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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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.

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

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Online Reputation Lessons From Dentist Who Shot Lion

Online Reputation Lessons From Dentist Who Shot Lion | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

People are on the hunt for the dentist who shot a lion

The people at Yelp have been busy this week, thanks to a Minnesota healthcare provider’s recent African safari. As a result, there are lessons aplenty in the art of online reputation management for doctors.

 

Until the last week of July 2015, Walter J. Palmer was a Minneapolis dentist little known outside his circle of patients. Then the international news broke that Dr. Palmer had hired an African guide to help him hunt and kill a famous lion in Zimbabwe.

All hell has since broken loose, much of it on Yelp. And there’s little Dr. Palmer or even Yelp can do about it.

 

Yelp is the most popular site on the Internet for rating local businesses (including healthcare providers), with 83 million users monthly. Virtually anyone can claim to be a customer of any business and post a review of that business on Yelp. The business owner may not ever know it or the reviewer claiming to be his/her customer.

 

As of July 31, the dental practice of Walter J. Palmer, DDS, had 491 “reviews” on Yelp, averaging 1.5 out of five possible stars – about 100 times more reviews than a typical dentist attracts. But that’s not the half of it.

 

Yelp also has another 141 reviews of Dr. Palmer that are “not recommended.” In the Yelp credo, that means the reviews are from infrequent Yelp users who haven’t earned the credibility stripes of more frequent reviewers.

 

And what violations they are. The density of swear words and vulgar images on Dr. Palmer’s Yelp page (which users can also post freely) has surely set new Internet records.

 

Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other social-media websites, Yelp does not allow a business listed on its site to remove its own page. However, as in Dr. Palmer’s case, Yelp does remove highly offensive comments. But the Yelp staff can’t take down the fulminations nearly as fast as new ones appear.

What doctors can learn from Walter Palmer

What kind of dentist is Dr. Palmer? We don’t know. He could be the world’s greatest dentist, but all we can learn about him from the Internet is what others think of his morals.

 

Whatever kind words any of his grateful patients had previously offered on Dr. Palmer’s Yelp page are all but gone now, buried under an avalanche of contemptuous remarks. Meanwhile, his practice has reportedly closed its doors, its website has been taken down, and he is in hiding, according to news reports.

Can his professional reputation be salvaged? An orgy of public mea culpas might ultimately help defuse the outrage. Or passing time could erode the outcry, though not likely in time to fully restore his remaining career.

 

Thankfully for the medical profession, healthcare providers almost never undergo the same intensity of public scorn. Regardless, his case illustrates – in mountains of excess – a few useful guidelines for healthcare providers interested in managing online reputation in less volatile but sometimes still stressful situations.

1. Ignore online reviews at your own peril

Reviews of physicians, dentists and other medical professionals are often unfair and/or outright lies. But healthcare consumers read them.

 

And they use them to choose their doctors – according to a study by the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, approximately 150 million Americans have read doctor reviews, and about 100 million have used them in choosing physicians.

 

Just as importantly, whenever someone Googles a doctor’s name, links to several reviews of that doctor frequently show up on the first page of Google results – along with the star ratings for each review.

 

Check out Dr. Palmer’s search results on Google to the right. You’ll see poor ratings for not only Yelp but also for Google at the top.

 

Granted, providers have little time for monitoring Internet reviewers who may not even be their real patients. However, even a modest effort invested in online communications can yield enormous gains in the online image and subsequent business health of any medical practice. Often it requires only a few minutes of attention maybe once or twice a month.

2. Pick your arenas of engagement

Everyone knows about the Internet’s ubiquitous echo chamber. And everyone knows anyone can say almost anything about a healthcare provider on rate-your-doctor websites.

 

But not every rate-your-doctor website merits monitoring because they don’t show up prominently in search engines. Further, most doctors get at most only two or three reviews a month. So it doesn’t really take much effort to keep up with what patients are saying about you online.

 

Quite a few companies sell monitoring software that reports a review every time a doctor’s or practice’s name appears in it. I usually recommend taking a pass on such products. For most provider groups, the software is usually overkill.

 

Only a handful of rate-your-doctor websites attract enough visits to matter, as you can see from a sample list below. These are the sites worth keeping tabs on, and you need only register with those in order to get updates from them.

  • Yelp.com – 83 million monthly visitors
  • Healthgrades.com – 5 million monthly visitors
  • Zocdoc.com – 1.3 million monthly visitors
  • RateMDs.com – 307,000 monthly visitors

3. Claim your online identity

Once you’ve decided which rate-your-doctor websites you care about, you should “claim” your identity on each.

 

Claiming generally permits you to register an email address for receiving alerts any time someone posts a review (thus circumventing the need for monitoring software). Most rate-your-doctor sites also allow you to respond to reviews publicly or privately or both. (See below for more.)

 

To make a claim, simply go to the site and click on a button saying something like, “Is this your business?” or “Claim doctor profile.”

Most sites require claimers to provide a contact name, business address and phone number, and some ask for a driver’s license number or a medical license number. I know of little risk in providing either, as the information is almost always encrypted on the website.

 

Once you’ve claimed your identity at each website – as Dr. Palmer has yet to do on Yelp as of this writing – you’re ready for managing your online reputation.

4. Respond to digital critics

Anyone who’s been in business for more than five minutes has at least one unhappy customer somewhere. In healthcare, sometimes the most enraged patients are emotionally unbalanced. These tend to excoriate their providers on the Internet most frequently.

 

The unfortunate reality is that readers of online reviews don’t know who’s mentally unhealthy. They typically take criticisms at face value. For this reason, a response is in order almost every time.

 

This can be tricky territory, but when a provider is “flamed” (Internet parlance for vigorous online censure), the doctor (or a representative with the doctor’s login credentials) can respond publicly without violating privacy rights – provided that the doctor or practice has claimed the online identity.

 

Usually, all that’s needed in a public response is some show of nonjudgemental and non-disclosing compassion, something like: “I’m sorry to hear your complaints. The experience you describe is not at all our goal here at XYZ Medical Associates…”

 

Sometimes this requires swallowing one’s pride in the knowledge that the criticism is a big fat lie. But go for the bigger prize of broad respect. Answer with composure and professionalism. And in commenting on the review, don’t discuss anything about the patient’s case online. Take care to avoid even confirming that he’s a patient, which in itself is potentially a privacy violation.

 

Instead, inviting the unhappy reviewer to contact the practice directly in hopes of a resolution goes a long, long ways of telegraphing to others that the physician is a highly caring provider who listens to his patients.

 

Even if the unhappy patient can’t be mollified offline, at least the provider has sent a valuable message to all who see the online response.

5. Build a cushion of favorable online reviews

Reputation is like money in the bank. You want to save it for a rainy day, when you’ll need it most.

Regardless of Dr. Palmer’s personal ethics, if he had built up, say, 25 or 50 or 70 favorable reviews on Yelp, there might at least be another side to his professional story.

The same dynamic is in play – on a much smaller scale, of course – for any provider outside the global media spotlight. The majority of healthcare providers will probably eventually get at least a handful of online complaints in their careers, if not a dozen or more. The best defense is a counter-offense from loyal patients.

 

There are a number of tactics for soliciting complimentary online reviews, including asking for them whenever patients express gratitude for their care, as well as on customer-satisfaction surveys. We don’t have space here to discuss methodologies in depth, but the opportunities do exist.

 

At any rate, the point is that no one need be entirely a helpless victim of online bashing…perhaps not even a big-game hunter who ironically and metaphorically finds himself in the crosshairs.

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

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

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Dentist Reputation Management: Why It Is Needed & How to Implement It

Dentist Reputation Management: Why It Is Needed & How to Implement It | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Do you know that the healthcare industry ranks third amongst the list of industries for which reviews are most read? Also, 82% of patients consult one or more review sites with some frequency to view or post comments and ratings of healthcare staff.

 

Paired with the effect that online reviews have on the search engine rankings of local business’ websites (you will learn about this as you go through this blog) and you’ll understand why reputation management is crucial for your dental care practice. In this blog, we’ll tell you about the crucial role of dentist reputation management in growing your practice and also give you a complete checklist of how you should implement it.

Why Dentists Require Reputation Management

Online reviews are the primary component in reputation management. In fact, all reputation management efforts are focused on improving the overall picture of reviews that appear online. Patients make their decision almost wholly based on reviews (for most people, online reviews are as much trustworthy as personal recommendations). Reviews and star ratings also affect click-through-rates** for your website, which is an important factor in your website’s Google search ranking. ** Click-Through-Rate (CTR) refers to how many people click the link to your website after seeing it in the search results. A BrighLocal study suggests that going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25% more clicks from Google Local Pack, the most coveted section of Google’s search results that shows local businesses (like your dental practice) to the user query.

As more patients visit your website, it increases the chances that more appointments will be booked. Higher CTR = More No. of Potential Patients Visiting Your Website => Increased Rate of Appointments from Your Website Is online reputation management really effective for dentists? Can it really improve those overall star ratings and help acquire more new patients for your dental care practice? GMR Web Team, a premier dental marketing agency, conducted an extensive study to look into this. It studied review-writing and star-rating behavior of patients of its dental care clients to understand the effectiveness of reputation management efforts for its clients. The team involved in the study compiled patient review data for two different periods: Sep 2014 to Aug 2016, when these dental care clients were not using reputation management services; and Sep 2016 to March 2018, when they were using reputation management services. Data was gathered from Yelp and Google, as these are the most prominent and widely used online review platforms. 

The total number of patient reviews posted on Yelp saw a double-fold increase during this period. Its impact was also seen in the overall star ratings. which increased substantially, from 3.11 to 4.55. Similar results were found for patient reviews and star ratings on.

How Dentists Should Proceed with Online Reputation Management

Dentist reputation management involves activities that include:

Claiming or creating your business account on important review sites and other local online directories

The first step is to create your dental practice’s business account on different online review sites and other local online directories. Unless you’re a newly established practice, you may likely find an already existing account in your practice’s name on some of these websites. In that case, you’ll need to claim your accounts by filling in or completing the relevant business information. This whole process is called local business listing. Local business listing is necessary as your potential patients from your vicinity may use one, or a combination of respective platforms to gather specific information about your practice; such as, address, phone number, map location of your practice, etc. Generally, such inquiries are made by patients who are in their final phase of selecting a dentist. The most prominent healthcare-specific local online review sites where your dental practice must be listed are Vitals, RateMDs, HealthGrades, etc. Other general but highly-influencing avenues are Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and YellowPages. Although listing on all these platforms is a must, there are some particular reasons to separately mention Google My Business (GMB). Here is why GMB listing and optimization is crucial to the success of your dental practice:

  • Helps Google provide the most accurate answers to user queries
  • Increases your website’s local search ranking on Google
  • Helps your practice gain the prominence of appearing into Google Local Pack.

Learn More: Why listing your dental practice on GMB is crucial and how you can optimize your website’s listing there.

Maintaining NAP consistency across the different review and other listing sites

While listing your practice’s business information on various review sites and other local online directories, you must ensure that the information is consistent on all platforms, especially, the name of your business, its address, and the phone number. This is called maintaining NAP consistency. As believed by many SEO (search engine optimization) experts, Google cross-validates the legitimacy of businesses by cross-referencing a business’ NAPs as they appear on multiple websites. Failure in maintaining the NAP consistency might result in losing the confidence of search engines in your dental practice resulting in lower ranking in local searches. Also, a potential patient might use a specific review platform to access your contact number. Learn More: Inconsistent online listings; their symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Facilitating review generation from patients

Most likely, you won’t find reviews flowing in on their own to the newly created or claimed review accounts for your practice. You’ll need to facilitate the review writing process so patients can easily leave a review. RepuGen offers an easy way to consistently gather genuine patient reviews that portray the patient satisfaction picture for your dental practice most accurately. RepuGen’s review requesting process is entirely compliant with the guidelines of all major healthcare and non-healthcare specific review websites, including those of Google. RepuGen is also HIPAA-compliant as we do not use or disclose patients’ personal health information unless permitted or required by HIPAA addendum, or as required by law. Also Read: 12 Simple Ways to Encourage Patients to Leave Great Reviews for Your Practice

Responding to patient reviews online

According to a study, 65% of patients feel it’s important for doctors to respond to a negative review. Show customers that you are willing to go the extra mile by directly addressing their concerns publicly and extending a hand to solve the problem. The study also lays in some Dos and Don’ts for doctors and healthcare providers while responding to negative patient reviews. Find them in the below-given attachment.

 

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

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

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Managing online reputation for dentists

Managing online reputation for dentists | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The Internet has become the ultimate symbol of an individual’s right to information and freedom of expression. As a result, there is plenty of good information available on the Internet regarding doctors and dentists. However, along with the good information, there is also the risk of misinformation and negative biases finding its way to the World Wide Web.


The very nature of the Internet ensures so much freedom for every individual that it becomes difficult for dentists to control and manage their professional reputations online. The number of rankings or ratings websites have also increased, and some are focused exclusively on physicians. While these websites present an opportunity for dentists to promote their practices through word of mouth publicity, they also pose the risk of creating unfairly negative pinions against them.


Types of ratings websites


Doctor and dentist rating websites can be broadly classified into four categories. The first is the no-fee sites that offer free information to patients about the listed doctors. Some of these sites earn their revenue through advertising, while others charge a fee to the listed doctors. From a dentist’s perspective, it is relatively easy to control information on such a website because there is a financial tie-up between the site and the practitioner.


The second category of websites are the ones that have no relationship with the doctors, but charge patients a fee for privileged access to information about doctors. Dentists can exercise little or no control over the views and reviews that the website chooses to publish about a practice.


The third category includes insurance company websites, which have doctor reference sections, and the companies give their own ratings to the listed doctors.


The final category includes government-controlled websites that provide information about doctors licensed in the states.


How are ratings determined?


Doctor and dentist rating websites usually follow one of three approaches to develop rankings or ratings. The first involves the use of an algorithm or formula that attaches different weights to different sets of credentials of the doctor, such as education, experience, and any special training. Some sites may differentiate on the basis of the type of dental school a dentist attended. If the doctor has settled a malpractice suit out of court, some sites may consider this as grounds to attach lesser weight to the doctor.


The second approach to determine ratings involves feedback from patients. The website will invite patients to rate their doctors on various parameters. Average ratings for a doctor are then computed on the basis of the patient feedback.


The third approach is a hybrid of the first two, which is a more comprehensive way to develop ratings. However, rating a dentist still remains a highly subjective area because the opinions vary widely from patient to patient. That makes this entire system of online ratings inherently controversial.

Proactive online reputation management


From a practicing dentist’s point of view, it makes a lot of sense to be proactive in protecting and managing his or her online reputation. A growing number of patients are inclined to check out a doctor’s background on the Internet, and it may become an important factor in their decision to choose a doctor. The first challenge for a doctor is to ensure that the ratings and review websites maintain the latest information about the doctor’s practice. Most such sites do not have a system to ask for such updates, and the sites expect the listed doctors to provide updates on their own.


Patients may get mixed up when two or more doctors have the same or similar names. It may lead to misplaced patient reviews and ratings. Sometimes a particular patient may have made an unfair, false, or incorrect accusation, which can be countered only if the doctor takes care to tell his side of the story. Apart from damage control in such instances, dentists should also reach out to ratings and review sites to provide accurate facts so that the chances of misinformation are minimized.


Challenges of anonymous ratings


The Internet offers a great deal of anonymity, which can be misused to make irresponsible, incorrect, or false statements online, without any fear of being held accountable. Many individuals operate under pseudonyms on the Internet. So while they can hide their identity and protect their reputation, they can potentially jeopardize the reputation of a dentist or other professional online. To tackle this challenge, Google Plus has taken the initiative and revoked the ability of users to post reviews anonymously, or even pseudonymously.


While this kind of restriction is a welcome step for most businesses and professions, it poses another unique problem in the area of health care. Patients are usually willing to be most candid when their privacy is protected. Less than 5% of patients willingly give out their full names when providing feedback about a doctor online. Therefore, restriction of their privacy is a dilemma that may discourage patients from providing reviews and ratings about doctors and dentists on respected forums such as Google Plus.

Hire online reputation management experts


Dental practitioners who are looking to grow and expand their practices in their area can no longer afford to ignore the marketing power of the Internet. They should have a professional and dynamic website that creates an outstanding image for the dentist and practice. Secondly, such a website needs to be promoted professionally so that it achieves high rankings on all search engines, which allows the maximum number of local patients to reach the website. Thirdly, the dentist must be able to protect his or her reputation on third party websites on the Internet.


All these tasks can be performed efficiently and cost-effectively with the help of a professional SEO and online reputation management services provider. With the support of recognized experts in this area, it is possible to build an impeccable online reputation for a dentist, while following the highest ethical and professional standards.

It takes years to build an online reputation, and it can take one bad review that goes viral on the Internet to tear it down. With the growing influence of the World Wide Web in our lives, it is a smart move for practicing dentists to take the steps to build and protect their professional reputation online.

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