Maintaining a strong online reputation is a quintessential part of running your business as a healthcare professional.
We live in the age of online reviews. An adverse online profile can run your business into the ground even if the claims are false.
According to recent statistics, approximately 85% of patients today look up doctors online before booking an appointment with them. When it comes to a doctor, patients do not appreciate surprises and are much more comfortable heading to a practice that has a good name.
Additionally, doctors’ appointments do not come cheap. Why would anyone be willing to spend so much money knowing someone does not have the best reputation? Surveys suggest that almost 50% of patients feel convinced about their choice after reading positive reviews online.
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If you do not know where to start, we have compiled a list of DIY reputation management tips for you to help improve your online reputation and grow your business.
Self Assess Your Rep
- 1 Self Assess Your Rep
- 2 Monitor Your Reviews
- 3 Your Patient, Your Priority
- 4 Ask for Feedback
- 5 Address Criticism Impartially
- 6 Think Twice Before Responding
- 7 Organic Reviews
- 8 Respond to All Reviews
- 9 Avoid Online Feuds
- 10 Promote Positive Reviews
- 11 Train Your Staff
- 12 Maintain a Social Media Presence
- 13 Maintain Privacy
- 14 Verify Your Business Listing
- 15 Look into Your Competition
- 16 Market Your Content
- 17 Parting Thoughts
The easiest way to self-assess your current reputation is to simply Google yourself online. Patients refer to doctors’ reviews online to narrow down their search. The simple go-to websites include Yelp, Google Reviews, WebMD, and more. If your practice is making an appearance on such websites, you will learn about what your patients are saying about you.
Monitor Your Reviews
If you wish to maintain a strong reputation, you need to proactively monitor the reviews. Set up a system that alerts you every time your name or your practice’s name is mentioned anywhere online. Keeping track of reviews will enable you to work on your image and improve service, which will thereby help your practice attain better ratings in the future.
Your Patient, Your Priority
Every patient deserves your undivided attention, regardless. However, if you are looking to improve your online reputation, you must also treat every patient as a reviewer who can help enhance your image as a practitioner. Customer service can make or break your rep and your clientele. A good doctor is more than just someone who prescribes your medications. Your doctor is someone who cares for you and your wellbeing. Make sure you make your patient realize that with a hospitable and respectful attitude.
Ask for Feedback
If you are not receiving reviews online, it might just be because you are not asking for them. Following your appointments, remember to ask patients if they would be interested in leaving a review online. According to a 2016 survey, 70% of consumers stated that they only leave a review when asked to do so. Instead of hoping, someone will review you online, make it easy for both of you, and ask.
Address Criticism Impartially
Criticism is a part of any business, and unfortunately, more often than not, it is not handled in the best way possible. In the case of negative reviews, you must remember not to address them subjectively. Adopt an impartial approach and try to perceive the situation from the eyes of the patient. Consider the matter from a legal standpoint, as well.
Respond as a professional to minimize any potential reputation damage while ensuring that the patient’s confidentiality is not compromised in any way. It is never wise to respond to a negative review in anger.
Think Twice Before Responding
Online reviews can be faulty and misleading, but that does not give you the freedom to argue with patients.
As a practitioner, you must maintain a certain code of ethics and conducts. Even if the patient’s claims are untrue, you cannot feud it out online, for it would only paint your portrait in an unprofessional light. Apologize and look to resolve the patient’s concerns by contacting them personally and ask them what you can do to make things right.
Fake reviews may seem like a good temporary escape, but they come to haunt you later and potentially even run your business into the ground. Not only are fake reviews unethical, but they also question your authenticity, which may lead to your practice getting flagged for fabrication. So, why even take such a risk, to begin with? Keep your reviews organic for better growth.
Respond to All Reviews
Positive reviews are great. We love them. Negative reviews, however, are very disappointing. Regardless of how you feel about a review, always respond to them. In the case of a positive review, remember to thank the patient and show them your commitment to attaining patient satisfaction. In the case of negative reviews, apologize and look into resolving the matter tactfully instead of responding in a petty matter. The patient is not the one here who has a reputation to maintain; it is you. Never forget it.
Avoid Online Feuds
Online feuds are tempting, but you need to look at the bigger picture. Even if a patient is claiming something untrue, resort to resolving things privately as opposed to publically. As consumers, remember, the patient will always be the one sympathized with, not the doctor.
Promote Positive Reviews
Positive reviews are the best advertisements that you can use to market your business. Promote your positive reviews as a marketing strategy. Remember to ask your patients for consent first.
Train Your Staff
When a customer leaves a review, it is seldom about just the doctor. It describes the patient’s experience overall. Your staff plays a crucial role in ensuring that your practice receives an appraisal. Train your staff in customer service, so your patient feels cared for and valued. From phone calls to reminders to how they receive them in the office, make sure to cover all avenues when it comes to perfecting the overall patient experience.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
This is the age of social media, so you must maintain a strong presence online. Social media is an excellent way to bag a clientele by simply engaging with them and helping them with useful information. A strong social media presence can help boost your reputation and help grow your business in the best way possible.
Keep your professional and personal life separate. Your profile should not determine your capability as a doctor, so it is best to restrict access to them.
Verify Your Business Listing
Claim your business on Google to help get a kick-start on controlling what is displayed about you online. You can claim and verify your business’s listing by monitoring details such as your office location, working hours, reviews, etc.
Look into Your Competition
Read the reviews of other doctors to learn more about how to run your business. Tracking your competition has been studied to be an excellent healthcare reputation management tool because it enables you to identify your shortcomings and work towards improving them. Learn about what they are doing right so you can do it too to help your business grow.
Market Your Content
Content marketing facilitates organic growth with the help of thought-provoking articles. Identify the latest trends and adopt a leadership role. Do not just settle to become a part of the crowd. One way that will allow you to stand apart is your content, which is appreciated by readers and ensures sales without sounding overly marketed.
Your online reputation is like an under-construction building. It cannot be completed overnight. It takes time and small steps to tower high into the sky. You cannot be impatient with this process. Give it time and remember to temper your expectations and keep at it. After all, all good things come to those who wait.