More and more people are using online reviews to make decisions about the products and service that they buy. Consumers worldwide want to hear from “people like me” before they make a decision about which product or service to buy. TripAdvisor has become the first place that many people visit when they are planning a holiday or booking a hotel.
So, would medical tourists benefit from hearing about the experiences of other people who have travelled abroad for treatment? Undoubtedly, Yes!.
The web is now the first place that people look to research hospitals and clinics online before they decide where to go. Choosing a doctor, operation, or hospital, is a big decision, and the more opinions a patient can gather, the more secure they feel with their ultimate choice.
The philosophy of our online business is "helping patients to make the right choice". That's why we've just launched Treatment Abroad Ratings and Reviews to provide patients with the “word of mouth” that will help them to make the right choice of medical tourism service, hospital or clinic. We know from other areas of industry that:
- 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a supplier, if it has ratings and reviews.
- 77% of online shoppers use reviews and ratings when purchasing.
- 82% of those who read reviews say that their purchasing decisions are directly influenced by those reviews.
But how much trust can people put in reviews of such services? A medical tourism agency, hospital or clinic, doctor or dentist may be tempted to either:
- Create a fake review to promote their own service.
- Create a fake review to damage a competitor’s reputation.
We have chosen BazaarVoice as the partner for our Ratings and Reviews system because of their ability to identify fake reviews through the algorithms they run on review submissions, the tracking of IP addresses of reviewers, the validation of email addresses, and BazaarVoice’s experience of moderating thousands of reviews for major clients every month.
We have also warned clients and healthcare providers that any attempt to bias our reviews service will result in immediate removal of all review content.
We'll see how Treatment Abroad Ratings and Reviews develops over the coming months. But we're sure it will help potential medical tourists to differentiate between the good and bad in terms of medical tourism service providers.
Date published: 25 May 2008
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