Research has shown that online reviews impact the purchasing decisions of over 93% of consumers. And we are also willing to pay up to 15% more for products or services if we believe will receive a better level of service.
The healthcare industry is not exempt from these trends. The vast majority of us will use online reviews when looking for a new doctor.
It is clear that as a doctor, your online reputation can have a serious impact on the number of patients that you bring in. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep yours as strong as possible.
So read on as we take a look at what you need to know about reputation management for doctors.
WHAT IS REPUTATION MANAGEMENT?
Reputation management is the ongoing challenge of maintaining a positive online presence for yourself and your business.
The aim is to increase the prominence of positive online reviews and comments and minimize the impact of any negative feedback you may have received. It is intended to help you present your best face to those people who are seeking information about your business.
Reputation management is something that needs continual work. There is no quick fix.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR DOCTORS?
As we have already seen, consumers heavily rely on reviews before making decisions.
72% of patients use online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor. If your reputation online is poor, you’re limiting your pool of potential patients to less than 30% of the market. That’s going to have a huge impact on your business.
No one is ever going to have a perfect reputation. But by using careful reputation management, a much larger proportion of people will consider your practice.
HOW CAN I MANAGE MY REPUTATION?
There are a number of steps that doctors can take to improve their reputation online.
It will take time, and is a constant process, so don’t expect results overnight. But by following some of the tips and tricks below, you should see your reputation increasingly improving.
ENCOURAGE POSITIVE REVIEWS
It is inevitable that you will get some negative reviews. Some people will never be happy, no matter how good your service.
The key is to outweigh your negative reviews with a much larger number of positive ones. It is a sad part of human nature that we are more motivated to leave a negative review than a positive one. So you need to work to actively encourage your positive reviews.
This can be as simple as making a follow-up phone call or email to a patient to find out how they are getting on. Suggesting that they might like to leave a review if they were happy with their service doesn’t have to be pushy. Do it right and your positive reviews will start to grow.
RESPOND TO ALL REVIEWS
You may feel that you only need to respond to negative reviews.
And you should always try to respond quickly to negative reviews. In some cases, you may be able to solve the patient’s issues and turn a negative review into a positive. Even if this isn’t the case, other potential patients will see that you are trying to solve any problems that arise.
But don’t ignore your positive reviews. Responding by thanking people for their positive feedback can encourage other people to leave positive reviews, too.
PROMOTE YOUR POSITIVE REVIEWS
If you get good reviews, make sure that people can see them.
Post good reviews on your social media accounts and feature them on your website. The more content that is out there relating to positive feedback about your practice, the more likely that people will find it.
It will also make the reviewer feel good that their feedback has been appreciated, and will encourage them to do it again.
TRY TO KEEP AHEAD OF NEGATIVE REVIEWS
If you know a patient has had a problem, try to get out in front of it before it turns into a negative review.
See what you can do to try and diffuse the situation. Keep calm and make sure you listen to their concerns. Try and find a solution that works for everyone. Remember that it might be worth offering a refund if it means you don’t receive a negative review.
MONITOR SOCIAL MEDIA
When people are doing their research, they’re unlikely just to look at the reviews on your website.
Social media is also somewhere where your reputation can live or die. So make sure you are constantly monitoring it to keep on top of any feedback that appears. It always a good idea to interact with your patients online, as it shows you care about your service as well as making you more visible.
GET SOME HELP
Reputation management is a hard job.
It is something that you will have to keep on top of constantly. Sometimes it can be too much to handle when you’re trying to run a successful practice at the same time. If you feel that you’re unable to do a good enough job on your own, then there’s no shame in seeking help.
Consider investing in a professional reputation management platform that can ease the burden for you. It will help you to keep on top of all of your reviews, and can even automatically promote your positive reviews across search engines and social media. And that means more time to focus on building your business.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SUPPORT WITH REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FOR DOCTORS?
With reputation management for doctors being so important, you may feel that you could use some help.
If so, then you’re in the right place. Our Review SPARK! reputation management platform will help you to generate powerful customer reviews, stay informed about customer reviews, and engage more with your customers.
We also offer a wide range of other marketing services such as web design, SEO, and content marketing. If you would like to know more about the services we offer then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.