Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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Why Social Media in Healthcare is Important

Why Social Media in Healthcare is Important | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The world now revolves around the internet, and social media has become the American national pastime, or so it seems. Every industry in the US has been in some way, shape or form molded and shifted by the internet and social media alike.

 

A simple post can alter the way an entire population views a particular issue or company, for better or worse. According to the World Bank, the healthcare industry occupies 10 percent of the global GDP and 17 percent of the United States GDP.

 

Over $7 trillion is spent per year globally. With such a crucial influence already, the healthcare industry must look at the impact it can have online and social media, alike.

 

According to a new survey from the tech analyst company ReportLinker, 46 percent of Americans admitted to checking their smartphones before they even get out of bed in the morning. No surprise to most, the guiltiest of them all is the generation Z (ages 18 to 24-years-old), 66 percent exactly, who reach for their smartphones before they rise out of the covers.

 

These statistics are not shocking to most reading this article. They could be reading this article from their smartphones.

 

With technology just at our fingertips, if we do not know something, we can google it for the correct answer. This can be said for where consumers seek healthcare information as well.

 

Nineteen percent of smartphone owners have at least one health app on their phone. Exercise, diet, and weight apps are the most popular types.

 

Consumers heavily rely on information found online and use the internet to gather healthcare information and connect with other patients to garner support and learn about similar conditions.

 

Patients also tend to seek information via social media that assists in the selection of doctors, specialists, and hospitals to make informed decisions on the best practices to seek care.

 

With nearly every patient holding onto their smartphones so tightly, googling every symptom for answers before they consult with their physician, it has become imperative for healthcare organizations to be active on social media and to provide accurate information on their websites. Every footprint left online aids in connecting with the patients and clients alike.

 

Apple, Inc., can attest to this idea with their launch into healthcare ventures in March of 2018.

 

The release of the Apple Health Record and the Apple Watch health features made them a contender in the market, and according to the CEO, Tim Cook, this is only the start. Apple is an expert when it comes to marketing its brand through multiple mediums, naturally online, and through social media.

 

However, curiously enough, Apple does not use social media as most companies would. The tech giant does not need any further exposure.

 

In the US, currently, 45.1 percent of smartphone users own an iPhone. Having that large of a market share only benefits Apple as they move into the healthcare industry.

 

As of 2018, over 120 healthcare institutions are a part of Apple’s health record beta, including Adventist Health System, Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare, LabCorp, and more. The company is also reportedly working with startup Health Gorilla, which helps doctors order and ingest lab test data.

 

Social media is a great tool for healthcare organizations. It is no longer an option to use social media in healthcare; it is mandatory to remain relevant. However, healthcare organizations need to be smart about how they embark on this endeavor.

 

Patients and providers need to have positive and accurate exchanges of information. It can be used as a medium primarily for community engagement activities such as fundraising, customer service, and support, the provision of news and information, patient education, and advertising new services. Social media is like a referral site on steroids.

 

Through social interactions, patients can develop a first impression of a hospital and/or physician. The healthcare organization’s branding online has never been more critical.

 

If healthcare organizations are not engaging with the community they serve on every social media platform; then they will inevitably fall behind. An organization’s marketing department has access to a multitude of tools and has access to analytics that can identify which platforms work the best and the best times to post to maximize the exposure to the community.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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How to Set Up Your Healthcare Social Media Profiles for Success

How to Set Up Your Healthcare Social Media Profiles for Success | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Healthcare Social Media: Is It Really Worth It?

Here’s the hard truth: Facebook’s organic reach is dead. Businesses hoping to reach potential patients and clients by simply posting somewhat frequently on Facebook are extremely unlikely to see a return.

 

Due to changing algorithms on Facebook and Instagram, followers are much less likely to see organic (unpaid) posts from your brand than from their own friends and family. 

 

For more on this topic, see our article: 

 

The Biggest Misconception about Social Media in Healthcare

That said, it is certainly worth setting up and claiming your social media accounts.

 

Updating your social media accounts can also boost search engine optimization and generate patient referrals. But if you’re simply hoping to gain patients from your marketing efforts, we recommend you do not spend a large portion of your time on organic social media.

 

Paid advertising is another story. Targeted campaigns reach people throughout your geographic target (not just followers) based on age, gender, and other qualities. For this, we recommend hiring a healthcare social media advertising agency.

 

Either way, you’ll want to get your account up and running as soon as possible, and establish some guidelines for posting and sharing. Here’s what a healthcare social media account manager should do.

1. Create a new page (or claim an existing one)

Facebook

Of course, the first step with any new social media platform is creating your new page. With Facebook, you’ll simply go to facebook.com/business and follow the directions on the screen.

You’ll be able to link this new business page to an existing personal profile or create a new profile to manage the page. You can also invite current employees as administrators and give select access to posting and editing capabilities.

In some cases, a Facebook page already exists for a business thanks to patients checking in at your location and tagging themselves on Facebook. In this case, you can claim the page using these instructions.

Instagram

To setup an Instagram account for business, first create an account from the Instagram app on your phone or tablet. Then, find the settings (the gear icon on your page) and press “Switch to Business Account.”

Twitter

Twitter’s page creation is incredibly simple. Keep in mind that Twitter uses the same profiles for business pages and personal pages. Simply go to Twitter.com to set up your new account.

2. Learn your social media platform

Once you’ve updated your basic information, you’ll want to get to know the particular platform you’re working in. Each platform is unique. For example:

  • You’ll need a header image and profile picture for each account, but every platform has different requirements. You can find an up-to-date guide on image sizing here.
  • It’s a good idea to use relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, but it’s not very useful on Facebook.
  • On Twitter and Instagram, it’s a good idea to start following other accounts related to yours as soon as possible.
  • Facebook is a great place to post and share events.

3. Get to know your audience

Doctors may be interested in sharing the latest research studies or stats on the newest equipment out there. But do you think patients want to comb through a complicated 30-page report? Of course, patients are interested in your expertise.

 

However, they would prefer an easy-to-read, quick professional assessment of a study.

Learn what types of content your audience prefers, and try to contribute something they will appreciate and share. 

 

  • Can you explain a new treatment option briefly and succinctly (or link to a source that does this)?
  • Can you direct them to in-person or online support groups for their illness or recovery?
  • Do you have an announcement to make about your location or services? (Note: Important announcements to existing patients are better left in email inboxes.)

4. Use clear images throughout your profile and posts

A plain text post may go over well with your friends and family. But if you’re trying to attract attention from prospective patients, images and video are key to gaining attention—especially with paid social media advertising.

 

You don’t need any fancy equipment for this. The latest iPhone takes incredible high-quality images. However, if you don’t already have a collection of in-house photos to use in your posts, stock photos are a good way to go. There are free stock photos available on sites like Unsplash and Pexels.

 

You can also overlay text using free, easy-to-understand tools like Canva.

5. Remain compliant with HIPAA and other regulations

Of course, you take HIPAA and other regulations seriously, but it helps to remind staff members who are the most active on your social media platforms.

 

We recommend consulting a lawyer if you are unsure of any issues of compliance. Some starting tips:

  • Photos of patients and clients, of course, require their signed consent.
  • Any pharmaceutical promotion requires disclosure of risks, etc.
  • Patients may comment on your page regarding their visit, but you should take care not to confirm they are a patient.

Organic Social Media vs. Paid Healthcare Social Media Ads

Some doctors have seen success by posting organically on social media—but these accounts are few and far between. If you hope to gain followers as a “thought leader” in your specialty, you’ll have to post very frequently and become involved in conversations online daily.

 

Still, thought leadership does not guarantee patients in your area. Social media can help build your brand and even improve morale around the office—but it’s not recommended for lead generation. That is, unless you work with a social media advertising agency to target local patients in your demographic.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Healthcare Digital Marketing - 5 Things To Know

Healthcare Digital Marketing - 5 Things To Know | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Customers Reliance On Search

Previously, if you had to seek a doctor, you might’ve called your relatives for suggestions. But these days, people are reliant on the internet for finding doctors. According to Google, over 80% of people are reliant on both online and offline resources for healthcare research.

 

That’s because, in modern times, people have less time for physically being at a place. People prefer looking at medically-related videos before going to the doctors. And over 64% of people prefer making doctors’ appointments online.

 

So, you might have a question regarding how this process works. It’s very easy, actually.

 

People use Google to ask, for example, “Who is the best psychiatrist in New York.”. The search result then shows them the best available psychiatrists around. The main thing here is, if you aren’t optimizing the Web search, then you are neglecting a lot of business potential.

2. People Love To Watch Videos

Capitalizing on videos is one of the great digital marketing strategies you should try in the healthcare industry. If you didn’t know already, one of the top-grossing video categories on YouTube is healthcare.

 

What’s the point of that here? Well, that means people like watching videos related to healthcare, and you need to capitalize on that.

 

To make your business strong, you need to earn customer loyalty. And a strong bond can be forged through videos. A video can help people turn to your business authentically while not making it look like an advertisement. A video can improve customer retention while reducing friction.

 

For example, think of a health supplement company. If they publish a video showing how clean and fresh their ingredients are, people are more likely to buy their products. 

 

 That video might show the entire process of how ingredients are turned into supplementary products and how they reach consumers. In that way, companies can not only demonstrate how good their product is but also create an impression that will prompt the buyer to buy their products.

 

Maintaining transparency with video campaigns will ensure that you have a steady rise in sales and growth while making a significant impact on the target market.

3.Providing Excellent Website Experience

Another thing people neglect is their websites while doing digital marketing for the healthcare industry. Good website traffic can mean positive results for our business.

 

Take a look at your website. Can people easily navigate through it?

Most people prefer to leave a website if it took more than 3-4 seconds to load up.

 

Imagine someone is looking for marijuana detox pills, and click on your website. He or she needs to order the pills as soon as possible. But your website is too slow to load the product page. Does he wait for the page or search for another website? A slow website always leaves a bad impression on your business.

 

That’s why having a quick responding website is crucial for selling your product and service.

4. Think Local

One thing most people leave out is the local aspect of a business. Focusing on the local search means more people are likely to buy your product on the local market.

 

For example, if someone is in an emergency and doesn’t know where to look for particular products, they’ll type in google for “X in Santa Monica, LA.” Here X indicates that particular product.

 

And if your website is ranked high on the local search, you’ll be able to capitalize more on the local market. Because of this, you are capitalizing on the local search is more important than ever.

5. Transparency

People opt to buy products if they feel they know everything about that product. This is why you’ll find people opting for well -known products rather than newer products that they don’t know much about.

 

People love to feel like an equal partner in terms of healthcare. According to a study, one-third of the people look up the information provided by the doctors on the internet.

 

From here, we can say that putting out authentic and trustable content means more engagement with your products. This makes people feel like an expert and gives a sign to others about how prominent you are in terms of putting out meaningful health content.

 

People love informative content. And if you’re putting out this kind of content, more and more people will look forward to contributing to your business and think of you as an industry leader.

 

That means giving people interesting and informative content. If people love your content, they are more likely to continue to patronize your business and look up to you as an industry leader.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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BPS IT & Web Services's curator insight, May 22, 1:09 AM
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National Dentists Day marketing ideas to boost appointments

National Dentists Day marketing ideas to boost appointments | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental marketing ideas to boost appointments

1. Thank your patients

On National Dentists Day, thank your patients for trusting you with their smiles. It’s important to take advantage of opportunities like this in order to remain top-of-mind and encourage strong patient retention.

Show your gratitude to patients by sending them a thank you email, sharing a social media post, or even thanking your patients in person on March 6.

2. Urge patients to commit to better oral health

When it comes to holidays like National Dentists Day, many patients’ natural inclination is to send cards, flowers, and small trinkets. But what most dental professionals really want is a commitment to better oral health.

Use the time leading up to National Dentists Day to encourage patients to promise to take the best possible care of their teeth and gums. For example, you could: 

  • Have them sign a pledge to brush and floss every day
  • Encourage them to book their next dental cleaning, if they have not already
  • Remind them to limit food and beverages that stain teeth

3. Share what inspired you to become a dentist

It’s not every day you get to talk with patients about your career choice. In anticipation of National Dentists Day, film a video detailing what inspired you to become a dentist. This will give current patients the chance to know you on a more personal level and better understand your professional passion.

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Video also gives you the ability to showcase your personality to prospective patients who haven’t met you yet. According to Statista, 85 percent of internet users watch online video content, making video a great medium to reach new patients.

4. Publish a National Dentists Day blog post

A smart dental marketing strategy is to use timely events like national holidays to drive traffic to your website. Writing a blog post about National Dentists Day increases your chances of appearing in search results when people Google the term.

 

In your blog post, explain what National Dentists Day is and ways patients can acknowledge their dental care team.

 

Take it a step further by sharing your blog post on social media or by including it in an email to current patients. Emailing patients is a great dental marketing idea because 59 percent of people say they prefer email communications from brands above any other channel, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

5. Offer a National Dentists Day discount

Offering a discount is always a good way to inspire patients to schedule appointments. Discounts are usually offered for a limited time, which creates a sense of urgency and gives people the extra push they need to take action.

 

On March 6, consider offering a discount on out-of-pocket services like teeth whitening for any patient who schedules their appointment on National Dentists Day. Make prospective and current patients aware of the offer by sharing it to social media. According to Sprout Social, more than one-third of people (37 percent) believe the most engaging content on social offers a discount.

6. Use the National Dentists Day hashtag

Social media is great for dental marketing because 72 percent of U.S. adults use at least one social media site, according to the Pew Research Center.

 

Leading up to and on National Dentists Day, share content on your social media channels and include the hashtag #NationalDentistsDay. Hashtags help get your content in front of more people. Make sure you also tag your location, so you can feel confident you’re reaching people in your local area.

 

A social media post can be as simple as a photo of you and your staff in the waiting room.

 

This helps you show off your team and your office space. If your patients are active on social media, encourage them to use the National Dentists Day hashtag, too.

 

7. Encourage patients to share positive feedback online

Having a strong online reputation helps attract new patients to your practice. In fact, 59 percent of patients say online reviews contribute to their decision in choosing a healthcare provider, and 70 percent of patients consider positive patient reviews to be very or extremely important, according to PatientPop.

 

On National Dentists Day, encourage your current patients to describe their positive experiences at your practice via an online review. According to PatientPop, patients are 22 percent more likely to submit an online review simply when asked, so don’t allow this great opportunity to build a positive online reputation pass you by.

 

National Dentists Day only comes around once a year, but the folks at PatientPop recognize the hard work dentists do year-round. From us to you, Happy National Dentists Day!

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How patient reviews influence a practice search engine ranking

How patient reviews influence a practice search engine ranking | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

3 important review signals

Major search engines keep their algorithms secret, but clues often exist that offer insights on factors used to determine rankings. This includes signals specific to patient reviews.

 

In fact, review signals contribute an estimated 15.44 percent to local search ranking factors, according to Moz.

1. Quantity of patient reviews

The number of patient reviews your practice has impacts your search ranking. If your practice has more patient reviews than your competitors’, it will seem more popular.

 

This increases the chances it will score a higher search engine ranking.

2. Velocity of patient reviews

Also known as frequency, velocity is the regularity at which patients leave reviews. A practice site with a positive velocity tends to realize a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) boost because it indicates an increase in popularity, according to Backlinko. Conversely, a negative velocity typically sees a SERP decrease because it’s a sign the site is decreasing in popularity.

3. Diversity of review sites

About half of patients (48.8 percent) read reviews on Google, according to PatientPop. But that doesn’t mean practices should exclusively focus on increasing their reviews on Google.

 

According to Moz, it’s important to develop a much broader array of sites where you get reviews because Google uses review site diversity and the number of sites that you’re reviewed on as a ranking factor in its local search algorithm.

What patients look for in reviews

It’s important to know that review quantity, velocity, and diversity are important to search engines. It’s also important to know what makes reviews meaningful to patients.

The BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2019 took a deep look at what people really want from reviews. Here’s what the findings revealed.

1. Patient review recency

More than half of people (58 percent) are concerned with the recency of patient reviews. Specifically, 48 percent of people need a review to be written within the past two weeks for it to impact their decision. 

Perhaps even more telling is that 84 percent of people consider reviews older than three months irrelevant. Therefore, it’s important to continuously request patient feedback from your current patients.

2. Overall star rating

Not surprisingly, 57 percent of people focus on the star rating of a business. In fact, only 53 percent of people would even consider using a business with less than four stars.

3. Quantity of reviews

When it comes to the number of reviews a business has, quantity matters to half of people. On average, people read 10 reviews before feeling like they can trust a business.

4. Legitimacy

Nearly half of people (49 percent) keep a watchful eye for fake reviews. Nearly the same proportion of consumers (46 percent) believe they’ve read multiple fake reviews in the past year.

Reputation management for doctors is all about building trust with patients. Therefore, it’s important to never take a less-than-genuine approach to acquire reviews from patients of your practice.

5. Sentiment

Some practices believe anything less than a five-star review from their patients will severely damage their online reputation management efforts. But this isn’t necessarily true. 

According to BrightLocal, the notion of what makes a review positive is subjective, and some people may be swayed by the sentiment of the review to decide whether they think it’s positive. For example, a four-star review that praises the courteousness of the staff and attentiveness of a doctor but criticizes a practice’s lack of parking won’t necessarily turn prospective patients off.

6. Practice response

People notice when you engage with patients who write reviews of your practice. Specifically, more than one-third (39 percent) of people look for a business to respond to reviews.

Looking a bit closer, 46 percent always read local businesses’ responses to reviews, highlighting the importance of taking this step.

7. Length and detail

For 37 percent of consumers, all reviews do not carry equal weight. These people want more substance, so they zero in on the length of the review and the level of detail included.

8. Photos

People want to be able to envision themselves at your practice. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 32 percent of people pay attention to whether photos were included with a review. 

Ensure your practice looks best online by always keeping the outside and inside of the building tidy and organized.

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Develop a memorable, effective brand for dental marketing

Develop a memorable, effective brand for dental marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

7 ways to differentiate your practice through branding

1. Know your audience

Different patients want different things from a dentist, so really think about the people you want to make up your patient base. Knowing exactly who you’re trying to reach will allow you to create a brand that speaks to them.

Conduct market research to learn how you can best reach this group. This will help you create the kind of dental brand your demographic can relate to.

2. Create a niche

Choosing a dentist can be overwhelming, so attract more dental patients by carving out a niche. For example, you might focus on sedation dentistry to help people nervous about going to the dentist relax during procedures.

After zeroing in on your niche, create a dental marketing plan that centers on it. Positioning your practice in a unique manner will allow you to create a brand that stands out.

3. Design a logo that represents your brand

A logo is an important part of dentistry marketing because it allows patients to easily identify your brand. For it to be effective, it must be immediately recognizable and invoke feelings of trust.

Start the planning process by researching other dentists’ logos in your market, as you don’t want to inadvertently create something similar. The final product will be synonymous with your practice, so make sure it’s something you want working for you.

4. Find your voice

Step your dental marketing up by defining your brand voice. Creating a personality for your practice is a smart branding move because it highlights who you are and what you stand for. A consistent tone helps patients relate to your practice, making it more memorable.

Branding a dental practice like an individual might sound a bit inane, but personality creates connections. When patients feel like your brand is speaking to them, they listen.

5. Be consistent

As noted above, consistency is key in all marketing for dental activities. If you send patients mixed messages, they won’t understand what your brand represents.

Everything from your brand voice to design choices must be consistent across all brand properties — i.e. your dental website, blog, social media pages, and marketing materials. Deviating from these standards will make you appear confused, which will not inspire patients to trust you with their dental health.

6. Show results

Actions speak louder than words, so include before and after photos — with patient consent — in your dental marketing materials. This will highlight your skills to prospective patients and help them feel comfortable in your hands.

Nothing adds to the value of a brand like quality. Putting patient results out there leaves no room for interpretation. This will allow patients to see that their quality standards align with yours, which will build trust.

7. Engage in thoughtful partnerships

Partnering with other local businesses can raise your brand profile while creating opportunities to bring new patients into your practice. For example, a pediatric dentist might partner with a pediatrician to sponsor a health fair for children.

 

Forging partnerships with complementary businesses can allow you to bring added value to patients. This creates a care network patients can rely on, allowing them to feel like you’ve covered all the bases for them.

 

Brand awareness is the key to the lasting success of your practice. Center your dental marketing efforts on this goal to create a brand that patients instantly recognize and completely trust.

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How to effectively communicate with patients during COVID-19

How to effectively communicate with patients during COVID-19 | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 best practices for communicating with patients during a healthcare crisis

1. Ensure business information is up-to-date and available

COVID-19 might have caused you to temporarily change some of your standard business practices. It’s important to keep your business information updated online to keep both current and prospective patients in the loop.

If you are temporarily closing your practice or expanding your hours of operation, update your office hours on your website and important online profiles such as Google My Business and Facebook.

Depending on your specialty, it’s possible you’re receiving a high volume of requests. Let patients know if you have a preferred method of contact right now — for example, a direct phone line or email address — so you can streamline requests to best serve them.

It’s also important to let people know if you’re accepting new patients or referring healthy patients to a different facility.

 

For example, you might be treating patients displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in your office but sending well patients elsewhere — or canceling their appointments entirely — to minimize their exposure to the virus.

2. Share facts from reputable sources and tackle misinformation

There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 on the web. Patients rely on you to separate fact from fiction, so don’t let them down.

 

Avoid spreading false information by only sharing data from reputable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Medical Association (AMA). Always cite your source. This increases your credibility and helps ensure your message doesn’t get twisted as people share your updates with others.

 

If your patients have been asking you the same questions based on misinformation, nip it in the bud by writing a blog post, social media update, or email refuting the information. As a medical professional, you’re in a unique position to help stop false rumors.

3. Touch base often to keep patients well informed

Patients depend on their trusted healthcare providers during a healthcare crisis. The unknown nature of COVID-19 has created a sense of pandemonium, so your patients want to hear from you.

The frequency of your messages will depend on your specialty. For example, if you’re a primary care physician, family doctor, or pediatrician, you might share daily updates — or more if the need arises.

 

If you’re not in a general health specialty, you might only reach out with updates regarding changes to practice procedures. For example, the American Dental Association has advised dental providers to postpone all elective procedures.

 

The U.S. Surgeon General has also asked hospitals and healthcare systems to consider stopping elective procedures for the foreseeable future.

 

If you change standard business practices, reach out once with the information, then again when the situation changes.

4. Use multiple channels to ensure messages are received

Not all patients use the same communication channels, which is why it’s important to share messages across multiple channels to reach as many people as possible.

 

Send emails, post updates on social media — possibly including Instagram Stories and Facebook Live — and write informative blog posts to help educate and inform.

 

You should also post the most important information on your website homepage, possibly by installing a website popup.

 

It’s also a good idea to share information using Google Posts. More for prospective patients, this feature allows you to share messages on your Google My Business profile.

 

This can make it easier for prospective patients seeking care to quickly determine whether your practice can meet their needs.

 

COVID-19 is a major healthcare crisis that has taken the entire world by storm. Right now, your patients need you more than ever, so effective communication is a must.

 

As a healthcare professional, you want to do everything possible to help people get through this pandemic.

 

Staying in touch with patients keeps them informed and makes them feel cared for in this time of distress.

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Reputation reboot: Doctor's guide to salvaging a poor reputation

Reputation reboot: Doctor's guide to salvaging a poor reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 doctor reputation management concerns — and how to resolve them

1. An inappropriate online review

A whopping 97 percent of people who read online reviews also read businesses’ responses to reviews, according to BrightLocal. An overwhelming majority (71 percent) say they’re more likely to use a business that has responded to their reviews.

 

Given these numbers, the importance of taking action cannot be emphasized enough. If a review is fake or fraudulent — i.e. it is clearly spam or it is a review by a competitor — contact the review site it’s posted on and explain the situation. You might be able to have it removed if it’s clearly fake or vulgar in nature.

 

However, don’t panic if you’re unable to have the review taken down. As noted above, people will read your response to review, so write a calm and collected reply, if necessary, that shows you’re a class act.

2. Someone else claims or populates a directory profile

Claiming, completing, and monitoring directory profiles should be a part of your online reputation management strategy. Realizing someone else has access to — or complete control of — a profile with your practice name on it is undoubtedly alarming.

 

Every site has its own process for dealing with these issues, so you’ll need to reach out to the customer service team immediately.

 

They should be able to help you figure out what’s going on and return exclusive access back to the rightful owner: you.

3. An incorrect response to a question on Google Q&A

The Google Q&A feature allows people to quickly and easily ask questions about your business. Both questions and answers are displayed on your Google My Business page, which can be helpful — if they’re answered correctly.

 

Finding an incorrect response can be alarming, so take swift action to have it removed. Click “more” next to the answer, then click “report” to alert Google of the false information.

 

In the meantime, replying to the question as your business is a great doctor reputation management strategy. The correct response from the business owner should set the record straight and negate the false information provided by the other user.

 

4. Several negative comments from a social media troll

It’s important for your practice to have a presence on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Unfortunately, this opens the door to trolls who want to cause problems for your practice.

 

Having a plan in place to deal with trolls is an essential part of reputation management for doctors. The best approach to take often varies by situation, but a polite reply — or none at all — is generally the smartest route.

 

Unless the troll uses profanity or other languages that’s offensive in nature, it’s typically best not to delete their comments.

 

5. A poor star rating

Only 53 percent of people will consider using a business with less than four stars, according to BrightLocal. Don’t panic if your star rating falls below this mark, however, because you can turn things around.

 

Send patient satisfaction surveys after each visit to find out what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement. Give satisfied patients the opportunity to share their feedback publicly, as each positive review will help bump your star rating up to an impressive level.

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6 essential elements for great dental website design

6 essential elements for great dental website design | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental website design elements you need to incorporate

1. Easy navigation

Nearly all people (94 percent) believe easy navigation is the most important website feature, according to a survey conducted by Clutch.

 

This makes sense because it’s frustrating to seek information on a website and not be able to find it.

 

Effective dental website navigation makes it easy for people to move between pages.

 

A header at the top of the page containing information organized in a logical manner is a classic structure people recognize and understand.

2. Well-written content

When you think of dental website design, the content might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s crucial.

 

The content on your website tells the story of your practice and what you have to offer.

 

Make content digestible by using headers to break up text and keeping sentences short. When possible, present information in list form, as this is easier to read than a large block of text.

 

Misspellings and grammatical errors will make your practice appear unprofessional, so have multiple pairs of eyes proofread all content.

 

This is important because flawless content will make your practice appear professional and trustworthy.

3. Quality images

Nearly one-third of marketers (32 percent) cite visual images as the most important form of content for their business, according to Social Media Examiner.

 

Therefore, your dental website needs quality images that complement the text.

 

Introduce patients to your team by including professional headshots with bios on your “About Us” page. Include photos of your office — i.e. waiting room, exam rooms, etc. — so they can picture themselves receiving treatment.

 

4. Short videos

Most businesses (87 percent) use video as a marketing tool, according to Wyzowl. This isn’t surprising, as 96 percent of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

 

Incorporating video into your dental website design can add serious value. Engage patients by creating videos explaining the different services you offer, so they can quickly learn more about them and the benefits offered.

5. Clear calls-to-action (CTAs)

The ultimate goal of your dental website design should be to convert visitors into patients. Place prompts such as “Call Us” and “Request an Appointment” prominently on every page of your website, so it’s easy to get in touch.

 

Including a variety of calls-to-action (CTAs) is important because not everyone wants to reach out through the same medium. Some people prefer the phone, while others would rather connect through an online form or email.

 

This covers all the bases, so you can please everyone.

6. Responsive design

According to Google, most users now access the search engine through a mobile device. Consequently, the company recommends using responsive web design for many reasons.

 

Google cites some of the benefits of responsive web design as making it easier for patients to share and link to your content and helping its algorithms accurately assign properties to the page.

 

In fact, Google has been practicing mobile-first indexing  — i.e. primarily using the mobile version of the site for indexing and ranking — for all new websites since July 1, 2019.

 

Ultimately, patients will visit your site using a variety of devices. Since responsive web design adjusts to fit the content on a variety of devices and screen sizes, you’re able to provide a positive user experience to everyone.

 

Great dental website design encompasses a variety of features that make it both attractive and functional. This is the first impression many patients will get of your practice, so investing in a quality site will add tremendous value.

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4 Ways Patient Feedback Can Help Improve Your Healthcare Practice

4 Ways Patient Feedback Can Help Improve Your Healthcare Practice | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Such is the importance of feedback in a business setting that a person could travel down a seemingly endless rabbit hole at Harvard Business Review on the topics of giving feedback and receiving it — if they were so inclined.

 

Feedback is critical for all healthcare providers to understand how their patients perceive them. This, in turn, helps improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction — and ultimately aids in new patient acquisition and retention. Once all of this is working in a virtuous cycle, healthcare practices will see increased revenue and growth.

 

Here are a few ways patient feedback helps physicians and their practices.

Feedback Helps Providers Understand Patient Wants

Having a clear picture of patient expectations is one of the main reasons why practices should seek feedback. It’s entirely possible that patients expect to schedule appointments online, or that they find bills confusing and the waiting room drab. Perhaps there’s one member of the front office team that is a quiet rockstar who always goes above-and-beyond for patients.

 

Without knowing the likes and dislikes of the entire patient experience — from how patients find your practice and schedule appointments to the care they receive — there is no way for practices to implement changes to better serve patients. Improving patient satisfaction and engagement is the surest way to retain patients.

Patient Feedback Can Help Providers Boost Online Reputation

A positive online reputation can help healthcare practices attract new patients. The opposite is also true: A negative reputation can deter prospective patients from entrusting your practice with their health.

 

Some 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. This means ensuring that patients who are satisfied with your practice share testimonials on social media or review websites are crucial to success.

 

Asking patients for reviews is easier than you might think. With automated patient feedback surveys, it’s simple to encourage patients to post positive reviews online.

 

Patient Feedback Helps Providers Give Better Care

Physicians typically only have a short window in which to connect, catch-up, and address any and all patient needs. That’s difficult under even the best of circumstances.

 

Without knowing how that patient encounter went — Did you provide the necessary care? The right advice and counsel? Did the patient think you seemed rushed or too focused on the EHR? — you will never be able to step back, assess your performance, and work to improve it for the next time.

 

Providers should always be striving to specifically understand how their performance impacts how patients perceive the quality of care given. This is crucial not just for a practice’s online reputation but especially if and when it begins to take on value-based reimbursements.

Feedback Can Create a Culture of Open Communication and Continuous Improvement

The only constant is change — an appropriate aphorism in today’s healthcare landscape if there ever was one. The best strategy to stay relevant is to build a culture of open communication amongst staff of all levels and continuous improvement where any idea that might benefit the practice is debated.

 

Openly sharing and analyzing feedback given by patients on the performance of the front office and providers is one of the best ways to create the psychological safety inherent of the highest-performing teams.

 

Once that safety amongst teammates is established, constructive dialogues can take place that lead to how the practice’s performance can be improved for the benefit of patients.

 

Patients are the customers of medical practices. Without soliciting feedback from them on your performance, it is almost impossible to improve your business.

 

Feedback, then, is the only foolproof way for physicians and practices to truly become patient-centric.

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5 benefits of acting on patient feedback

5 benefits of acting on patient feedback | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 benefits of acting on patient feedback

Provide a better patient experience

When you analyze patient comments, you’re able to recognize patterns that need your attention. 

 

Common patient complaints — such as unpleasant staff, problems scheduling an appointment, and difficulty or delays getting medical records — can cause people not to return to your practice.

 

Dentists who fail to provide a positive patient experience can face serious consequences. More than half of Americans have decided not to go through with a planned purchase or transaction due to bad customer service, according to American Express.

 

Furthermore, 33 percent said they would consider switching companies after just one instance of bad customer service.

Make patients feel valued

It’s discouraging for patients to voice their opinion and not feel heard. Requesting patient feedback is nice, but it doesn’t mean much unless you actually do something with it.

 

Nearly half of Americans (45 percent) claim appreciation for them as a customer is a very important component of providing excellent service, according to American Express. Choosing not to take action on common patient complaints inadvertently sends the message you don’t care.

 

Using critiques to make meaningful changes is a gesture that goes a long way, so don’t underestimate its value. Make patients confident they chose the right dentist by showing them the appreciation they deserve.

Improve patient satisfaction ratings

There’s a good chance you send patient satisfaction surveys after every visit. In fact, this is probably where you’re getting most of the feedback about your practice.

 

If scores aren’t as high as you’d like, the comments you’re receiving essentially guide your path to improvement. Boost your ratings by implementing as many suggestions as possible and resolving any problems that seem to be a widespread issue.

Achieve higher retention rates

Common complaints noted in patient feedback — surprise bills and long wait times, for example — can cause people to seek care elsewhere. In fact, one in five patients has changed doctors because of long wait times, according to Vitals.

 

If your retention rates aren’t great, simply listening to your patients and taking their suggestions for improvement can make a world of difference. It doesn’t get much easier than having people tell you exactly what’s causing them not to return.

Get more positive reviews

Reviews are an important part of dental marketing. For consumers to believe a business’s star rating is accurate, it needs to have an average of 40 online reviews, according to BrightLocal.

 

Of course, quantity isn’t everything, as positive reviews make 68 percent of people more likely to patronize a business, while negative reviews are a turnoff to 40 percent of consumers.

 

If you don’t have the high quality or volume of patient reviews you’d like, acting on comments can make a world of difference. Satisfied patients will be happy to sing your praises, especially when you took the time to rectify a concern they voiced.

 

The more positive reviews you’re able to generate, the better your dental practice will look to prospective patients.

 

You’ll almost certainly notice an increase in patient volume when you gain a reputation of truly caring about the people you serve.

 

Patient feedback is only effective when dentists use that feedback to make changes for the better. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by carefully analyzing comments and using them to improve your dental practice.

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3 Easy Ways to Engage Patients Online During the Holidays

3 Easy Ways to Engage Patients Online During the Holidays | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Many people love this time of year because the holidays offer a chance to slow down, give thanks, and spend time with friends and family.

 

For healthcare providers like you, the holidays present a good opportunity to connect with patients in a way that helps them keep their health — and your healthcare practice — top of mind.

Email a Digital Holiday Card

Sending holiday cards is a beloved gesture. According to the publication JSTOR Daily, Americans purchase 1.6 billion holiday cards every year.

 

Rather than send paper cards through USPS, take advantage of your robust patient email database to send digital cards. A digital holiday card expresses the same “thinking of you” sentiment and helps you save time and money.

 

Websites like Paperless Post offer hundreds of holiday card templates that you can customize.

 

All of your patients, including those who have not visited your practice in some time, should be sent a digital card.

 

In fact, a digital holiday card might just be the reminder some patients need to schedule appointments in the new year.

Offer Holiday Discounts on Social Media

People jump for discounts during the holiday season. According to Marshal Cohen, Chief Retail Analyst at NPD, almost one-third of purchases made around holiday time are for the buyer themselves.

 

If your healthcare practice sells retail products or can offer reduced prices on services, you can take advantage of “self-gifting” by running a special holiday sale on social media.

 

To effectively market your sale, you should share eye-catching images and use strong language that specifically outlines exactly what patients must do in order to take qualify for the discount. If you choose to promote the sale on Facebook, for example, you might require patients to “Like” your healthcare practice page and “Share” the specific post.

Discuss Hot Holiday Topics on Your Blog

Now is a great time for healthcare providers to write original blogs that discuss hot holiday topics.

 

A general practitioner, for example, can write several blogs that tackle one of the biggest holiday concerns: weight gain.

 

A few blog topics could include:

  • How to avoid overindulging at holiday parties
  • Healthful alternatives to harmful holiday foods
  • How to exercise regularly when the weather is frightful

Remember, publishing a blog is just the first step in encouraging patient engagement online. You must also share your blogs on social media. You can also send your blogs to patients via email or submit your work to a healthcare publication to bolster your online brand.

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Use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients

Use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Dental marketing strategies that build trust

1. Demonstrate reliability with consistent online directory information

Most consumers (80 percent) lose trust in a local business if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact information or business names online, according to BrightLocal. Furthermore, most people blame the local business, not the directory, for the error. 

 

Obviously, online directories play a huge role in dentistry marketing. If you haven’t claimed your listings on popular directories like Google My Business, it’s time to do so.

 

Being in control of your directory profiles will allow you to ensure your business information is accurate. This will avoid confusion that can turn prospective patients away from your practice.

2. Highlight the human side of your dental practice

There were 199,486 dentists working in the field in the U.S. as of 2018, according to the American Dental Association. Finding the right dentist is a very personal choice — and, clearly, patients have plenty of options.

 

Your dentist marketing should make patients feel comfortable with your practice. Humanize it by sharing photos and videos of dentists, hygienists, and practice staff on your website, directory listings, and social media.

 

Additionally, show prospective patients they’re in good hands by highlighting your credentials on all web properties and directory profiles. Your expertise will put them at ease because they’ll feel confident you know what you’re doing.

3. Prioritize dentist reputation management

Three-quarters of people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find more information about a doctor, dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. About the same amount (76 percent) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.

 

Take control of your dentist reputation management by integrating it into your marketing plan. Continuously ask current patients for their honest feedback by sending automated patient satisfaction surveys.

 

Feature positive reviews on your dental website, and respond to negative public feedback where appropriate. This is key because people won’t necessarily hold negative feedback against you if you try to make it right.

 

For example, 97 percent of consumers read local businesses’ responses to reviews, according to BrightLocal. This means prospective patients would almost definitely be reading your side of the story, lessening the impact of any negative reviews.

4. Share real patient stories

More than half of people (56 percent) trust brands based on their customer experience, according to Edelman. Since you haven’t treated prospective patients yet, learning about those you have can build trust.

 

For example, you might feature before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures — i.e. teeth whitening, veneers, gum reshaping, etc. — on your website and social media. With patients’ written permission, you can also write about their dental transformations on social media or blog posts on your website.

 

This is a great dental marketing strategy because it helps prospective patients envision what you could do for them.

5. Educate and inform

Prospective patients want to ensure their new dentist knows what they’re doing. Presenting yourself as an authority in your branch of dentistry will put your knowledge on display.

 

Dental marketing ideas might include writing blog posts to explain cutting-edge techniques or sharing the steps involved with common patient procedures. This shows prospective patients you’re fully engaged and know exactly what you’re doing.

 

Prospective patients won’t trust their dental health to just anyone. Thoughtful dental marketing can allow you to connect with people and show them they’re in good hands at your practice.

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The Problem with Self-Serving Social Media in Healthcare

The Problem with Self-Serving Social Media in Healthcare | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Social media is a hot topic for healthcare marketers, though navigating the various channels isn’t always easy. Most people have experience sharing on social media, so it may seem that posting for your healthcare organization would be simple enough.

 

However, this leads a lot of companies to have self-serving social media feeds that don’t necessarily pique the interest of would-be followers.

 

And while followers don’t typically translate into patients (more on this later)—a solid social media presence can build your brand in a positive way.

How lots of healthcare organizations use social media

No two healthcare social media feeds are the same. However, we see a lot of these patterns with organizations, especially those that use their business profiles only casually:

  • Updates to regular or holiday hours
  • Updates on services offered
  • Photos of the staff having fun
  • Promotions, such as free screenings
  • Featured Healthcare services or technologies
  • Birthday shout-outs for the staff

 

Yes, it’s important for prospective patients, for your audience to know when your hours are and to hear about your upcoming promotions and service offerings. And yes, it’s great to highlight your company culture. (This is especially true on Instagram, which is a great tool to use for recruiting purposes.)

 

But will these things lead people to follow your Facebook page? Probably not the followers you’d hope for.

 

Rather, these kinds of strategies speak to current and former staff members, their friends and family members, and maybe a few very loyal patients.

 

These are all people who are excited to see what’s going on with the business—but prospective patients won’t be so enthused.

So what belongs on social media?

By no means are we saying you shouldn’t share important updates about your business with your followers on social media—especially since much of your existing base would want to know about a change in your practice’s hours.

 

However, it’s more important for healthcare organizations to share content that actually helps patients and prospective patients get the information they need to ensure their health.

 

Show your community that you’re here for them. As a healthcare professional, you have the opportunity to help stop the spread of disinformation with accurate, informative, and timely health information. 

 

Think about what topics could help your patients avoid health emergencies, take care of themselves after a procedure, or choose the right treatment. For example:

  • A statistic about how many people suffer from depression, convincing prospective mental health patients they are not alone.
  • A video interview with a doctor explaining the importance of the flu shot.
  • A link to an article (from your website or another reputable site) about how to spot signs of skin cancer.

Thoughtful, relevant, and engaging content shows people that you’re always thinking about their health, whether or not they become patients. Remember, videos and images are typically far more engaging than simple text posts.

Are followers really important to your social strategy?

Posting on social media is an excellent way to build your brand and potentially gain a few followers. But will it get you patients? Probably not.

 

More and more patients are searching for healthcare providers online. But they do not typically search on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

There’s still a chance, however, that a prospective patient will come across your Facebook while searching for your brand. And posting helpful social media content can only serve to prove your commitment to helping patients.

 

That said, there is a way to win more patients with social media, especially on Facebook and Instagram—paid social media advertising.

How to attract patients from Facebook and Instagram

When we talk about social media marketing, we typically separate it into two categories: organic and paid. Organic social media is simply posting organically. But paid social media ads give you the opportunity to win patients.

Most Facebook business users know about “boosted posts”—paying to have a regular post stand out on people’s feeds. But Facebook ads go far beyond this.

 

You can target precisely the right audience at the right time with a relevant CTA. You can even retarget previous visitors to your website to increase their chances of converting.

 

The bottom line is that posting on your social media profiles can help build your brand. But it’s unlikely to win you patients. If you have a limited amount of time or budget for social media, think about what’s most important to your company.

 

Typically, someone in the office is happy to handle organic posts, but it pays to have an expert curate your Facebook ads, constantly readjusting them to get the best bang for your buck.

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How to Communicate Effectively During a Crisis

How to Communicate Effectively During a Crisis | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

During a crisis like a health scare or natural disaster, it’s often the job of marketers to communicate to patients, staff, vendors, partners, and the community at large. 

 

Like anything, it’s a lot harder to do your job without any sort of plan or guidelines in place, but you aren’t alone. In fact, according to a recent survey from Deloitte, the multinational professional services network, only 49% of board members say their companies have playbooks for likely crisis scenarios. 

 

Read on for some top-level strategic crisis communication tips and actionable tactics to consider when steering your medical practice messaging through a less than ideal situation.

Things to Remember 

A good crisis communication plan cannot be copied and pasted. There are factors specific to your medical practice, and the emergency you’re dealing with that are required to be factored into your plan. That said, your plan should include:

  • Steps to take when the crisis first emerges 
  • How and when to communicate with internal and external audiences 
  • Strategies to prevent the incident or improve response if unavoidable 

So, when it comes to planning for an emergency like a natural disaster or mass shooting (something a lot of us may have more experience in than we would ever want), here’s what to consider doing to create and implement your crisis communication plan. 

Be Honest & Intentional with Your Communication 

If there was ever a time to remove all the fluff from your marketing communication, it’s now. Be honest and get to the point – fast. Whether it’s with employees or patients, define your message, update it as needed, but do not lie about what’s going on. 

 

According to CEO Magazine, honesty is considered to be the single most important leadership value, and if you aren’t truthful in your communications here, it will come back to haunt you. 

 

How can you be intentional about what you want to say and how you want to say it? Practice. 

 

Create a list of possible scenarios and write out how you would respond to each of them. What are the messages you would use? How would you communicate your key points to stakeholders? Media? Staff? Patients? You’ll need an answer for each. 

 

It may also be helpful to involve other key leadership here as you draft these scenarios, and you may even want to incorporate protocols or drills into your workflow throughout the year. 

Define Roles and Expectations

Once you have some of your key messages outlined, it’s time to create an organizational chart. In other words, determine what and who is expected to step up when a crisis does hit. And, when that person isn’t available, who is next in line?  

 

First, establish a point of contact for your crisis management team (CMT) and use whatever internal communication methods you have to get the message out to your staff that John Smith is the point of contact, and these are the talking points if asked. 

 

WorldAware.com says a CMT lead is responsible for developing, implementing, administering, evaluating, and maintaining the entire program.

 

Reach your team by email, a bulletin board in a break room, intranet, word of mouth, memos, smoke signals – whatever you can do internally to let people in your organization know what they should be saying and what they should expect in terms of their jobs and disruptions to their day-to-day lives.

 

You may also want your CMT to be in charge of the external communication as well because depending on what sort of disaster or crisis you’re dealing with, there are potential media, vendors, partners, and patients are all going to be affected.

 

If you’re a larger practice, you may want to consider putting together a full committee or emergency response team instead of just one lead or a few top managers. In this scenario, each of the large departments at your practice has a representative so they can communicate to their teams and so forth.

 

Then, depending on the level of the emergency you’re dealing with, you can activate the team and do a weekly, daily or hourly meeting depending on severity, even if it’s just 5-minutes on the phone to ensure everyone is on the same page.  

 

Who should be part of the team? Consider involving a few select physician partners, branch location managers, administrators, and managers and, if you’re not the marketing person, make sure someone from the marketing team is involved because they may be the ones communicating the information to patients, partners, and media. 

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5 reasons your dental practice isn't attracting new patients

5 reasons your dental practice isn't attracting new patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Your dental website is not appearing highly in search

When conducting a Google search, 75 percent of people don’t look past the first page of results, according to Moz. If your dental website isn’t ranking highly in search results, new patients probably aren’t finding it.

 

In fact, 61 percent of marketers cite boosting search engine optimization (SEO) and improving organic presence as their top inbound marketing priority, according to HubSpot. Therefore, the importance of having a robust dental marketing SEO strategy in place cannot be emphasized enough.

2. You have not expanded your dental practice’s web presence

Having a beautiful dental website is important, but you need more than that to attract new patients. Get in front of people by claiming online directory dentist profiles and engaging them on social media.

In 2018, approximately 243.6 million Americans used social media — roughly three-quarters of the U.S. population — according to Statista. Social media for dentists is an important dental marketing strategy because you can get more dental patients by connecting with them on platforms they’re already using.

 

Claiming online directory profiles is also key because patients use these sites to research your dental practice. In fact, 48.8 percent of patients check Google for patient reviews, followed by WebMD (32.8 percent), Yelp (22.8 percent), Healthgrades (21.8 percent), and Facebook (16.8 percent), according to PatientPop.

3. Your dental practice has few patient reviews

Most people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. In fact, more than three-quarters (69.9 percent) consider a positive online reputation to be very or extremely important.

 

If your dental practice doesn’t have many — or any! — recent patient reviews, this is likely steering people away. Since reviews have become so prominent, people don’t want to schedule an appointment with a dentist they know nothing about.

 

Sending patient satisfaction surveys after each visit is a dental marketing strategy that can help you gain valuable feedback and generate more reviews. Inviting satisfied patients to share their experience on your dental website will give new patients the information needed to feel comfortable making an appointment.

4. You haven’t enabled online scheduling

Picking up the phone to schedule a dental appointment is inconvenient for many modern patients. Finding the time to call a dentist during business hours and waiting on hold can be difficult to fit into a busy schedule. 

 

Consequently, it’s not surprising that 68 percent of patients say they’re more likely to choose a provider who offers online scheduling, according to Accenture. Therefore, if you want to attract more dental patients, consider enabling online scheduling.

5. Patients have to wait too long to be seen by a dentist

When new patients have a toothache or are greatly overdue for a cleaning, they want to be seen by a dentist as soon as possible. However, on average, patients wait 6.8 days before their first appointment with a dentist across all specialties, according to Statista. Eliminate long wait times by saving a few appointment spots for new patients who want to book appointments in the near future.

 

While making this adjustment, take an honest look at your appointment times, as a lack of convenience could also be keeping new patients away.

 

In fact, 56 percent of patients seeking traditional healthcare services cite convenient appointment times as an important factor when choosing a provider, according to Accenture. Making a few small adjustments to your schedule — i.e. opening or closing your office an hour later — can have a noticeable difference.

 

Your dental practice offers outstanding care, so it’s time to stop new patients from missing out. Increasing your dental marketing efforts and making scheduling more convenient are relatively simple changes that offer big results.

 

If you’re willing to invest the time and resources needed for a dental marketing strategy that will put your practice out there, you’ll gain the competitive advantage needed to fill your waiting room with new patients.

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Marketing a medical practice: Humanize your business online

Marketing a medical practice: Humanize your business online | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

6 ways to humanize your medical practice

1. Share photos and videos on online listings

Patients want to visualize themselves receiving care at your practice. Make this easy by adding photos and videos to all your online listings — i.e. your healthcare website, social media pages, and online directories.

 

When done correctly, online marketing for doctors introduces your practice to patients and shows them what you’re all about. Clearly effective, 94 percent of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, according to Wyzowl. 

2. Include biographies on your healthcare website

When patients receive care at your practice, they put their health in your hands. People are not willing to give this responsibility to just anyone, so they want to be as informed as possible.

Writing thorough biographies of all providers and staff members makes it easy to introduce your team to prospective patients. In addition to pertinent education and professional experience, each biography should contain a few personal details to connect with patients on a deeper level.

3. Publish blog posts under staff names

No doubt, your physician online marketing strategy includes blogging. This is important, as marketers who make blogging a priority are 13 times more likely to see a positive return on investment (ROI), according to HubSpot.

 

Make blog posts even more personal by publishing them under the names of your staffers. This makes patients feel like they’re reading advice from a friend because they can put a face to the name.

4. Converse with patients on social media

Nearly half of consumers (45 percent) have reached out to a brand on social media when they have a question or issue, according to Sprout Social. Even more telling, 88 percent of marketers believe customer service on social media is important to their brands.

 

Effectively marketing a medical practice on social media goes beyond simply posting content. Give your practice a voice by using your social media presence to communicate with patients.

 

Responding to comments and mentions will make patients feel valued while highlighting your practice personality. Plus, establishing a rapport with patients will enhance your relationship and increase loyalty.

5. Share patient success stories

Posting patient success stories on your website and social media pages offers several benefits. In addition to hearing satisfied patients sing your praises, it also gives you a chance to talk candidly with prospective patients.

If you appear alongside patients in these videos, you’ll be able to discuss key details specific to the person’s unique situation. This might include the reason you suggested the treatment performed, your relevant expertise, and your focus on patient wellbeing.

6. Create video FAQs

No doubt, patients ask you many of the same questions every day. Use this as an opportunity to connect with them by creating short FAQ videos.

 

Most people (96 percent) say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, according to Wyzowl. Therefore, this will likely be a popular feature on your website. 

 

Brief one-to-two minute FAQ videos will highlight your knowledge while making patients feel like you’re speaking directly to them. This can be more effective than a text-only FAQ section because it adds the personality needed to form a connection.

 

Marketing a medical practice is all about building trust with patients and making them feel comfortable. Healthcare can put people in a vulnerable place, so they want a provider who they can relate to.

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How to increase patient awareness of your healthcare practice

How to increase patient awareness of your healthcare practice | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

3 healthcare marketing tips to increase patient awareness

1. Create a memorable healthcare practice brand

Establishing a brand that resonates with patients is a process that involves many components. These individual pieces work together to create a trustworthy brand that people feel comfortable with.

 

This includes designing a logo that represents your practice and speaks to patients. It should be as synonymous with your practice as its name, so take the time to do it right.

 

You should also create a tagline that tells your practice story. For example, a chiropractor could use the tagline “We’ll get you back to doing what you love.”

 

Also important is ensuring you’re telling the same story across platforms — i.e. your healthcare website, blog, and social media pages — as this creates trust. Make sure your “About Us” pages share the same history and that your voice is consistent on all properties.

 

Incorporating all of these steps into your healthcare marketing plan will define your brand identity. This will draw new patients to your practice and give existing ones a sense of belonging.

2. Climb to the top of local search results

Having a beautiful healthcare website is nice, but it won’t achieve much if patients can’t find it. Therefore, it’s important to create a high-performance website that loads quickly.

 

It takes an average of 15 seconds to fully load a mobile landing page, according to Google. Unfortunately, 53 percent of mobile visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

 

Page speed is a Google ranking factor for both mobile and desktop users, so it’s important to ensure your healthcare website loads fast.

 

If it doesn’t, expect both your rank to fall and visitors to become frustrated and move on to the next.

 

Patient reviews can also help boost your local search engine ranking. Ideally, satisfied patients would take the initiative to write these on their own, but many people need a little push.

 

Two-thirds of consumers (67 percent) have been asked to write a review for a local business, according to BrightLocal. Of those asked, 51 percent complied.

 

Boost your online reputation by sending patient satisfaction surveys after each visit. Promptly address any issues, and invite satisfied patients to write a review.

3. Target prospective patients with online advertising

As with any business, a well-placed healthcare advertisement can increase awareness for your practice and bring new patients in. Online advertising in the form of paid search and social media ads can help put your practice on the map.

 

Paid search allows you to advertise your practice on search engine results pages — typically at the top and bottom of the page. Ads work on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you don’t pay until a user clicks on your ad.

 

When properly executed, this online advertising strategy can be very effective. In fact, 75 percent of people say paid search ads make it easier to find the information they were searching for online, according to Clutch.

 

Social media advertising is also an important healthcare marketing approach. Approximately seven-in-10 Americans use social media, according to the Pew Research Center, making sponsored content on these platforms a great way to get in front of your target demographic.

 

More specifically, Facebook ads have a potential reach of 1.9 million users, according to the Global Digital Statshot report from We Are Social and Hootsuite. Also impressive, Instagram ads have a potential reach of 849 million people.

 

Clearly, the potential to promote your practice through digital advertising is nearly limitless, so it’s important to invest in a thoughtful strategy.

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5 proven tactics for long-term healthcare SEO success

5 proven tactics for long-term healthcare SEO success | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How to boost your healthcare website’s local search engine ranking

1. Use localized keywords

Incorporating the right keywords throughout your website content is one of the most important elements of healthcare SEO. Start by conducting keyword research to see what your prospective patients search for when looking for a practice like yours.

 

For example, a podiatry practice in Glendale, AZ, might use keyword phrases like [podiatrist glendale], [ankle sprain glendale], and [ingrown toenail glendale]. Just be mindful when choosing keywords, as keyword stuffing — i.e. aimlessly filling a page with keywords in an effort to boost your ranking — can negatively affect your rank.

 

A study conducted by Ahrefs revealed that sites commonly rank for two to three keywords with more than 1,000 searches per month.

 

However, they rarely rank for more than one keyword with more than 10,000 searches per month. Keep this in mind when deciding which keywords — and how many — to weave into copy.

2. Create individual service pages

Your practice offers a variety of services to patients. Make sure each gets the attention it deserves by dedicating a page on your healthcare website to it.

 

This is a crucial element of SEO for doctors because it will allow each page to rank for the specific service noted. It also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site because it creates a more organized site map.

 

The same rule applies to practices with multiple locations. If your practice has more than one office, boost local search results by creating a separate page for each location.

3. Publish blog posts

Not only does blogging engage your patient base, it’s also an important SEO for medical technique. Crafting informative blog posts on a regular basis takes time, but it’s worth the effort.

 

According to HubSpot, blogging boosts your SEO rank by positioning your site as relevant to patient questions.

 

The company recommends creating evergreen content and repurposing or updating it as needed to keep the information current.

4. Practice backlinking

If you’re not familiar with backlinking, it’s the process of obtaining links from other websites back to your healthcare website. This is important for healthcare SEO because search engines use links to help determine your page rank.

 

In addition to scanning page content, search engines look at the number and quality of links pointing to the page from external websites.

 

Typically, the more high-quality websites that link to your page, the better your chances of scoring a competitive ranking.

5. Optimize page speeds

Site speed has been a Google ranking factor since 2010. It’s not as significant as some other factors — like page relevance — but it’s important to pay attention to all elements that play into your SEO ranking.

 

Google recommends having a time-to-first-byte — i.e. the amount of time the page takes to start loading — of less than 1.3 seconds.

 

A slow page speed also means search engines can crawl fewer pages with their crawl budget, according to Moz.

 

Page speed is also a user experience issue. The average mobile landing page takes approximately 15 seconds to load, according to Google.

 

This isn’t good, considering 53 percent of mobile visitors leave a page with a load speed greater than three seconds.

 

Healthcare SEO isn’t a one-time effort. Long-term success requires an ongoing time commitment — one you can’t afford to ignore. Your website visibility depends on its search engine ranking, so give it the attention it deserves.

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How to create successful Facebook ads for doctors

How to create successful Facebook ads for doctors | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

5 tips to follow when medical advertising on Facebook

1. Define your goals

Before investing your healthcare advertising dollars on Facebook, you need to decide what your goals for your doctor ads are. Facebook offers multiple formats for your doctor advertisement, and your goals can help you choose the correct one.

For a medical practice, common goals may be to:

  • Drive traffic to your healthcare website. To drive traffic to your healthcare website, you can set up a click campaign that encourages your target audience to visit any page on your site. You might generally describe your practice and link to your homepage, or you might direct people to other sections of your website.
  • Increase appointment bookings. If your website is equipped with online scheduling, you can create an ad that links to your scheduling page. You can retarget people who have visited your website or encourage people to take care of routine visits. For example, a dermatologist may want to place healthcare ads that remind people to get an annual skin exam and direct people to a webpage where they can schedule an appointment.
  • Become a trusted thought leader. Many people will choose to follow a medical professional to learn more about a procedure they are considering or to learn how to live a healthier life. To become a trusted source, you should be sharing helpful information on your social media channels. Boosting your organic posts on Facebook can ensure the helpful tips you’re sharing organically get in front of more patients.
  • Grow your Facebook page audience. If you’re looking to have a larger audience on Facebook, you can create a “Like” campaign, which encourages people to like your Facebook page.

It’s important to note that you may have to create a business manager account to run certain types of ads on Facebook.

 

2. Build the appropriate audience

Unlike paid search advertising where users are delivered healthcare ads based on information they’re seeking, Facebook ads interrupt a user’s news feed. When creating an audience for your healthcare ads, your aim is to group together people who are likely interested in what you do.

 

If you haven’t already, it’s especially helpful to define your ideal patient. If you’re a primary care physician, you may treat a wide range of patients ages 18 to 55, but an 18-year-old likely wouldn’t respond to the same ad that a 55-year-old would. Building Facebook audiences that align with your ideal patients can help you tailor your ad copy so they’re most effective. On Facebook, you can also build audiences based on geographic location and even likes and interests.

 

You can also add a pixel to your website in order to retarget your web visitors with your Facebook ads. The Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that you, your website engineer, or a Facebook Marketing Partner can paste into your website code. Presumably, someone who was browsing your website was interested in learning more about you and was looking for a doctor. By retargeting them with your ads on Facebook, you can stay top of mind.

 

If you have a list of patient emails, you can also create a lookalike audience on Facebook. A good audience size is between 20,000 and 100,000 people: This ensures your ads aren’t being served to the same people over and over and that you’re not casting too wide a net.

 

When creating a lookalike audience, Facebook segments a group of users who have similar attributes to your current patients, which you can further filter by location and other categories. Do not target your current patients directly, as Facebook requires explicit consent, and your patient list is likely too small.

 

When boosting your organic content to a larger audience, you can also target users who like your page. According to a report by We Are Social, an organic post reaches only 6.4 percent of page likes on average. This can help get your content in front of people who have already expressed an interest in hearing more from you.

3. Create engaging and compliant ads

Facebook users are constantly served with ads. The key to creating successful doctor ads means creating ads that are engaging, relatable, and relevant. Your medical ads should seem like a normal post in terms of copy and visual assets but stand out in terms of the content. According to Sprout Social, people are most interested in advertisements that entertain, educate, or offer discounts.

 

As an expert in your specialty, you have the distinct opportunity to educate users on their health. In fact, 33 percent of people are more likely to engage with social ads that teach them something, according to Sprout Social.

 

If you offer retail products or out-of-pocket services, you may also try to engage users with a promotion: In the same survey, 37 percent of users said they were more likely to engage with social ads that offered a discount.

 

Before creating an ad, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Facebook’s advertising policies, specifically the prohibited and the restricted content sections. Perhaps of special interest to doctors, Facebook forbids advertising anything related to sex or sexual health.

 

If you’re a plastic surgeon, photos of cosmetic procedures involving the breast, for example, may be flagged for nudity.

 

Ads with excessive amounts of text or featuring a photo of a single body part might not get approved by Facebook. Ads for weight loss products and services and cosmetic procedures must be targeted to people at least 18 years or older.

4. Keep mobile in mind

According to Statista, 96 percent of active Facebook users access the network via a tablet or smartphone. Facebook is accessible via both desktop and mobile devices, so your ads will automatically be formatted for the mobile screen.

 

However, there are considerations you can make to better serve mobile users. People using their phones are likely on the move, so if you’re using video for ads, you should keep them to about 15 seconds. 

 

For the same reason, you should keep your ad copy relatively short and to-the-point. People scrolling on their phones may not be inclined to read a lot of text. 

 

5. Track performance and optimize

As with any medical advertising, it’s important to measure your ad performance. The metrics you’ll be reviewing depend on the original goal of the specific campaign.

 

For example, if you were looking to drive traffic to your website, you will want to monitor link clicks and click-through rate.

 

The click-through rate measures the percentage of clicks in comparison to how many people saw the ad. If these are low, you may want to try different advertising copy, images, or both.

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Healthcare website promises doctors should be wary of

Healthcare website promises doctors should be wary of | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

7 healthcare website promises that should make you think twice

1. “You don’t need a responsive site.”

As of February 2019, 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, GSMA Intelligence predicts 3.7 billion people — 72 percent of global internet users — will access the internet using only mobile devices by 2025.

 

Given these numbers, it’s clear patients are using a variety of devices to access your site. Therefore, having a responsive medical website is a must, as it adjusts to fit the screen size of the device. This allows all patients to enjoy an optimal viewing experience.

2. “Anyone can build a website that can be found in search.”

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Creating a medical website that ranks highly in search requires vast search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge.

 

This isn’t easy, as nearly two-thirds of companies (61 percent) cite generating traffic and leads as their top marketing challenge, according to HubSpot.

 

You can have the most amazing healthcare website, but it’s essentially useless if people can’t find it. In fact, three-quarters (75 percent) of people don’t look past the first page of Google search results, according to Moz.

3. “Website content can be written by anyone.”

Bad content can ruin an otherwise amazing healthcare website. In fact, nearly half of consumers (44 percent) won’t purchase from a brand if its content is too wordy or poorly written, according to Adobe.

 

Content should be written during the website design process. Consider it a red flag if your web designer doesn’t make it a priority or suggests having anyone but a professional copywriter do the work.

 

4. “Web design tools will build a great site.”

Easy-to-use web design tools seemingly make it possible for anyone to create a website. However, there’s no comparison between a site made with one of these tools and one created by a seasoned web designer.

 

If building a quality healthcare website was easy, everyone would do it. Working with an experienced web designer is the only way to get a finished product your business deserves.

5. “Your website only needs to work on Chrome.”

At 49.35 percent market share as of November 2019, according to Statcounter, Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the U.S. There’s a 50-50 chance your patients are using Chrome, but if they’re not, you still want them to have an outstanding user experience. 

Making sure your healthcare website is compatible with all browsers is a must because it could cause you to lose out on new business. If prospective patients visit your website using a browser other than Chrome, they’ll probably move on to your competitor if it doesn’t function properly.

6. “A lack of healthcare experience doesn’t matter.”

No one can be an expert at everything. Be cautious of web designers who claim they can create an outstanding medical website despite having few or no healthcare clients.

 

Sure, any experienced web designer might be able to create a website that’s attractive and functional. However, a professional with specialized healthcare industry experience will be better equipped to know exactly what your practice website needs.

 

After all, podiatrists and ophthalmologists are both doctors, but you wouldn’t go to the latter to have a foot fracture treated.

7. “Your website will be completed ASAP.”

If your current healthcare website is seriously lacking — or nonexistent — you want a new one as soon as possible. However, quality websites aren’t built overnight. 

 

For example, it takes an average of three hours and 57 minutes just to create one blog post, according to Orbit Media. That’s only one piece of content, so be wary of a web designer who promises to complete your site in a matter of days.

 

They should provide you with a clear implementation process that details the work they’ll be doing — and the timeline — from start to finish.

 

This gets the two of you on the same page from the beginning and allows you to know exactly what they’re doing.

 

Your healthcare website should make you proud. Carefully vet the company you work with to create it to ensure it meets the quality standards your practice deserves. 

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5 CX Myths That Can Destroy Brand Reputation

5 CX Myths That Can Destroy Brand Reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

In the last several years, the rise of customer experience as the main focus of most digital marketing campaigns has resulted in the proliferation of various CX myths.

 

Many inexperienced marketers who are just starting out can easily fall prey to some of these myths that reference half-researched articles and make potentially harmful conclusions.

Big Data and CX

The Myth: In order to improve customer experience, you have to invest in big data processing.

 

You’ve probably already heard quite a lot about big data. Basically, this term refers to the huge amounts of data that internet users create on a daily basis and that can’t be processed using traditional methods because of the volume, variety, and velocity (the three Vs of Big Data).

 

That is why most companies hire specialized big data engineers who are able to go through it and obtain useful information. This information is often used to personalize the customer experience and can, therefore, be quite beneficial.

 

The Problem: Inexperienced marketers believe that big data is a must if you want to improve your CX. The reality is a bit different, however. Whether you’ll get into big data or not depends a lot on your company and your (financial) capabilities.

 

As Smarter CX points out – you need to have a clear plan regarding what data you want to extract and how you will implement to improve your CX.

 

Collecting heaps of unnecessary data will only drain your resources, take up your valuable time, and hurt your company’s marketing efforts. If you have no explicit need for big data, don’t waste your time with it.

Measuring CX with NPS

The Myth: Net Promoter Score is the best indicator of the state of your CX.

 

Net Promoter Score is a popular customer metric that measures the relationship between your brand and the customers. NPS rose up as a more efficient alternative to the old customer satisfaction surveys and, today, more than two thirds ofthe biggest companies in the world use it.

 

This is probably the reason why so many new companies believe this is the most reliable and precise customer satisfaction measure out there.

 

The Problem: Customer experience is an exceptionally complex front-facing component of a business  that can’t be measured with a single indicator.

 

The entirety of a customer’s interactions with a brand — the customer journey– – and all of its parts need to be taken into consideration to create a clear picture of CX. Not only that, but customers are also affected by what Martech Advisor calls “moments of truth.”

 

There are three main types of these moments that a customer can have with a brand:

 

  • Major Turning Point in a Relationship –  When a customer, for example, has a first encounter with a brand by unboxing a new phone. That first impression significantly affects CX.
  • Crisis – The interaction between a customer and a brand during a crisis (for example contacting the call center after the loss of the aforementioned phone) has a huge impact on how satisfied the customer will be with the company. It can overshadow a number of good moments in the customer journey.
  • Unexpected Delight – Introducing special (and uncalled for) discounts to old customers for no other reason than to show their appreciation is an example of an unexpected delight.

With all these elements at play, it’s obvious that a single measurement can’t really offer a true customer satisfaction report. You have to use a number of different customer success metrics to get the real picture.

Improving CX with Chatbots

The MythChatbots will dramatically reduce the cost and improve the customer experience.

 

A lot of companies nowadays use chatbots to deal with customers’ basic questions and, that way, reduce the need for additional support staff.

 

Chatbots are definitely part of the future because of their data collection component and the potential for hyperpersonalization. According to Gartner, in just two years, around 25 percent of customer service teams will use virtual assistants like chatbots.

 

As they get smarter, they will take on more and more consumer interactions, so it’s wise to invest in them.

 

The Problem: Many companies believe that using a chatbot will reduce their expenses drastically and that they won’t even need actual, human customer support.

 

This is wrong. The use of chatbots is a young, new technology and, right now, they can only accurately deal with basic customer issues.

 

Complex concerns still require a “human touch.” Using only automated bots to communicate with customers is a highway toward customer frustration causing CX to suffer. Getting personalized service with another person on the other end of the line (or the chat room) still works best in complex situations in terms of providing a human touch and also delivering the most efficient resolution to a concern.

Customers Experience Failures

The MythWhen it comes to customer memory, only the big failures actually matter.

 

Numerous company owners believe that only big, catastrophic brand failures have an impact on customer experience, while the small ones are ignored. However, this is not true. Entrepreneur explains that people subconsciously notice anomalies like catastrophic brand fails but they often ignore them if they’re not affected personally by them.

 

The website uses an example of the time when Adidas used the phrase “survived the marathon” in the congratulatory email in Boston on the fourth anniversary of the bombing incident. Not only did Adidas recover from this mistake, but their sales went up. People simply dismissed it as unimportant.

 

The Problem: The problem lies in the companies that focus on avoiding catastrophes and often don’t notice minor incidents with the customers. These smaller incidents are often more personal and leave a mark on the brand’s reputation.

 

A customer will have a worse experience with a company that is riddled with tiny, annoying issues. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes quite often and think about everything that would annoy you as a customer.

 

You’re more likely to forgive a company for not participating in a humanitarian cause than for having rude customer support staff.

Brand Control

The MythMarketers control brands and shape them as they like.

The most important thing about good customer experience is establishing a connection between a customer and the company. This is often done through branding.

 

When marketers create a strong brand, they give the company a visual identity, a voice, an attitude and, basically, they humanize it. That is why many smart business owners leave this job tospecialized branding agencies that make sure the new identity is consistent on all fields and in all places.

 

The Problem: Many marketers believe that simply because they’ve created brands, they can control them and shape them as they please. The hard truth is that most people don’t actually (want to) see is that consumers are actually the ones who control the brand.

 

It is the interaction with the consumers that keeps the brands alive. Ed Couchman, one of the directors at Facebook, says that it’s the customer service that helps build an authentic brand. Customers’ interactions with your company shape your brand–so it’s as much in the customers’ hands as it is in yours.  

Challenge Everything

This was our selection of the most frequent CX myths that can actually hurt your organization if you follow them blindly. Every bold claim on the web that seems too persuasive and confident should be carefully researched before any application. People love to jump to conclusions without realizing the potential perils haste brings.

 

Delivering great customer experience must be top of mind for any business today, so keep an eye out to prevent yourself from falling prey to these myths.

 

 

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Manage Online Reputation With a Patient Feedback System 

Manage Online Reputation With a Patient Feedback System  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Reputation is everything in business, and in today’s digital era this includes your online standing.

 

When choosing a new healthcare provider, people have plenty of options, so many browse the internet to find the practice with the best reviews.

 

An overwhelming 82 percent of U.S. adults read online customer ratings or reviews before making a purchase decision, according to 2016 data from the Pew Research Center.

 

More than half (54 percent) focus on the extremely negative ones, so unkind words can actually hurt your practice.

 

If you’re trying to attract new patients, it’s time to take control of your online reputation. Here are four ways to generate reviews with an effective patient feedback system.

Send a quick survey

Your patients are busy people. They don’t have time to complete a lengthy post-visit questionnaire, so make giving feedback easy.

 

After each visit, send a short patient satisfaction survey via text or email. Serving as a post-appointment follow-up of sorts, promptly reaching out allows you to connect with them while they visit is still fresh in their mind.

 

The key to attracting new patients — and retaining existing ones — is finding out what people liked and disliked about their visit. Everyone won’t complete the survey, but automatically send one to each person incites a higher response rate.

Handle issues privately

You strive to provide patients with the first-class service, but no healthcare practice is perfect all the time. In fact, 62.4 percent of providers have had at least one patient post a negative review online about their practice, according to our 2018 Online Reputation Management Survey.

 

When you have a robust patient feedback system in place, you’re able to learn about the problem before the person writes a negative review online. This allows you to manage the issue offline, so it doesn’t play out in a public sphere.

 

Taking the time to rectify the issue will make the patient feel valued. When it has been resolved, it’s possible they’ll write you a positive review that will help attract new patients.

Invite patients to share

People like to voice their thoughts and opinions. When patients have a positive experience with your practice, many are happy to write a review but need a little push.

 

Results of the recent PatientPop survey revealed that 52 percent of healthcare providers ask patients to share their experience online. However, 71.3 percent of practices receive reviews from no more than 5 percent of their patients.

 

Clearly, most providers aren’t using an effective patient feedback system. Investing in a tool that invites patients to post reviews and makes it easy to do so will generate a higher response rate.

 

For prospective new patients, nothing weighs greater than the opinions of those currently under your care. Positive reviews build trust. If patients sing your praises, readers will be more inclined to call you, instead of a competitor without those reviews.

Send friendly reminders

Feedback from existing patients is a fantastic way to attract new patients, so if you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying. Give people multiple opportunities to respond to your patient satisfaction survey, because their opinions matter.

 

Let patients know how important it is for them to complete the survey and how much you truly appreciate their taking the time to do it. Even those who truly intended to fill it out on the first try can easily forget, so a gentle nudge can make all the difference.

 

Getting a handle on your online reputation management is a must for attracting new patients. People put a lot of stock in online reviews, so giving current patients a voice can seriously boost your practice.

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5 ideas to encourage patient retention with healthcare marketing

5 ideas to encourage patient retention with healthcare marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patient retention is crucial to the lasting success of your practice. However, many businesses are more focused on marketing to new patients than nurturing relationships with existing ones.

 

More than three-quarters of consumers (77 percent) have stuck with certain brands for at least 10 years, according to the 2018 InMoment US Retail CX Trends Report.

 

Retaining an existing patient is less expensive than acquiring a new one, and marketing to them can strengthen your bond.

 

5 healthcare marketing tips to boost patient retention

1. Start a blog

Savvy patients are proactive about their health, so educate and inform them on topics relevant to your practice by starting a blog.

 

This is a great way to keep patients engaged and highlight your authority on the issues they care about.

 

More than half of companies (55 percent) consider blogging a top priority, according to the HubSpot State of Inbound 2018 report.

 

Chances are, your competitors have started using it in their healthcare marketing strategy, so you don’t want to fall behind.

 

Of course, just throwing together a blog post for the sake of having one doesn’t work.

 

Nearly one-quarter of bloggers report strong results after spending less than an hour on a post, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Orbit Media Studios. However, 38.9 percent who spend six or more hours on a post reported strong results.

 

As a busy doctor, you might not have enough time to write your own blog posts — and that’s OK. Delegate this task to a staffer or a third party to make sure it receives the proper time and attention.

2. Maintain an active social media presence

About seven-in-10 U.S. adults are on Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, 37 percent have an Instagram account and 22 percent use Twitter.

 

Therefore, it’s basically a given the bulk of your patients use social media.

 

If social media isn’t already part of your healthcare marketing plan, it’s time to change that.

 

Your patients want to connect with you on social media, and doing so will strengthen your relationship.

 

Keep patients engaged by posting informative content on a regular basis.

 

When they see something particularly interesting, they’ll also likely share your posts, as 75 percent of loyal customers are willing to recommend a brand to friends and family, according to InMoment.

3. Launch an email newsletter

More than half of people who responded to a 2017 Campaign Monitor survey revealed they check their personal email account more than 10 times a day.

 

They also said email is by far their favorite way to receive updates from brands.

 

Take advantage of this by starting an email newsletter aimed at existing patients. Depending on the amount of content you have, this can be sent on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis.

 

Include practice updates, industry news, and any other relevant information you think would interest your patients.

 

This is a great healthcare marketing tool because it keeps people connected to your practice.

 

4. Send direct mail postcards

You might think direct mail campaigns have passed their expiration date, but there’s a time and place for them. People enjoy getting mail — admit it, you do too — so step up your healthcare marketing strategy with an approach many other businesses no longer take.

 

Personalize communications by mailing birthday cards and appointment reminders.

 

This is brilliant for patient retention because the extra effort shows people you really care.

5. Offer exclusive discounts and freebies

Everyone appreciates the ability to save money. In fact, discounts are the reason 72 percent of consumers are inclined to open an email from a brand, according to Campaign Monitor. 

 

Therefore, giving discounts and freebies to existing customers is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. For example, a dermatologist might offer a free skincare product to patients who book a certain service.

 

Feeling like they’re getting something special will make patients feel valued. Satisfied patients don’t even think about switching providers.

 

Patient retention requires an investment on your part, but you can’t afford to ignore it. Your practice will struggle if you don’t have a steady stream of long-term patients in your waiting room, so including them in your marketing efforts is a must.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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How to promote health-related products with digital marketing

How to promote health-related products with digital marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Purchase paid search advertising

Paid search advertising is a form of digital marketing in which you purchase ads for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

 

Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform, most likely because Google enjoys close to 93 percent of search engine traffic, according to Statcounter.

 

There are a number of reasons to consider paid search advertising to promote health-related products.

 

First, your practice has an equal opportunity to rank for highly competitive keywords. This is unlike organic rankings, which take into account a number of website factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness.

 

With paid search advertising, the highest bidder always wins the top spot.

 

Another reason to consider this form of digital marketing is that paid search ads bypass the waiting period that often accompanies achieving a high organic ranking.

 

This means you benefit from instant visibility. Better visibility means your product will receive more clicks, your healthcare website will see more traffic, and your product sales will likely increase.

 

A third reason to consider paid search advertising is that it allows for uber precise audience targeting, which ultimately helps you reach your ideal patients.

 

In Google Adwords, for example, you can target demographics such as gender, age, and household income. You can also exclude demographics if you know certain audiences would not be interested in a particular product.

2. Publish product-centric blog posts

Blogging is a digital marketing tactic that’s proven to boost organic search rankings and increase healthcare website traffic over time. This is because search engines like Google regularly crawl websites for new content.

 

When you publish blog posts about your products, search engines surmise that your practice is an authority on those products, and they feel confident sending searchers to your site.

 

According to HubSpot, companies that blog receive 55 percent more visitors than companies that do not blog.

 

Additionally, blogging can help position your practice as the go-to place for particular products in your area.

 

Blogging also allows you to go into greater detail about your products — detail you might not be able to provide via a product page located elsewhere on your healthcare website. Plus, with blog posts, you can offer a different perspective on products, whether that’s a product review or comparison.

3. Discuss products on social media

Social media is an ideal digital marketing platform to promote out-of-pocket products. One reason is because social media is widely used and regularly accessed.

 

According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of U.S. adults use YouTube, 69 percent use Facebook, and 37 percent use Instagram. Fifty-one percent of YouTube users, 74 percent of Facebook users, and 63 percent of Instagram users access the sites at least once per day.

 

Another reason to use social media for healthcare marketing is that people actually want to consume the content healthcare practices share.

 

According to a survey by the American Osteopathic Association, two-out-of-five adults said they already are or would like to follow their healthcare providers on social media.

 

And according to a PwC report, 61 percent of people are likely to trust information posted by healthcare providers.

 

To ensure people are seeing your product posts, you can invest in sponsored content. Similar to paid search advertising, sponsored content allows you to target highly specific audiences.

 

On Facebook, for example, you can specify demographics like gender, age, and location as well as interests and behaviors. According to Sprout Social, 65 percent of people who engage with a social media advertisement will click through to learn more about the topic at hand.

4. Send marketing emails to patients

Although many healthcare practices exclusively focus on attracting new patients, marketing to current patients is also worthwhile. According to RJMetrics, 68 percent of customers won’t make a second purchase.

 

But, if you can get people to make a second purchase, 53 percent of them will make a third. With each successive purchase, the likelihood of them coming back increases.

 

Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital marketing tactic for getting patients to make first, second, and third purchases (and so on). Not only do 97 percent of people with a personal email address check their accounts at least once every day, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), but nearly six in 10 people say they prefer email communications from brands above any other channel.

 

Also, email marketing is proven to influence people’s behavior. According to the DMA, 40 percent of people say they would click on a link in the email if they found the email “interesting.” An additional 27 percent of people said they would be likely to go to the company’s website, just not directly from the email.

 

Display signage and other in-office promotions will always be important for selling health-related products. However, if you want to reach people beyond those coming into your office, you must branch out into digital marketing. 

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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