In HotDoc’s Patient Survey 2020 (to be released February 2020), it was found that 54% of Australian patients check a clinic’s Google reviews prior to choosing them. This is more than one in two people. 

When we asked these same patients if showing them a clinic’s Google rating would help sway them one way or the other, 77% said they were more likely to book with a clinic that had a 4-5 star rating, and 68% said they were less likely to book with a clinic that had fewer than 3 stars.

While on the whole these numbers are large, they can certainly shift a lot when we segment the data based on different audience types, such as age, gender, location, chronic condition / no chronic condition, billing type etc. 

In the sections below we have segmented the data so you can see how different factors impact the results. 

18-34 year olds almost 4 times more likely to check Google reviews than 65+ year olds

Perhaps unsurprisingly, of all the segments, age proves to be the biggest factor in determining whether a new patient is likely to pay attention to a clinic’s Google reviews.

In 18-34 year olds, 81% say they check a clinic’s Google reviews before choosing a new clinic. In this same group, 92% say they are more likely to book with a clinic that has 4-5 stars, and 80% say they are less likely to book with a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

In 35-55 year olds, 62% say they check Google reviews prior to making a booking with a new clinic, and 84% say they are more likely to book in with a clinic that has 4+ stars. 75% say they are disinclined to book in with a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

In 55-64 year olds, 29% say they look at a clinic’s Google reviews prior to choosing a new clinic. Still, more than twice as many (71%) say seeing a 4+ star rating would make them more inclined to try a specific clinic, and 47% say they are less likely to try a clinic if they see it has fewer than 3 stars.

And in 65+ year olds, 22% say they look at a clinic’s Google reviews prior to choosing a new clinic. In this same group, 45% say seeing a 4+ star rating would make them more inclined to try a clinic, and 51% say seeing fewer than 3 stars would make them less inclined to try a clinic.

Interestingly, the above findings show that 55-64 year olds are less affected by low star ratings but more affected by high star ratings than 65+ year olds. For instance, 47% of 55-64 year olds are less likely to choose a clinic with fewer than 3 stars, compared to 51% of 65+ year olds (a difference of 4%). Whereas, 71% of 55-64 year olds are more likely to choose a clinic that has 4+ stars, compared to just 45% of 65+ year olds (a difference of 26%). 

Females are slightly more engaged with Google reviews than males

In Males, 53% say they check a clinic’s Google reviews before choosing a new clinic and 73% say they are more likely to book with a medical centre that has 4+ stars. 66% say they are less likely to choose a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

In comparison, females are more likely (56%) to check Google reviews before visiting a new clinic than males. They are also more likely (80%) to choose a 4+ star clinic and less likely (69%) to choose a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

This said, the ratings between males and females are close enough to conclude that, while females care slightly more about reviews, gender doesn’t play a huge role in determining how much Google reviews matter to a patient.

Metropolitan patients rely most on Google reviews

In Metropolitan areas, 65% of patients say they check Google reviews before booking in at a new practice, and 81% say they are more likely to book with a clinic if it has 4+ stars. 70% say they are less likely to book with a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

Interestingly, of all locations, regional areas have the lowest numbers (40%) of people who look at Google reviews prior to visiting a new clinic. Still, 63% say they are more likely to visit a clinic with 4+ stars, and 69% say they are less likely to visit a clinic with fewer than 3 stars.

An interesting finding from the above is that around the same number of metropolitan (70%) and regional (69%) patients are less likely to visit a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars, but when it comes to whether a 4+ star rating would make a clinic more attractive, there is an 18% difference. 81% of metropolitan residents say they are more likely to book with a clinic if it has 4+ stars, compared to just 63% of regional residents.

In suburbs, 55% of people check Google reviews before visiting a new clinic. In the same group, 79% say they are more likely to visit a clinic that has 4+ stars, and 68% say they are less likely to visit a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

In rural areas, 47% of people check Google reviews prior to visiting a new clinic, and 66% are more likely to visit a clinic that has 4+ stars on Google. 58% are less likely to visit a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars. 

These findings show that location plays a big role in how much patients typically care about a clinic’s Google reviews.

Patients with chronic condition/s are slightly more concerned about Google reviews than patients without

In patients who have a chronic condition – an existing condition that has lasted more than 6 months – 56% say they check Google reviews before visiting a new clinic. This dropped slightly to 52% in patients with no chronic condition. 

Of those with a chronic condition, 78% say they are more likely to choose a clinic that has more than 4 stars, and 70% say they are more likely to avoid a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

Slightly less affected, 74% of patients with no chronic condition say they are more likely to choose a clinic that has more than 4 stars, and 65% say they are more likely to avoid a clinic with fewer than 3 stars.

Again, as with gender, while the numbers clearly show that people with chronic conditions tend to care slightly more about reviews than people without chronic conditions, the numbers are so close that we can confidently say this isn’t a big factor when it comes to determining how much a specific patient is likely to care about a clinic’s Google reviews. 

Mixed billed patients most swayed by Google reviews

Interestingly, mixed billed patients proved to be the most sensitive to Google reviews with 65% saying they check reviews prior to choosing a new clinic. This dropped to 56% in private billed patients and 44% in bulk billed patients.

Of mixed billed patients, 86% say they are more likely to book with a clinic that has more than 4 stars, and 77% say they would be inclined to avoid a clinic with fewer than 3 stars.

In private billed patients, this dropped by almost 10%. 77% of private billed patients say they are more likely to book in with a clinic that has more than 4 stars and 66% say they are less likely to book in with a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars. 

Least convinced by Google reviews, 68% of bulk billed patients say they are more likely to book in with a clinic that has more than 4 stars, and 60% say they are less likely to book in with a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars. 

Much like age and location, these results show that billing type plays an enormous role in determining how much attention a new patient is likely to pay to a clinic’s Google reviews.

Which clinics should care most about their Google reviews?

Based on the above segments we can confidently say that those clinics who should be most concerned about their Google reviews and rating are mixed billing, metropolitan clinics who treat a lot of young females with chronic conditions.

And those clinics who should be least concerned about their Google reviews and rating are bulk billing, regional clinics that treat a lot of senior males who don’t suffer from chronic conditions.

This said, even if your clinic is bulk billing and located in a regional area with a lot of senior male patients who don’t have chronic conditions, the majority of your patients will still be swayed by reviews if they see them. More than half of this group of patients say they would be more likely to choose a clinic that has 4+ stars, and less likely to choose a clinic that has fewer than 3 stars.

This really shows that no clinic is unscathed by the impact of poor Google reviews and ratings. Of course, some clinics are affected more than others, but all are affected, with more than half of even the most digitally disengaged patients saying that reviews impact how they choose a new clinic.

Interested in improving your Google reviews and rating? We have a new solution that can help you boost your clinic’s rating. Call 1300 468 362 or email sales@hotdoc.com.au.