better the clinical outcome. The brass ring of reviews, of course, includes hard outcomes data, and fortunately more information to that end is becoming available. However, our analysis suggests that even with select outcomes data available, customer-service will remain of great importance to the doctor-patient relationship.”

With reviews becoming an ever more important aspect of the patient decision making process, this study highlights the importance of perception management in patient acquisition and retention. It’s no longer enough to be a skilled practitioner; healthcare professionals need to monitor and manage their online reputations.

That said, caring for patients still needs to be your top priority, which is where comes in. Check out the healthcare industry section of our website to see how we can help handle reputation management so you can get back to providing first-rate medical care.

Previous Article
TripAdvisor study: Replying To Online Reviews Drives Booking
TripAdvisor study: Replying To Online Reviews Drives Booking

We’ve been saying for years that responding to reviews is as important as getting new reviews. Now, a new s...

No More Articles