The ancient Latin writer Publilius Syrus once said, “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” In modern times, this holds just as true as the day it was written: a company’s reputation has the power to completely make or break the business. This holds just as true for healthcare providers as any storefront business. That said, not every provider makes an effort to actively improve their reputation – particularly online. In this era so reliant on the internet for virtually everything, this is one of the biggest mistakes they can make! Here are 3 essential tips on how to improve online reputation for any practice seeking to grow patient volume.
Have Social Media Presence
Some providers think word of mouth is enough to grow patient volume, but in 2023, it’s simply not enough. In order to grow, any company needs a strong online presence to make a dent. In addition to having a professional website created for your organization, creating a social media page and posting quality content regularly is a perfect place to start. In 2022, the social media marketing usage rate among companies in the US was 92.1%, so patients will expect any legitimate practice to have at least one social media page that looks actively maintained. For social media sites like Facebook, this is also a great outlet for your patients to share positive reviews and feedback. According to Bob Burg’s Golden Rule of Networking, “people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” Social media will help you accomplish all three of these things! Patients will feel like they know, like, and trust your practice better through social media, which in turn improves your online presence.
Respond to Negative Feedback
According to a 2021 report, not only do 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online, but 96% of them will seek out negative reviews specifically. Furthermore, according to a 2022 study, people don’t trust companies with an average rating that is below 4 stars and regularly filter out those with anything less than that. Because of this, it makes sense to minimize the number of negative reviews you receive as much as possible. If your practice does receive negative feedback online, the best way to mitigate the damage is to respond to the negative feedback directly. If you receive a negative review from a patient on Google or social media, here are some steps suggested by PowerReview for responding:
- Empathize with their frustration
- Thank them for their feedback
- Offer to fix the problem
The way a practice handles negative feedback speaks volumes about them. Never respond in an angry or defensive manner, because this will reflect poorly on you, adding more validity to the patient’s negative review. Furthermore, use the review to discern if there is room for improvement at your practice. Sometimes, negative feedback helps doctors see what’s happening when they’re not supervising staff members, and shedding light upon this issue will prevent more negative reviews in the future. For instance, if a patient complains about front desk staff being rude, disciplinary action might help this from happening again.
Use Reputation Management Software
Sometimes it’s difficult to remember to ask patients for reviews during their visit, especially in a busy office with many other tasks at hand. Similarly, it’s also difficult for patients to remember to leave online reviews when they are busy with work, home, and family responsibilities. Thankfully, digital tools exist to take some of the legwork out of having to personally ask patients for positive reviews. Good reputation management software automatically contacts patients after their visit to ask for reviews, either via text or email. This allows a patient to leave feedback at their convenience from a device of their choice. If the review is positive, it might prompt them to leave it on social media. However, if the review is negative, the practice is generally notified to contact the patient before they share it online, potentially preventing a negative online review from ever being posted. This also helps practices learn how they can do better in the future. This type of software is powerful for improving the online reputation of any company and downright essential for any practice to grow.
How to Improve Online Reputation: DocResponse
DocResponse’s reputation management software works in the manner described above and has helped many healthcare organizations improve their online reputation. By automatically encouraging positive reviews and discouraging negative ones, they have helped many clients grow significantly. Take these practices, for instance:
A Pediatric Practice in Texas
- Had 23 reviews in 2 years before DocResponse
- Gained 35 reviews within 5 months of using DocResponse
- Previously rated 4.0 stars; currently rated 4.5 stars
An OB/GYN Clinic in Virginia
- Had 49 Reviews in 5 years before DocResponse
- Gained 88 reviews within 1 year of using DocResponse
- Previously rated 3.2 stars; currently rated 4.2 stars
A Pain Management Practice in Maryland
- Had 4 reviews in 3 years before DocResponse
- Gained 49 reviews within 1 year of using DocResponse
- Previously rated 2.2 stars; currently rated 4.9 stars
An OB/GYN Clinic in Texas
- Had 77 reviews in 5 years before DocResponse
- Gained 553 reviews within 2 years of using DocResponse
- Previously rated 3.8 stars; currently rated 4.5 stars
Through DocResponse’s assistance, all of these practices were able to dramatically increase the number of reviews they received and improve their average star rating. If you’re interested in learning more about how DocResponse’s all-in-one software is a game changer, schedule a demo to get started!