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How frequently do you think about your practice’s online reputation? Do you know if your online reputation is positive or negative? Do you have a reputation management process to capture and respond to reviews from your patients?
Often, medical practices overlook the importance of their online reputation management. But the bottom line—it matters.
Research shows that nearly 9 out of 10 people conduct online research before making a buying decision and most of that time is spent reading online reviews. Reviews with star ratings 3 or above increase the likelihood a person will purchase/engage with that business. Healthcare is no exception. If your online reputation is negative or non-existent, it could be costing your practice money.
Thankfully, there are some easy ways that practices can fix this fast.
If we believe the research, then one of the first places a patient will look for information on their doctor is online.
Negative reviews can lead to:
On the other hand, positive reviews can:
First and foremost, ask for it. The easiest way to get feedback is to ask your patients for it. This can be accomplished in several different ways. You can have them fill out a survey as part of your check-out procedures—paper or electronic. Make sure you are asking permission on the survey to use their responses in a public forum. You can send an email post-visit asking for their feedback.
There are potential risks with sending a review request email with out first knowing how a patient is going to respond. You may elect to do a customer satisfaction survey first to measure satisfaction levels. If the customer is highly satisfied, then you can send a follow up communication like the one above to provide feedback directly to Google My Business, Facebook, website, etc. This is a more complex process that will require automation tools to keep it streamlined and efficient for your practice. There are a number of patient engagement vendors that specialize in surveys and reputation management that can assist with this process.
Negative reviews are inevitable. All businesses will run into upset customers (patients) from time to time. So, what do you do if a negative review is posted?
The first step is to monitor your online reputation. Again, there are several vendors in this space that can assist you with automatically tracking your online reputation. If your practice comes across a negative review, here are some steps you should take.
Ultimately, you can use surveys and reviews from your patients to make improvements in your practice. By doing so, you will also improve your practice’s online reputation. The goal is to get accurate and honest answers from your patients and reap the benefits of effective online reputation management.