Over the last few months, you may have noticed a change in the way reviews are submitted and rated on Facebook. In September, Facebook introduced its new review system called ‘recommendations’. Instead of rating a service between one and five stars, you are now asked to simply indicate whether or not you would recommend the business or service to other Facebook users.
Because one in three users turn to Facebook for business recommendations, it’s important to have an idea of how Facebook reviews work so you can use them to your practice’s advantage!
The greatest difference with this review process is the way in which businesses are rated. Previously, patients were asked to rate the business on a scale of one to five, with one being the worst quality experience and five being the best.
With this change, though, reviewers are simply asked, “Do you recommend this business?”.
If the user marks “yes”, they are then prompted to provide more detail through a written review, just as Facebook has done in the past. There are some new features worth noting in this step, though, such as the ability to add tags and photos to provide more detail.
If the user marks, “no” (they would not recommend your practice to others), Facebook will still prompt the user to provide additional public feedback. This is important to note, as it creates a level playing field for all ratings, rather than favouring only the positive reviews. In fact, Google outlawed the tactic of favouring good reviews (only redirecting the user to a review platform if it’s a happy customer) this year. This practice is called “review gating”, and is no longer accepted online.
Regardless of if a patient loved or hated your practice, each user is now given equal access to easy reviewing. Facebook even stated that the change in the review process is to encourage constructive, honest and accurate feedback.
Despite not having the 1-5 scale, it’s important to note that practices are still awarded an average rating of their services. Facebook takes the average of the “yes (five)” and “no (one)” votes to come up with an overall score between one and five. Also, your old reviews should still available on your page and a part of your practice’s rating
Overall, your strategy for garnering reviews won’t change much. However, it’s important to note that there isn’t room for a grey area or a “so-so” experience, thus making the rating system more powerful. Now, patients either liked the practice or they didn’t. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that every step of a patient’s clinic visit, from interacting to the front desk to the appointment itself, is a smooth and pleasant experience.