Grene Vision Group is a leader in primary, medical and surgical eye care in south-central Kansas. As one of the largest doctor-owned eye care groups in the country, Grene Vision Group’s 50 doctors provide services in 21 clinics.
Dasa Gangadhar, MD, one of Grene Vision Group’s highly skilled ophthalmologists, has been providing cornea-related surgical procedures for more than two decades and has established a positive reputation within the eye care community. Despite receiving many letters from his patients expressing deep gratitude for his services, Dr. Gangadhar noticed that the patient reviews on Google did not accurately reflect the services that he and the rest of Grene Vision Group’s doctors and staff were providing to patients.
Dr. Gangadhar raised his concern to Grene Vision Group’s management team, and it was agreed upon that something should be done to improve and manage the company’s online reviews.
Grene Vision Group’s chief operating officer, Kayli Smith, said,
“We recognized that the vast majority of people are turning to online reviews before visiting a business. We knew it was time to initiate a program to help ensure our online reputation was an accurate reflection of the services we offer. In addition to highlighting our areas of strength online, we also wanted to identify any areas of potential improvement.”
Professional services representative, Amanda Ryan, was tasked with beginning the program selection process. When looking for an online review management platform, it was important that the platform provided a quick and easy process for patients, and minimal amount of ongoing management by Grene Vision Group.
“I spent a lot of time exploring the different online services out there, but at the end of the day we liked the simplicity, flexibility and affordability that Grade.us offered.”
Grene Vision Group’s Program Requirements:
Grene Vision Group knew they wanted an easy and quick process for the patient to leave a review.
“We knew that making the process quick and easy for patients would increase our chances of getting reviews and feedback. In addition to the ‘thumbs up or thumbs down’ feature, one of our favorite features by Grade.us was that patients were automatically logged into their Google and Facebook accounts on their devices.
We were concerned that requiring people to log into an account would discourage our patients from leaving reviews,” said Amanda.
Grene Vision Group had a couple of unique requirements, and needed a flexible platform that allowed for some customization.
“We wanted a way to include a short survey for a patient if they clicked ‘thumbs down,’ so we could provide a way to capture feedback and use it to improve the patient experience. I had a very difficult time finding a review management platform with a survey solution.
Fortunately, Grade.us understood our needs and accommodated our custom survey,” said Amanda.
As a large healthcare company, Grene Vision Group wanted to be sure they were HIPAA compliant as they implemented a review platform, and also have an automated process of regularly sending out the review invitations via text or email.
“With over 21 locations, and over 400 doctors and staff, we really needed to have a very efficient and effective process for managing reviews and feedback internally. Since we already had a HIPAA-compliant program in place that sent text messages and emails to patients to remind them of their appointments, we wanted to leverage that existing program for sending out the review invitations. Again, Grade.us’ flexibility allowed us to do so.
Once we had all of our Grade.us settings in place, we used our existing reminder program to send the Grade.us link out to patients, walking them through the simple review process. We found this to be the simplest way to send the review invitations out to patients on a daily basis,” said Amanda.
“We had narrowed down our review management platform choices to three different options. We ended up choosing Grade.us because the overall simplicity, functionality, flexibility and affordability outweighed the competitors,” said Amanda.
Grene Vision Group’s primary goal was to get a steady flow of positive patient reviews on their 21 location Google pages and their company Facebook page, so their online reputation would better reflect their reputation within the community. They also wanted to increase morale of the staff and doctors by sharing positive reviews within the various clinics.
Grene Vision Group’s secondary goal was to understand how they could better serve their patients, by receiving negative feedback that could be shared with the associated clinic and/or addressed directly with the patient.
Grene Vision Group has two key, busy locations that offer an array of ophthalmology services in Wichita – the Woodlawn and Maize Road locations. Although those locations see many patients per day and provide sight-saving services, they had a very low number of reviews prior to implementing the Grade.us platform. (Woodlawn had 7 Google reviews and Maize Road had 5 Google reviews).
So, the initial plan was to pilot the Grade.us platform with the Woodlawn and Maize Road locations.
Amanda set up Grene Vision Group’s review funnels using the thumbs up / thumbs down layout:
Initial Results for the Pilot Locations:
Grene Vision Group began using the Grade.us platform in July 2017. Within less than one month, they saw a dramatic improvement to their Google star rating and the number of positive reviews for Woodlawn and Maize Road.
Woodlawn garnered 17 new reviews with an average rating of 4.9 stars, bringing their overall average rating up to 4.3 / 5 stars.
Maize Road garnered 32 new reviews with an average rating of 4.9 stars, bringing the overage Google average up to 5 / 5 stars.
The company Facebook page gained 52 new positive reviews also!
Since the pilot plan for Maize Road and Woodlawn was successful, Grene Vision Group proceeded with implementing Grade.us across all 21 locations.
Results of using the Grade.us program:
Grene Vision Group acquired an astounding 1,656 new reviews on Google and Facebook within nine months of using the Grade.us platform! They increased their overall review volume by 630% with new reviews averaging 4.9 / 5 stars compared to the previous average of 4.2 stars.
The ‘Funnel Activity’ allowed Grene Vision Group to see exactly how far their patients got through the review process.
Of Grene Vision Group’s 11,615 patients that visited the review link, 1,656 patients completed a review, giving Grene Vision Group a review conversion rate of 14%. 9,159 gave a ‘thumbs up or thumbs down’ rating and of those, 98% clicked ‘thumb up’, while only 2% clicked ‘thumbs down’.
Amanda commented on the positive feedback rate, “We appreciate the positive feedback rate, because it is positive reinforcement to staff that nearly all of our patients (98%) are happy with the overall care they received.”
“We also like the ability to run reports containing reviews and data during a time frame, with the ability to select our preferred report format, such as a link that can be sent to employees,” said Amanda.
Additional benefits for Grene Vision Group:
The increase in positive reviews and star ratings were undeniable and the program was proving to be a success for the large eyecare company in Kansas. There were some additional unexpected benefits that Grene Vision Group also discovered along their review management journey.
Benefits of negative feedback:
Allowing patients to click ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ gives them a simple option, and shows that Grene Vision Group wants to hear from their patients to ensure they have a positive experience. If patients click ‘thumbs down,’ they get directed to a short survey with the option to leave their contact information.
Once completed, an email is generated and sent to Grene Vision Group staff, providing an effective way for the company to follow up with unhappy patients.
“We set the program up so the negative feedback responses would go to myself and the clinic manager of the location the patient went to. The clinic managers were trained to handle the feedback for their location. They would relay the feedback to the appropriate doctors and staff so improvements could be made, and also contact the patient to help remedy their issue if that patient provided their contact information.
While I love sharing the positive public reviews with our doctors and staff, I think an equally important part of this program is that we are improving and making things right with our less happy patients. Receiving the negative feedback has helped us to clearly identify a few areas that could be improved upon,” said Amanda.
When negative reviews are published, the aggregate rating doesn’t crumble:
While running the Grade.us program, Grene Vision Group had an upset potential patient who had an issue with the insurance coverage of a new procedure. The upset person asked his friends to leave 1-star reviews for Grene Vision Group, resulting in many untrue 1-star reviews.
Fortunately, since Grene Vision Group had many 5-star reviews already, their rating only dropped briefly to a 4.7 aggregate star rating. Eventually, the procedure’s coverage issue was resolved and some of the negative reviews were removed. Soon after, more positive reviews were acquired and the negative reviews were washed up.
Building the Reputation of Individual Doctors:
Now that Grene Vision Group has their 21 clinic’s reputation in good standing, they have begun to focus on boosting the positive reviews for individual doctors. Amanda has created profiles for the doctors on HealthGrades and created small cards for the doctors to hand to patients to drive them to leave a review on HealthGrades. She utilized the Grade.us review stream to display individual doctor reviews on their personal profile pages on Grene Vision Group’s website.
“The Grade.us team is easy to work with and they recognize the features that are important to our business. Their software has proven to be very flexible and reliable, and we appreciate the results their platform has produced for our organization. It’s truly a quality platform and a cost-effective business solution for online reputation management.”
-Kayli Smith, COO