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What Can Andre Agassi Teach Us About Online Patient Reviews?

In the once famous Canon camera commercial above, then tennis bad boy Andre Agassi reminded us all that image is everything. While Agassi is no longer seen as a rebel today in the tennis world, and Canon has cycled through a number of ad campaigns, this commercial left an indelible mark on a generation of camera enthusiasts and tennis fans alike. Regardless of whether that audience liked or agreed with the slogan, or their curiosity was simply piqued, they became increasingly aware of Canon as a brand along with their “so advanced, it’s simple” Rebel cameras.

Had the internet and online reviews been as prevalent then as they are now, word would have traveled even faster and left a more permanent mark. Many consumers would have turned to search engines for more information after viewing this commercial, further impacting Canon and encouraging an expanding community to interact with the brand both online and off.

Brand Awareness Creates Brand Advocates

Building a patient community around your practice can happen in much the same way if you take advantage of online reviews. Canon increased brand awareness by giving its consumer base a simple task: talk about us.

Your patients are already likely spreading positive word-of-mouth within their communities as they interact with friends and family. However, encouraging your patients to take to the virtual streets and spread the word there not only improves brand awareness, but turns your most ardent supporters into brand advocates.

Brand advocates are those patients that express their feelings and opinions across a number of channels, from search to social networks, instant chats and emails, blog posts and review sites. Such brand advocates have at least a 2-1 rate of convincing friends and family to purchase the same exact product or support the same brand they do, according to a recent report conducted by Yahoo and comScore [1].

Proactive Strategy to Online Patient Reviews Creates Brand Advocates

In the same way Andre Agassi and Canon inspired brand awareness with the “Image is Everything” campaign, you need a well-developed strategy designed to harness the power of online reviews.

As you continue to create memorable experiences at your practice, encouraging patients to leave online reviews and providing them with the necessary tools to easily leave those reviews will allow them to spread positive word-of-mouth. As their message spreads across a number of online channels, review sites, social networks and beyond, they become brand advocates who will further strengthen the online patient community anchored to your practice.

Added Bonus to Creating Brand Loyalty

A recent report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that business from repeat patients increased 13% in 2010. In addition to attracting new patients by helping your practice advocates, a proactive online review strategy increases brand loyalty, turning new patients into repeat patients.

[1] “Online Influence Tied to Search, Social Media Use.” ClickZ

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