How many stars does your medical practice have? Three? Four? Maybe your rating is all the way up to five stars. The answer could have profound implications for the success of your healthcare business.
That’s because 57% of online users won’t even consider visiting a business that has less than a four-star rating. That represents a significant portion of your potential patient base. As a result, improving your online reputation can provide you with a significant advantage, helping you grow your medical clinic, practice, or healthcare facility.
What is Reputation Management (and Why Should Healthcare Organizations Care?)
Most healthcare professionals have profiles all across the internet: Google, Healthgrades, maybe even Yelp. All of these profiles provide patients with an opportunity to rate their overall experience. As a result, physicians, clinics, and organizations will typically have a star rating (out of five possible stars) on each of these profiles. For better or worse, this is your online reputation.
In the past, most healthcare organizations have been content to let these reputations develop organically. But in a modern online ecosystem, your reputation has become far too important to ignore. Taking an active and ethical role in managing your reputation is vital to successfully grow your medical facility or healthcare organization.
Patients Look at Reviews Frequently–But They Often Won’t Leave Reviews Unless Prompted
Over 71% of patients will look at reviews before deciding to make an appointment with a physician.
The problem is that left to their own devices, patients typically won’t leave reviews unless they’ve had a particularly negative experience. This can leave your reputation looking rather lopsided (and inaccurate).
Asking for reviews can be especially tricky for healthcare organizations, as there are ethical considerations that must be taken into account. For example, a physician can’t give patients an incentive (monetary or otherwise) for leaving positive reviews. That’s why working with an agency that specializes in medical marketing can help you ensure that your reputation management is handled effectively and sustainably.
How Reputation Management Works
PatientX’s approach to reputation management is rooted in the knowledge that medical organizations have special challenges. We provide you with effective, seamless, and often effortless reputation management.
Here’s how it works:
- You select which review profiles are most important to your medical business. Usually, this includes Google, Facebook, or medical-specific websites such as Healthgrades. You can target any combination of these review sites.
- Once patients have finished their interaction with your clinic, they are prompted to leave a review. Sometimes this prompt comes in the form of a text message, in other cases, it may be an email.
- Patients who report a positive experience are prompted to leave you a rating and review at your preferred profile.
- Patients who report a negative experience are prompted and encouraged to follow up with your customer service office before leaving a review.
The PatientX approach to online reputation management also provides you with the opportunity to engage with and respond to negative reviews. Patients know that any organization will have bad days, so they’re typically pretty forgiving of negative reviews as long as you appear to follow up with those unsatisfied patients in an authentic way.
Benefits of Online Reputation
Once the system is in place and all the profiles are established, reputation management can be pretty seamless and quiet. It works in the background without a lot of fuss. This approach leads to substantial benefits for your healthcare company. Those benefits include:
- A more accurate rating on your profiles. Because all patients are prompted and reminded to leave reviews, negative experiences will not be overrepresented. Instead, your reviews and ratings will more accurately reflect your in-office patient experience.
- You can identify opportunities. If there is something that patients repeatedly mention in their reviews (for example, if long wait times are consistently discussed), you can work to address issues that you might not have noticed otherwise.
- Increase patient count: While word of mouth and referrals are still important, online reviews are often just as trusted as the experience of a friend or relative. This means that a positive overall rating can help encourage more patients to make appointments. And when you deliver on the promise of those good reviews, you create positive patient experiences that lead to additional positive reviews.
- Local search improvements: For Google, ratings are important. The better (and more plentiful) your reviews are, the higher you’ll rank in local business search results. This means your positive reviews will reach more patients and improve your click-thru rates. Ultimately, this means more patients coming through your doors.
Take an Active Role in Your Online Reputation
Taking an active role in your online reputation management isn’t about inflating your ratings–it’s about making them more accurate. And when patients know that they can expect a high-quality experience, they’re more likely to trust your healthcare organization and brand.
The best part is that, once your reputation management system is installed, keeping those accurate reviews coming in is relatively easy. To start taking an active role in your online reputation management, contact PatientX to start talking about how your reviews stack up–and how you can get things moving in the right direction!
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