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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8 benefits to investing in paid Dental Advertising

8 benefits to investing in paid Dental Advertising | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patients today make their healthcare decisions online. A PatientPop survey revealed that 74.6 percent of people have looked online to learn more about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care.

 

For the most part, patients are looking for their dental care on Google. Google has 88 percent of the U.S. search engine market share, according to StatCounter.

 

According to Google, one in every 20 searches is health-related, which translates to at least 100 billion health searches a year, according to Search Engine Land.

 

Thus, showing up prominently in Google results is a key marketing priority for any dental practice. Dental ads offer dentists a unique opportunity and competitive advantage in reaching patients who are searching for their services.

 

Read on to learn why paid dental advertising is a good investment for your practice.

How dental ads are different from traditional marketing

1. You control where you rank.

On Google, paid dentist ads appear above organic listings on search engine results pages (SERPs). They look almost identical to organic results but are delineated with the word “Ad” in a green box. Placing a dental ad on search can place you at the top of the search results.

 

This is important because where you rank on Google matters. Generally speaking, the higher you rank, the more clicks you can expect to receive.

 

According to Advanced Web Ranking, the top organic Google result on desktops garners a click-through rate of about 31 percent, the second position receives about 15 percent, and the third position receives almost 10 percent.

2. The results are immediate.

Online advertising for dental practices is the perfect complement to search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to have a website optimized for SEO, but climbing search results organically is a steady process, and you may not be ranking for all the keywords that you desire.

 

When you place a dental advertisement, you can rank the top of the page for that keyword as soon as your campaign goes live, which can mean an instant boost in traffic and dental patients. This can be an especially good strategy if your website has recently been redesigned, as it can take several months for Google to index your site.

3. You can reach your ideal customer.

Unlike more traditional forms of dentist advertising, placing a dentist advertisement on Google allows you to control who can see your ads, meaning you only market to the people you are trying to attract to your practice.

 

You can select to market only in relevant geography. If you’re a dentist in Brooklyn, for example, you may choose to only market to Brooklyn, rather than all of New York City, depending on your specific goals

4. Place dentist ads on the highest value keywords.

One goal of search dental advertising is to reach patients who are ready to convert (book an appointment). The keywords that patients use when searching for care can show their intent of seeking dental care.

 

For example, a patient searching for [teeth whitening] might just be curious about the process and how it works. They may not be ready to book an appointment just yet.

 

However, patients searching for [affordable teeth whitening near me] are showing their intent to seek dental care soon. This may be a higher value keyword because it’s likely to generate more appointment requests. With paid dental advertising, you can rank specifically for these high-value terms.

5. Payment is tied to results.

Paid search advertising for dental practices works on a payment model called pay-per-click (PPC). This literally means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter how many people have seen your dental ads.

 

A lot of practices hesitate to spend money on dentist ads, but this pay model makes it a safe marketing investment.

 

Because your ad is targeted to those seeking your specific services, the chance that those clicks become booked appointments is higher than with other dental advertising strategies.

6. The return on investment is highly measurable.

With Google advertisements, you can see everything that’s tied to a click on your ad — from the person’s initial search query to what they did on your website, including whether they booked an appointment or if they called.

 

You can see which of your dental ads are working and which aren’t and calculate exactly what you’re getting in return for your investment.

7. It’s a consistent marketing investment for your practice.

Because you pay per click on your ad, it may feel like something that’s difficult to plan month-to-month. However, after some trial and error and figuring out which of your dental ads work best for you, this form of dental advertising becomes consistent over time and is something that you can plan for in your business.

 

8. You can change your budget at any time.

Paid dental advertising is a flexible form of advertising. You can adjust your budget or start or stop your dental ads at any time. Use online dental ads to serve your marketing needs on a budget and commitment that works best for your practice.

 

PatientPop provides dental practices with an all-in-one solution that helps them expand their web presence, boost their online reputation, and automate their front office.

 

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

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5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google

5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

With 3.5 billion Google searches made every day, there’s no question that businesses need some sort of presence on the world’s most popular search engine to succeed online.

 

And the most efficient way to ensure you have a presence on the search engines is with paid advertising. Advertising healthcare on Google, however, comes with its own set of challenges.

1. You cannot promote certain services and products

The first challenge for healthcare marketers is that certain products and services cannot be advertised at all. For example, Google does not allow advertisements for CBD oil.

 

In some cases, products and services will only reach a limited audience, rather than an ad getting banned altogether. And you can only advertise certain products and services—including pharmaceuticals and addiction treatment centers—in select countries with a special certification from Google.

2. Can’t use certain phrasing

Aside from the products and services you cannot promote, healthcare marketers also must avoid certain phrasing in Google Ads. These phrasing concerns apply to both the ad copy—what appears in the Google search results—and the landing page copy—where people land when they click on the ad.

 

In some cases, Google rejects or takes down advertisements it deems to be against their policies, all of which are outlined here.

 

For example, a low-testosterone clinic would have to be very careful phrasing their advertisements, as Google may consider an ad or associated landing page to be banned adult content. 

3. Must use certain phrasing

Healthcare advertisers must also include certain types of phrasing in advertisements. You cannot guarantee specific results from a product or from your services. On a landing page, when displaying testimonials or before-and-after pictures, it’s important to use phrasing such as “Results vary and are not guaranteed.”

 

Another thing to include on any landing page is ad copy that actually matches or lines up with the landing page copy. Google’s sophisticated algorithms can quickly detect that an ad for vein services leads to a landing page without any information about veins whatsoever. 

4. No retargeting

Google does not allow healthcare marketers to retarget prospective patients with advertising.

 

This means that, if someone visits your website or clicks on your ad, hospitals and practices cannot use display advertising (ads that appear on other sites) to lure that person back in—all due to potential patient privacy concerns. (However, there are other ways to 

That’s why it’s so important to design a landing page for conversions, so that people who click on your ad have an easy way to fill out a form (or call) and express interest in your services. 

5. Competition

When our agency first got started over a decade ago, digital marketing for healthcare was a fairly niche expertise. Today, we are still leaders in our area—but the competition has gotten tough.

 

When you’re advertising on Google Ads, you’ll have to bid strategically, take advantage of negative keywords (the keywords you DON’T want to rank for), and use advertising best practices to get potential patients to visit your landing page and convert. 

Work with a Google Premier Partner

When you work with a Google Premier Partner for your campaigns, you’re partnering with experts who don’t just employ a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality with your Google Ads. They’ll constantly optimize to get you ahead of the competition and help your landing pages convert. 

 

Better yet, partner with Healthcare Success to work with a healthcare digital advertising agency that knows the challenges specific to healthcare. Call 800-656-0907 for more information.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Does SEO Really Matter for Healthcare?

Does SEO Really Matter for Healthcare? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

It’s a buzzword you hear any time you talk to someone about visibility for your business’s website. Have you thought about your SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s a practice that’s changed drastically over the years. But the purpose remains the same: the term describes the art and science of getting your website to rank towards the top of Google’s search results (or any search engine). 

 

Still, healthcare practices have many ways of advertising their services. That’s why you may be wondering: is SEO truly vital for a healthcare organization?

EO for Healthcare: Why It Matters

The one statistic you need to know about why you should care about SEO for healthcare:

75% of people won’t click past the first page of the search results(Hubspot)

And when it comes to searches on just a mobile device, that number jumps up even higher. People on mobile devices often don’t scroll past the first few results. 

 

Your chances of being seen online drop dramatically when you fall even below the top 3 results for the terms you hope to rank for. And if you’re on page 2, 3, or 4—forget about patients finding your website organically online.

What Types of Healthcare Organizations Should Worry about SEO?

Any healthcare organization can benefit from optimizing their website for the search engines. Patients will research your business online. In fact, the internet is the primary way patients find their doctors today—about 68% of your patients start by checking the search engines.

 

Visibility at the top of the search engines is of vital importance to primary care doctors and urgent care. When patients are in need, they’re likely to search something like “urgent care in Los Angeles” and choose a close, well-reviewed location. 

 

Think specialty practices are exempt? Patients will research a referral online before scheduling an appointment. Depending on their insurance, some may choose their own specialty practice they’ve researched online in lieu of a physician’s referral.

Healthcare SEO May Be More Complicated Than You Think

Healthcare SEO means more than simply including every keyword you may want to rank for on your website. You have to make keywords read naturally, as Google counts readability as an SEO factor. You also have to take steps like optimizing the code on your site and generating quality backlinks pointing to your website to build your credibility in search.

 

Besides, you have to spend time thinking about which keywords are more likely to draw visitors to your website. Think about the user intent of someone landing on your website.

 

If they’re looking for a doctor who might treat a problem they’ve been having, would they search something like “knee replacement surgery,” or would they look for info about “knee injuries?” It’s tough to say until you do the research.

 

Optimizing your website for search engines is not something you can do in a day. It takes quite a bit of time. In fact…

SEO May Not Be the Fastest Way to Rank

Search engine optimization is a slow process. Google won’t simply see the changes you’ve made to your website and move you up to the top of the search engines. It can take months before the needle starts moving significantly in terms of visibility. 

 

It’s also not a one-and-done process. Optimizing your website for search engines takes work. You’ll have to continue to post content or update the content you already have as well as optimize local directories.

 

As an FYI, there are faster ways to get your website seen on the search engines. Paid search results are one way to get people to click on your brand, and these show up instantly (as long as you have digital marketing specialists on your side).

Only Work with Search Engine Optimization Experts

Improving your healthcare website’s SEO value requires a lot of work and time. We don’t recommend doing this yourself or using an amateur to improve your SEO. SEO is changing every day, as Google shifts its algorithms.

 

Experts keep up on the news and know-how to optimize to Google’s ever-changing standards.

 

We also don’t recommend doing this with a company that only offers SEO services. The right strategy combines search engine optimization with whatever other services you need. These may include social media advertising, website design, and traditional media including TV and radio.

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

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8 Essential Features for Testimonial Software

8 Essential Features for Testimonial Software | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The right testimonial software can help you gather more online testimonials, and improve your business’s reputation without demanding hours of your time. To help you save time and manage your reviews, there are a few essential features that your testimonial software should have. Your software should help you not only display testimonials in an attractive way, but also gather and manage testimonials efficiently.

8 Essential Features for Testimonial Software

1. Automate Testimonial Gathering

Many types of testimonial software allow you to display testimonials, but few actually help you gather them. This is an essential feature for testimonial software that can help you automate your testimonial collection process and save hours of time. To use your testimonial software to effectively gather testimonials and automate the process, you’ll need to have your testimonial management, display and submission process all connected in one application.

2. Gather Testimonials with Landing Page

To start gathering testimonials, you first need a place for customers to submit them. The ideal testimonial software will allow you to easily add a testimonial submission landing page to your website. This should give customers everything they need to submit a testimonial directly to your platform. For example, Uni Key Health Systems used their testimonial landing page to incentivize customers and give them an easy place to submit their thoughts.

3. Usable With Your Website

Almost a third of the web now operates on WordPress, and new site owners are migrating to WordPress every day, making usability with WordPress a high priority. You don’t necessarily need a WordPress plugin to manage your testimonials, but the testimonial software that you use should be compatible without a lot of coding experience.

4. Compatible with Multiple Formats

Text testimonials are easy to fake, and customers recognize this. Your testimonial software should, at minimum, be compatible with pictures, so prospective customers can see that the testimonials are real and trustworthy. As video gains popularity and generates more shares, it’s helpful to use testimonial software that is compatible with video, or you might find yourself falling behind.

5. Approve and Dismiss Testimonials

Inevitably, you’ll receive some testimonials that you would rather not post on your site. While you can’t always control what customers say on other platforms, you can control the testimonials that you display on your own site. This means you’ll need a way to review, approve and dismiss testimonials accordingly. Make sure that your testimonial software has a place to store testimonials, whether text or video, until you review them and decide what to do.

6. Add Account Managers

You’re busy running your business, and you might not have time to review all the testimonials you receive. In this case, it’s helpful to be able to add others to your testimonial software as account managers, without sharing your own login credentials.

7. Match Site Formatting

A variety of testimonial apps allow you to display testimonials in different ways. Before you choose an app, make sure you can display testimonials the way that suits your site design. Keep in mind that your site or the way you use testimonials might change, so it’s good to have some flexibility here. Choose testimonial software that allows you to easily display testimonials on your website, and in multiple places across your site. Look for the ability to change the number of testimonials displayed, change the length or size displayed, and change colors or text as needed.

8. Share to Social Media

Customers put more confidence in products that others are raving about. This is the basic psychology of social proof, and part of the reason testimonials are such powerful selling and marketing tools. The wider reach your testimonials have, the more impactful they will be. Choose testimonial software that allows you to integrate with social media platforms, and spread your social proof far and wide.

You might not need all of these features now, but it’s easier to grow into available features than to move all of your testimonials to new software later. When your testimonial software has the features you need, you can keep it for years to come. Before you choose, give your testimonial software a test drive to see if it has the features that you’re looking for.

 
Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Online reviews and HIPAA: What you need to know about responding to patient reviews

Online reviews and HIPAA: What you need to know about responding to patient reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

HIPAA adds extra complications for healthcare providers facing negative online reviews. The common wisdom for most businesses is to respond to all negative feedback publicly. However, HIPAA levies large fines and penalties against providers who reveal personal health information without patient consent.

 

It’s no wonder then that most healthcare providers are gun-shy when it comes to responding to online reviews. Fewer than one in five have a process for dealing with bad reviews, even though more than 80% of providers are concerned about the damage reviews can cause.

 

That said, there are HIPAA-compliant ways of dealing with patient reviews, and you should definitely incorporate review responding into your practice routine.

Why responding to online reviews is so important

Especially given that healthcare can be a life-and-death matter, prospective patients pay a lot of attention to a provider’s online reviews. In fact, 94% of people use online reviews to evaluate physicians, and 75% say that review sites have influenced their choice of provider. As such, negative reviews on sites like Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com, RateMDs.com, Google, and Yelp can be especially damaging—destroying your online reputation and turning away prospective patients.

 

The good news is that most patients tend to write positive reviews. But when negative reviews do pop up, you can often turn them into good reviews by responding promptly in a caring, professional, and HIPAA-compliant manner.

 

These online interactions show potential customers how much you care about your patients’ satisfaction, which can significantly boost your online reputation. Moreover, responding thoughtfully to a negative review can cause a two-fifths of viewers to overlook it.

 

But you shouldn’t just respond to bad reviews; you should also respond to good reviews. In fact, 70% of people believe it’s important for healthcare providers to respond to all reviews online. Doing so not only demonstrates that you listen to your patients, but it also shows that you truly value them and are grateful for their feedback.

 

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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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12 Signs It's Time to Request a Client Testimonial

12 Signs It's Time to Request a Client Testimonial | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Developing a collection of outstanding client testimonials means not only delivering a great experience but also knowing how and when to ask your client for their thoughts. If you ask too soon, they might not be ready, but if you delay too long it might be too late. Look for one or more of these 12 signs it’s time to request a client testimonial and you’ll know when to get your testimonial request emails, phone call or face-to-face meeting ready.

 

12 Signs It’s Time to Request a Client Testimonial

1. The Praise Email

If you consistently impress your clients, you’ve no doubt received more than one email full of praise. Your client has already gone out of their way to tell you what a great job you’ve done. This is the perfect time to ask for a customer testimonial. Make it easy for your client to submit a testimonial online and you can turn your high praise email into an official client testimonial.

2. A Stellar Meeting

When you meet with your client, sometimes everything just goes smoothly. Maybe you’ve delivered great news or you’ve reached a milestone together. For whatever reason, you know your client will leave your office feeling satisfied. This is a good time to ask for a client testimonial. Have question prompts and a way to record their testimonial ready, so you can get their information right away.

3. Tremendous Results

Some clients experience results that are even better than expected. When you deliver these results to your client, or when they see them for the first time, they’ll be likely to give a client testimonial. Explain the impact of the results if it’s not clear and give your client a moment to enjoy them before asking. Keep in mind that lawful testimonials must give an accurate representation of expected results; you may need to mention that this client’s results, though possible, aren’t typical.

4. Other Reviews

It’s good practice to audit your business reputation online and see what customers are saying. This might be a business review site like Yelp or an industry-specific review site like lawyers.com. As you regularly check in, you may notice previous clients that have talked about your good work unsolicited. If you recognize the name on the review, contact them again to thank them and ask for a client testimonial you can use for your website or marketing materials. If you don’t recognize the name, look at the date the review was posted and see what clients you served near that time.

5. Problem Solved

It doesn’t always take tremendous results to make a big impact; you just need to make a big impact on that client’s life. If your product or service solved a problem your client had, ask them to explain their experience in a client testimonial. Remember, your solution doesn’t have to be earth-shattering to be impactful; you may have simply saved them time, given them confidence, or explained a system they didn’t understand.

6. Parting Ways

Ideally, you would like happy clients to return to your business or maintain an ongoing business relationship, but this isn’t always possible. In many cases, your job has a beginning and an end. Your client may also be relocating out of the area, or their needs have changed. If your business partnership is near its end, ask your loyal customer to mark the occasion with a client testimonial.

7. Contract Renewal

In some industries, clients may work with their preferred businesses for years. If they renew their contract with you or make another long-term commitment, they clearly enjoy working with you. As you thank them for renewing and outline the plan for another fantastic year, ask if they would answer a few questions about your work so far and give a client testimonial.

8. Plan Upgrade

If you offer tiers of service and a customer decides to upgrade, their needs may have changed, they may have new confidence in your business or both. Take this opportunity to reconnect with your client; thank them for their business, explain the new capabilities of their service, and ask for a client testimonial.

9. Recommendation

The goal of testimonials is to show the quality of work you do and inspire confidence and trust through social proof. If a client’s friend, family member, or business associate contacts you, your client has already made an informal testimonial. When you thank them for their recommendation, ask if they will repeat what they said to their associate in an official client testimonial.

10. Positive Customer Survey

Conducting regular surveys on customer happiness is a good way to make sure your business relationships are strong and your own performance is on track. When customers fill out a positive survey, send a response with a client testimonial request. You can even automate this process with email triggers and a testimonial gathering landing page to save time.

11. Implementing Changes

Whether you make a small change to your terms of service, you add new services to your office, or you completely revamp your business model, it’s essential to keep your customers in the loop. Hopefully, the changes you’ve made are informed by the feedback you previously received. Once your clients have had a chance to use and adapt to the new changes, ask them how they feel. Reply to the positive sentiment with a client testimonial request.

12. After an Event

If you see your client at a tradeshow, convention, or another industry event, ask them how business is going. This extra familiarity can go a long ways towards gathering testimonials. During or after the event, follow up and ask them to submit a client testimonial.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s time to ask for a client testimonial! Asking for testimonials can be difficult at first, but it helps to have a system in place and to know when the timing is right. Make it easy to submit testimonials, continue to deliver a terrific experience and you’ll quickly develop a list of client testimonials.

 
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How to Measure the ROI of Online Reputation Management

How to Measure the ROI of Online Reputation Management | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How to Measure the ROI of Online Reputation Management

Overall, online reputation management means creating more positive, trustworthy sentiment around your brand, and removing or displacing negative sentiment. This sentiment comes from three main areas online; social media, referrals, and review sites. We’ll address the ROI of each of these online reputation management strategies individually. This way you can tackle them one by one, or pick and choose the areas that are most important to your business or your client.

Social Media

Social media is a big part of online reputation management for many people, businesses and brands. And even if you don’t use social media, your customers and potential customers do. That means you’re probably getting mentioned—either positive or negative—whether you see them or not.

To measure the ROI of online reputation management in social media, you first need a baseline. There are a few different KPIs you can choose to get a starting social media score.

 

  • Followers: Whether you’re looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another platform, followers are a fairly good indicator of customer approval on social media. According to Sprout Social, your followers are about 57% more likely to be customers. Keep in mind that bots and other businesses will skew your organic follower numbers somewhat.
  • Engagement: Likes, retweets, reposts, mentions, comments and other types of engagement are also a measure of social media approval. This, like followers, is a fairly easy number to gauge and requires only basic social media monitoring services. However, remember that not all engagement is positive.
  • Sentiment: This may be the most difficult social media KPI to measure, but it’s also the most accurate assessment of online reputation management on social media. If your total mentions and engagement are relatively low, you can skim through your mentions to get an average or set up keyword filters including your brand name and positive or negative words. Social media management programs like Hootsuite or Sprout Social also have special algorithms to measure the public’s view of your company on social media.
  • Traffic: The total website or store traffic you get from social media isn’t a direct link to your social reputation. However, it is an important metric for measuring ROI. This means you’ll want to measure traffic from social alongside one or more of the previous three reputation indicators. You might use tracking codes, link click-through rates, or Google Analytics to measure your traffic from social media.

If your social score could use some improvement, devise an online reputation management campaign on social. You might hire an agency or new staff person to respond to mentions and solve problems, work with influencers online to improve your image or make a focused social media campaign around a hashtag or trend. Determine how much this campaign will cost.

 

You can measure the ROI of online reputation management through social media using improvements to your traffic and social score. For example, if your engagement grew 100%, traffic from social media increased by 50% and your average conversion rate is 5%, total sales increased by 2.5%. This also indicates that a 100% increase in engagement means a 2.5% in sales. To measure your ROI, divide this increase in sales by the total amount spent on online reputation management.

 

— Harness the power of video testimonials to raise your reputation via social media. Access free templates to get started » —

Referrals

Referrals are less noticeable because they are generally not searchable, like reviews, and they’re not public, like social media. However, research shows that consumers are 4 times more likely to buy when they receive a referral from a friend.

If you have a high customer churn, referrals might not be a relevant online reputation management strategy for you. However, if you have a smaller group of loyal, satisfied, repeat customers, referrals are very important.

Just like social media, you’ll need a referral baseline before you can measure the ROI of this online reputation management strategy. Also like social media, there are a few methods you can use to do this.

  • Referral links: When a customer completes a purchase and you send them a follow-up email, send a link that they can share with friends. You can measure the click-through rates on the link itself, or leads from a referral page.
  • Satisfaction survey: Ask your customers how they feel about your business and brand. Specifically, ask if they would recommend your company to a friend. This is metric is also known as your Net Promoter Score.
  • Referral Program: Incentivize your customer and their contacts with a referral program. Track how many existing and new customers take part.

If you don’t currently have referrals or if your Net Promoter Score is low, you’ll need a strategy for improving it. Or, if customers are unlikely to refer you, ask about their buying experience, and address any problems. If customers would refer you, but aren’t, make it easy for them to spread the word, and give them an incentive. Advertise your referral program as well. Determine how much these efforts will cost.

 

To determine the ROI of this online reputation management strategy, track the sales from referral links, landing pages, or programs. Lifetime customer value will also be an important factor. Some estimates say lifetime referred customer value is about 16% higher than other customers. Along with sales, you’ll want to reassess your Net Promoter Score with another survey after executing your reputation management strategy. Just as before, divide your total increase in sales by the amount you spent to find the ROI of this online reputation management strategy.

Review Sites

For some businesses, such as restaurants, contractors, or dentists, review sites will play the most important part of online reputation management. Measuring the ROI of this online reputation management strategy is more difficult since you can’t track these sites or directly measure their effect. However, research and data projections can offer some guidance.

 

A study by Harvard Business School showed that local businesses that increased their overall review rating by one star saw a 5 to 9% increase in revenue. With this data, you can estimate ROI from increasing your star-rating on popular review sites like Google or Yelp. Divide a projected increase in revenue by the amount you will spend on improving your reviews to get ROI. Use the following formula to get a cautiously optimistic estimate. You could also substitute .07 with .05 or .09 to get a low or high estimate, respectively.

[Original Revenue x .07] – Original Revenue = Revenue Increase
Revenue Increase / Total spent = ROI

Start with a modest goal of a one-star improvement. If you have just a few reviews, it won’t take many five-star experiences to make a significant impact. Read your reviews and address any problems that come up frequently. If you believe a competitor or someone else is posting fake reviews about you, contact the site or respond to the review and explain the situation. Encourage customers to post reviews, but remember to stay within legal guidelines and the site’s rules.

Other Content

In some cases, you may have other content to contend with, like blog posts, news items, watchdog websites like Ripoff Report or Consumer Affairs, or even competitor sites. If negative articles like these are high on search results, you should consider this a top priority in online reputation management.

 

The effect of negative articles depends mostly on how trustworthy the source is and how easy it is to find. If the source is well established and the article is on the first page of search results when you search for your company name or related terms, the effect can be very noticeable. According to Moz, one negative article indicates a 22% customer loss, and two means losing almost half.

 

Keep in mind that these aren’t just bad reviews by unhappy customers. These are bloggers, journalists, or other writers who went out of their way to either reveal a real problem or defame your business. If the story is untrue, consider taking legal action with a libel case. If the story is true and you’ve fixed the problem, address it, and then work at repairing your reputation.

 

Estimating the ROI on this online reputation management strategy is fairly straight forward. If you can remove or displace the negative article from the first page of results, you can estimate a 22% traffic increase. If this also boosts your own website to a higher spot in the search engine results page (SERP), you can expect additional traffic increases. From there, apply your conversion rates and sales to get your ROI.

Your online reputation is affecting your business, whether you’re aware of it or not. The first step to mending your online reputation is fixing the problem, whether that’s customer experience, product quality, or libelous competitors. The next step is making a repair plan, and executing it in a way that supports ROI. With an online reputation management strategy that is ethically and financially responsible, you can bring in loyal, lifelong customers for years to come.

 
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How to Collect, Use & Calculate Your Net Promoter Score

How to Collect, Use & Calculate Your Net Promoter Score | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

By Sam Stemler on January 22, 2019

 

Since it was first introduced in 2003 in the Harvard Business Review, the Net Promoter Score (or NPS) has quickly become one of the most powerful metrics in measuring customer satisfaction. Not only does your Net Promoter Score tell you how your customers feel, but it also correlates with customer spending, income growth, customer retention, and other important metrics. However, as with all data, the Net Promoter Score must be collected, calculated and used properly to be effective.

Collect, Use and Calculate Your Net Promoter Score

What is the Net Promoter Score?

The Net Promoter Score was first developed by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, Inc., and Satmetrix Systems, Inc. as a meaningful measurement of customer loyalty. It’s now a registered trademark of the three, and it is used by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies.

The Net Promoter Score is relatively easy to gather since it is based on a straightforward question and uses a simple formula. It also shows the strongest correlations with other important metrics, like sales and growth. These are a few of the reasons that NPS has become such a popular metric.

How to Calculate Your Net Promoter Score

Your Net Promoter Score is calculated based on customer responses to a simple question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company (or product or service) to a friend or colleague?”

 

Customers respond to this question from a 0 (not likely at all) to 10 response (Very Likely). Those who respond with 9 or 10 are considered “promoters.” These folks are loyal to your business and will likely, as their survey response suggests, be good ambassadors for your brand. Customers who respond with a 6 or lower are considered “detractors.” Though they might continue to use your services despite being unhappy, but won’t be making good recommendations, and will probably recommend that family and friends steer clear. Finally, customers who respond with a 7 or 8 are considered “neutral;” unless something happens to sway them, they probably won’t say much of anything about their experience.

Once you’ve collected responses, you can then use the following formula to calculate your Net Promoter Score.

Net Promoter Score = % of Promoters – % of Detractors

% of Promoters = # of Promoters / Total Respondents

% of Detractors = # of Detractors / Total Respondents

Net Promoter Score Example

Here’s an example of the Net Promoter Score formula at work. Let’s say you surveyed 220 customers. You determined that 90 customers were “promoters,” giving you scores of 9 or 10. 50 customers were “detractors,” giving you scores of 6 or less, and 80 customers were “neutral,” with scores of 7 or 8.

% of Promoters = 90 / 220 = 40.9%

% of Detractors = 50 / 220 = 22.7%

Net Promoter Score = 41 – 23 = 18

This number may be anywhere between -100 and 100. In this case, your net promoter score is about 18. Any positive number is generally considered to be a good Net Promoter Score, but this will depend more on your competitors and your industry. If, for example, all your competitors have scores of 20 or higher, this might not be as good as you thought. In this example, there were almost as many neutrals as promoters, which may indicate that your customer experience, though not overtly bad, is a bit lackluster.

Before you can calculate your net promoter score though, you need to collect responses from customers or clients. How you go about this can make an impact on your score, and whether or not you can use your Net Promoter Score to give you actionable insights.

How to Collect Your Net Promoter Score

Though NPS is based on a simple question, collecting responses to calculate your net promoter score can be more complex. How you collect your responses will depend on two things; what actionable insights you are looking for and how you best interact with your customers. Let’s break each of these down.

How Do You Interact with Your Customers?

There are two different variants of the Net Promoter Score and though they measure the same thing—customer satisfaction—they do it in different ways. The Transactional Net Promoter Score, as the name implies, measures customer satisfaction when a transaction takes place. The Relationship Net Promoter Score, on the other hand, measures the overall loyalty and satisfaction of the customer. Many B2C companies who depend on a large customer base and a large number of transactions use the Transactional Net Promoter Score. Many B2B companies who depend on ongoing relationships use the Relationship Net Promoter Score. Some companies may use both at different times.

 

If the Relationship Net Promoter Score is best for you, you’ll want to take a more personal approach. This means calling your clients directly or speaking with them at a meeting. This also means asking more in-depth follow-up questions, which we’ll get to later.

 

If the Transactional Net Promoter Score is ideal, you’ll want to gather a lot of responses and automate your collection process. You’ll probably send a survey after a purchase using an automated email and use fewer, shorter follow-up questions.

What Insights Are You Looking For?

The Net Promoter Score is only an indicator of your customer experience. Alone, the NPS can’t tell you what you’re doing well or how you can improve. For this, you’ll need some carefully considered follow-up questions.

 

If you’re gathering a lot of responses after purchase or another transaction, keep your follow-up questions brief and to the point. Many companies take a simple, two-question approach, asking the 0 through 10 questions about the likelihood of a recommendation, and then an open-ended question about why the customer gave that score. These responses will give you specific things you can improve, or show you what your customers value most about your business. If the same things keep coming up, you’ll have actionable insights to work with.

 

Here are some follow-up Net Promoter Score survey question examples you might ask for the transactional approach:

  • Why did you give that score? This will help us improve.
  • Tell us what you liked or didn’t like about your experience.
  • How could we make your experience better?
  • What would you like to see in the future?

If you’re taking the Relationship Net Promoter Score approach, you’ll have fewer responses, so you’ll want to make them more in-depth. You might ask your client about each part of the ordering and delivery process, about specific people they work with, or specific features they use or would like. If a few customers provide similar responses, you’ll know where you can improve.

Here are some follow-up Net Promoter Score survey question examples you might ask for the relationship approach:

  • Does our product have the features you need? What would you like to see in the future?
  • What did you like or dislike about our customer service?
  • How has your experience been working with our staff/specific person?
  • Are you able to find the products that you need? What would you add?

How to Use Your Net Promoter Score

By itself, your Net Promoter Score is just a number. With the right follow-up questions, you can see where this number comes from and what you can do to improve it. In order to act on these insights and make real changes, you’ll need participation and leadership from multiple levels of the company. Before you collect and calculate your Net Promoter Score, make a plan to organize and enact changes, otherwise, the time and energy you spent gathering your NPS will go to waste. Consider the following as you make your plan:

  • Interdepartmental Leadership: Make sure each department is aware of NPS tracking and scoring, and be sure they understand the importance behind it.
  • Communicate Your Plan: Remember that NPS is designed to improve your organization, not punish people within it. Emphasize to your team that you’re focused on making improvements, not penalizing employees.
  • Score Results: Before you send your NPS surveys, have a plan in place for scoring and measuring the results. You might automate this with a survey tool, or assign this task accordingly.
  • Capitalize on Strengths: Remember that NPS isn’t just about finding weaknesses. Use the tool to uncover and capitalize on strengths as well.
  • Prioritize Improvements: Most likely, the NPS survey will reveal multiple areas of improvement. Decide how you address these, including which areas to address first and a timeline in which to do it.
  • Incentivize Participation: Employees that work with customers every day often have the biggest impact on the customer experience and on improving your NPS, however, they seldom have the power, recourse or incentive to do so. Bring customer-facing employees to the table and make them a part of the process to enact real change.

Remember that even a good NPS score can still reveal important problems. Also, keep in mind that it’s only useful to compare NPS scores to other competitors in your industry; your score may be above average in general, but still low for your industry. Finally, remember that your NPS is only useful as long as you derive useful insights and act on them. With all of these things in place, you will have a system for measuring customer satisfaction and generating growth-driven improvements from them.

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4 Things to Know about Online Reputation Management

4 Things to Know about Online Reputation Management | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

There has never been a time with greater consumer engagement than right now, especially with the far-reaching capabilities of smartphones. However, with consumers’ ability to share positive ratings and experience also comes their freedom to post the negative about your reputation. While businesses in the obvious industries—such as hospitality and retail—are subject to such reviews, so, too, are healthcare practices. In fact, a survey by Software Advice, a tech research firm, found that 62% of those surveyed use online reviews as a first step to find a new doctor, 19% use online reviews to evaluate an existing doctor, and 44% would consider an out-of-network doctor if their reviews were better than in-network doctors.

 

How can healthcare practices ensure they land on the winning side of the equation? That’s where online reputation management comes in.

 

  • What is online reputation management? It’s controlling what potential or current consumers see when they Google your name. It helps to stop, fix and prevent PR disasters while protecting and promoting your brand. Think your practice can’t be affected by bad press? A study by Outbound Engine found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It’s important to make sure you’re getting a good recommendation.

 

  • What does Google say about you? Research your practice as though you’re a consumer to get an idea of your current online reputation. Remember: 93% of searchers don’t go past the first page and will use the first 10 results to form an impression. Is your reputation:
    • Negative: By far the worst category for a practice to be in. This means you have one or more negative search results tarnishing your reputation. These can be from official rating sites (like Yelp or Healthgrades), blogs, Twitter accounts or any number of other social channels.
    • Irrelevant: These results don’t hurt you, but they don’t help you either. You may not be losing potential patients who are researching, but you won’t win their business either.
    • Wrong: There may be other practices with the same name that are more relevant to online searches than you. Aside from consumers not finding information about your practice, they may read negative things about this other practice and attribute them to yours.
    • Positive and relevant: Your search results are full of positive content, and your brand is well-represented. This is ideal but still requires maintenance to continue.

 

  • Why are Facebook “likes” important to a healthcare practice? The omnipresence of social media platforms has made them one of the fastest growing referral sources for businesses of all sizes and types. According to a study by The Spark Report, 41% said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor. Your social media presence should serve as a testament to why patients trust you and also display the human face of your operation. You should configure Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles for your practice locations, and upload images and key information. It is also important to respond to social media posts (publicly or privately, depending on the post), as well as resolve any issues or complaints expediently and in accordance with best practices.

 

  • How do you get positive reviews? People will be reading your reviews for proof of a strong, positive reputation. They want to see authentic and authoritative reviews that appear regularly and across a range of sites before they feel confident in your practice. Negative reviews on sites like RateMDs.com, Vitals.com and Yelp.com can hurt your online reputation and the success of your business. It’s imperative your information on these sites is correct and current; create and populate profiles for the sites your practice is not on, and seize opportunities to remove or respond to negative reviews without breaching doctor-patient confidentiality.

 

A successful online reputation management program needs to be multifaceted and include elements of social media, search engine optimization and owned, earned and paid media. It’s important to understand how these things impact your online reputation and use them properly—before a problem arises—because despite the amount of time and resources required to build a positive reputation, it takes considerably more to repair a negative reputation.

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How the Internet Affects Doctor's Reputations 

How the Internet Affects Doctor's Reputations  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Running any kind of business involves a certain amount of public relations work – and most doctors, lawyers, and small business owners don’t have PR teams on staff. When it comes to the medical profession, the importance of a good image is doubled. Reputation management for doctors isn’t an easy task, but it’s an important one for physicians to understand.

How the Internet Affects Doctors’ Reputations

We live in an age in which everything is public. Unfortunately, that “everything” includes negative information as well.

There are a lot of things that can happen to medical professionals that can negatively impact their reputation. Many of these things are very easy for competitors, disgruntled patients, or others to make public. Here are some examples:

  • Negative patient reviews
  • Court cases
  • Medical licensing issues.

Even if none of these has happened to you, one of them very easily could. Also, you’d likely be surprised if you sought out your online reviews.

Even the best physicians occasionally have negative reviews. These reviews can damage the business side of your practice before you’re even aware of them. Many of your patients and potential patients probably

 

That’s why one of the most important aspects of reputation management for doctors is knowing how to check on your own medical reputation online. Forearming yourself with knowledge is the surest way to fix any reputation problems. This includes both problems that you have now and those that may develop in the future.

How to Check Your Reputation as a Doctor Online

Plenty of consumers know how to do research on you – it’s practically public knowledge. You need to know how to do so too.

There’s a simple way, of course: simply running a Google search on your own name. That may actually get you pretty far. However, there’s a lot more you need to do to get a true sense of your online reputation.

How to Deepen and Widen Your Online Reputation Search
  • Don’t just search for yourself on Google, but on Yahoo and Bing as well.

Google is the most popular search engine, but your patients and potential patients probably use all three to a certain extent.

  • Use a wider variety of specific search terms.

Instead of searching for your name or the name of your practice, try searching for things like “[Your Name] Medical License,” “[Your Practice Name] Reviews,” or “Should I go to [Your Name]?”

The more specific your search terms, the more specific your results. You can bet your patients are asking Google and the other search engines these types of questions. Why aren’t you?

  • Search for yourself or your practice on consumer review sites such as Yelp!
  • Try searching for reviews by patients you know may be creating negative content associated with your name or your practice.
  • Look online for information on court cases you’ve been involved in, or other specifics that could drastically affect your online reputation.

It’s important to be very honest with yourself here about anything that could result in your medical reputation getting dented.

Search for anything you can think of that could negatively impact your public image. Even personal problems not related to your practice can sometimes spill over into your professional life.

Proactive Reputation Management for Doctors

Congratulations! By completing a fairly wide and deep search for information on your public reputation, you’ve already taken a big step towards better reputation management.

However, reputation management for doctors involves a good deal more than simply knowing what’s out there. To keep your reputation spotless and your patients coming in, you also need to consider some of the following:

  1. How often you should check up on your online reputation.
  2. The amount of positive information about you online.
  3. How to run deeper online reputation searches.

Let’s look at these in order.

How Often to Check Your Online Reputation

The first step to maintaining a positive reputation is frequently checking on that reputation. You can’t fix problems you haven’t seen. Also, reputation problems tend to fester and grow the longer they’re left alone. Seeing a bad review can make another patient more likely to post one, for example.

As such, it’s important to consistently check all properties related to your practice online. Is there a Yelp page for your practice? Have patients written Google reviews regarding your care? Be sure to check these frequently.

You should also look yourself up on Google, Yahoo, and Bing fairly frequently to make sure there aren’t any negative news articles, blog posts, or other types of online content being circulated that regard you.

Luckily, it’s easy to check the status of your reputation on Google constantly with the search engine’s helpful service Google Alerts.

How Much Positive Information You Should Hope For

Even if there isn’t any negative information about you or your practice available on the internet, is the web doing all the work it could be doing for your practice? If there isn’t a large amount of positive information out there, the answer is no.

Why do you need to worry about how much positive information on your practice exists? There are several good reasons:

  1. Negative information is going to crop up eventually. No one lasts long in the medical industry – or any other field, for that matter – without getting at least one negative review. Being proactive about generating positive content can offset the effects of future negative content.
  2. Good information on you or your practice existing online can work like free advertising. All those same people that you worry about being scared off by bad information could be brought in by good information.

There are several ways to create more positive content for your practice detailed in the next section, “How to Fix Your Online Medical Reputation.” It may be worth looking over even if your reputation is already spotless!

Is There a Way to Run Deeper Online Searches?

The answer to this question is complicated. For now, I’ll say yes and no.

There is no secret “deep search” feature hidden somewhere on the internet. A lot of less ethical online firms, including some in our own industry, like to say something like this exists in their advertising. It’s nothing more than a sales tactic.

However, there is a way to search more deeply than you already have. The way to go deeper on the internet is to go wider.

In addition to Google, the other major search engines, and Yelp, you should be checking less obvious places. These include social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and the like), as well as consumer reporting sites. Look through legal documents posted online, through licensing board records, and at minor review sites that haven’t achieved the status of Yelp.

Google and the other major search engines are the main factors determining your online reputation. However, things go much deeper than that. Different internet users trust and find different sources.

Some may almost exclusively use Facebook for news and reviews. Others don’t trust Yelp for whatever reason and use alternatives. The savviest internet users will look at more complex documents like public records to determine whether or not to get treatment at your practice.

Because all of these internet users are potential patients, you want to be sure you have all your bases covered. That does involve putting some work in now, but it could make a huge difference to your practice later on.

How to Fix Your Online Medical Reputation

There’s a lot of work involved with creating and keeping a spotless reputation in the internet age. However, with the right amounts of time, knowledge, and hard work, anyone can do this for themselves. Although Google and the other search engines have created this unique 21st-century problem for doctors and other professionals, the search engines also offer the best means to solve it.

The key principles of reputation management for doctors are very simple, even if the practice itself is complex. Here they are:

  • Negative information affects your practice because it appears on the first page of Google. According to Search Engine Journal, a whopping 75% of search engine users never get past the first page.
  • Pushing the negative information off of the first page of Google, then, would provide an instant boost for your business.
  • The only way to push negative content down is to create positive or neutral content that ranks higher in Google and other search engine results.
  • The art and science of making web content more attractive to search engine algorithms are called SEO, an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization.

All of the top companies in the world use SEO to a certain extent. Some have internal SEO departments or rely on marketing and PR employees to do SEO. Others hire out. In fact, there is a huge SEO industry serving both small businesses and the corporate world. One subset of that industry is professional reputation management.

 

Reputation Management for Doctors Tip No. 1 – Creating Positive Information

The first and most important thing you can do to start better managing your medical reputation, then, is creating positive information.

Negative content about you won’t simply disappear on its own. Something has to take its place. Furthermore, having more positive content related to you and your practice available on the internet can only be good for your business.

However, many doctors don’t know how to create positive, professional web content at all. On top of that, there’s an additional step: making sure that the positive content you create ranks higher than the negative content on Google. If the positive content ranks higher, it pushes the negative content down. If the positive content doesn’t rank as highly, no one will ever see it.

Here are a few quick guidelines for creating relevant, useful positive content that will rank highly on Google (and the other search engines). There is also some great information in the video at the end of the last section.

Creating Positive Content for Physicians, Step by Step

1. Use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to create positive content about your practice. These platforms, while they may not seem important, can be extremely useful. They have high “authority” with the search engines, meaning they almost always automatically rank highly in searches.

2. Create other free, high-authority profiles such as those available from LinkedIn.

3. If you don’t already have a website, create one. If you do have one, consider expanding it. Do you have a blog? A blog can be an amazing way to create positive content about your practice.

4. Consider writing press releases and submitting them to news media, or guest posting on other medical blogs. Although you don’t directly own these other sites, filling them with the information you’ve created and tied it to your name can work wonders for your online reputation.

Reputation Management for Doctors Tip No. 2 – Hiding Negative Information

The good news on this front is that you’ve already put a lot of the work in by creating positive content. However, there’s a little bit more involved with getting rid of negative information. This is one of the most important components in the puzzle of reputation management for physicians.

To make your positive content rank higher on SERPs (that’s an abbreviation we SEOs and reputation management professionals use for Search Engine Results Pages), you’ll need to do some SEO work.

More good news: for public profiles like Facebook and LinkedIn, the SEO work is essentially already done for you. However, if you’re creating positive content on your own website or another less ubiquitous web platform, you’re going to need to optimize it for search engines.

Unfortunately, there is a lot more involved with search engine optimization than I could ever get into here. However, there are a lot of great sources out there that can help you learn SEO, such as the Moz Blog, which covers a wide variety of important SEO topics in depth regularly. It’s a great place to familiarize yourself with the basics. Also, it can help you understand the latest developments in the field once you’ve become an advanced SEO yourself.

You may also be interested in this video. It’s very long, but it is one of the most concise and complete introductions to SEO I’ve ever come across.

Getting Rid of Negative Content – Beyond SEO

In addition to SEO, you need to think about how to get rid of negative content on platforms such as Yelp. Because Yelp is such a large and frequently-used platform, you’ll never beat it on SEO alone. Other review sites, such as Facebook and Google Reviews, work in much the same way.

However, there are two ways to minimize the effects of negative reviews on these sites:

  • Try to get as many patients as possible to write positive reviews – the law of averages will be on your side when customers look at your Yelp or other review site profile.
  • If a patient you have a good relationship with writes a bad review, consider contacting her or him directly. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make things right, and the patient may end up taking down the review.
  • However, never be pushy or defensive when you’re doing this – that will only end up making your reputation that much worse.

Don’t rely on Yelp or any other review site to take down a negative review, though. Unless you can prove a review is fraudulent or overly malicious, it’s here to stay. Even if you do have a case, the review companies move slowly on this issue.

Furthermore, if you have a lot of negative reviews on sites like Yelp, ask yourself if there’s anything you’re actually doing wrong.

Even the best doctors make mistakes, and patients are sometimes malicious in reviews without thinking of the consequences. However, have an honest conversation with yourself and your staff about ways to combat negative reviews. Honesty and a good reputation and outlook in the real world will not solve all your problems online, but they might help a great deal.

Reputation Management for Doctors Tip No. 3 – Hiring a Professional Reputation Management Service

For some doctors, all of this reputation management work can simply be too much. You have a practice to run, after all.

Many doctors, as well as lawyers and other professionals and business owners, hire outside help for this. There are pros and cons to hiring outside reputation management help, as with any business decision.

Hiring Outside Reputation Management Help for Doctors: Pros

1. Hiring professionals to carry out reputation enhancement and management tasks leave you with more time to focus on your main work: taking care of patients.

2. Utilizing a professional service can also bring about positive results faster than managing your reputation on your own.

3. Professional reputation managers do this for a living and know a great deal about reputation management for doctors and other professionals.

4. Perhaps the biggest benefit associated with hiring professionals to do this sort of work, besides the time it will save you, is how long-lasting the changes will be. Because professional reputation management firms have a deep expertise in the field, they know how to get you longer-term results than you’re likely to get on your own.

5. Many firms also offer affordable recurring contracts, checking up on your reputation and offering help in the future should you need it.

Hiring Outside Reputation Management Help for Doctors: Cons

1. The major drawback to hiring professionals is the expense. Reputation management services aren’t cheap. However, some firms in this industry are much more reasonably priced than others, and the positive changes professionals bring about can get you more patients.

2. While there are many upstanding, legitimate reputation management and SEO firms out there, there are also a few illegitimate businesses to watch out for. Signs to look out for on this front include overly aggressive sales tactics and too-good-to-be-true offers or pricing.

3. It’s also important that you talk with any SEO professional or reputation manager you’re considering hiring about their stance on a white hat and black hat SEO tactics. Black hat tactics can hurt your practice in the long run.

Online Reputation Management for Doctors: Your Options

If you suspect you need to start a reputation management program for your practice, you have a few options:

  1. Do it all on your own.
  2. Hire professionals right away.
  3. Ignore the problem.
  4. Do what you can on your own, and learn a bit more about the science of reputation management and enhancement, before hiring professionals.

The fourth option is the one we most highly recommend. Although there’s a lot to be said for hiring professionals, there’s also a good amount of work you can do on your own. Furthermore, managing your own online reputation can be a hugely positive learning experience.

The worst option, of course, is number 3. Ignoring this problem will at best be very problematic for your medical practice, and at worst could be entirely fatal for it. With a compromised reputation, the prognosis is not good.

Here at Reputation Enhancer, we help individuals and businesses get rid of negative listings on Google and other search engines. We do so use a highly personalized approach. Because of our low overhead, we can offer these services at lower prices than almost any of our competitors.

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27 Essential Tips for Leading Online Reputation Management 

27 Essential Tips for Leading Online Reputation Management  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

If you’re like most doctors today, you’ve begun to realize that a healthy online presence can make or break the success of your practice. Who you are online matters more than ever.

Around 84% of today’s patients say that they research new primary physicians and medical practitioners online before setting foot into a doctor’s office. This means that your patient knows what others say about you before he or she ever meets you.

This isn’t a passing trend. In fact, a study in the US National Library of Medicine reports that more than 90% of people now turn to online reviews before engaging in business with companies from any industry.  As we move into 2018, these numbers will continue growing until almost all of your patients know your reputation before you know them.

When patients find doctors with excellent online reputations, they’re likely to spend more money to see them. In a recent study, 48% of patients said that positive online reviews can convince them to go out-of-network for treatment, as they value quality of service over care affordability.

If you don’t know where to start with your online presence, or if you’re not sure if you even have one, Status Labs is here to help! With 2018 fast approaching, The twenty-five tips below will help you better understand and cultivate your online reputation so you can improve your practice for the coming year:

 

1. Self-Assess Your Current Online Reputation

Have you Googled yourself lately? If you don’t know what’s being said about you or your practice online, you need to self-assess your current reputation. In 2017, patients commonly checked doctor reviews on websites such as Yelp, ZocDocs, WebMD, RateMDs, Healthgrades, Google Reviews and Angie’s List. If you find your practice on any of these websites, look at what patients are saying.

 

After exploring various review websites and the first few pages of Google, you’ll have a better idea of your current online reputation.

 

2. Monitor Your Reviews Proactively

Set up Google alerts that will email you whenever your name or the name of your practice is mentioned online. Read each new mention of your practice carefully and closely monitor your online reputation every day.

 

This proactive approach will allow you to better manage your image and improve the success of your medical practice.

 

3. Treat Every Patient Like a Reviewer

Remember that every patient that calls or comes to your practice is a potential reviewer. Treat each patient with the utmost respect, projecting the image you want your practice to have. For example, if you’d like patients to report courteous behavior and compassionate staff (and you do), go above and beyond to ensure each person experiences just that.

 

Remember, in today’s high-tech society, what you say to a patient could be posted online immediately.

 

4. Request Feedback

If you’re not receiving many online reviews, it might be because you’re not encouraging patients to leave them. Ask your patients if they’d be willing to leave reviews about their experiences online when you send them follow up emails.

 

According to a 2016 survey, 70% of consumers said they’ll leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.  If you’re concerned about asking for public feedback, know that requesting reviews rarely hurts a practice. In fact, more than 50% of patients report leaving positive reviews when they do rate a business. To compare, only 7% of patients write negative reviews.

 

5. Hire a Reputation Firm

If your online reputation has gotten away from you, or if perhaps you’re just too busy to take the necessary steps to improve it, you may want to seek out professional assistance by hiring an online reputation management firm. These firms staff teams of professionals who can keep your online image focused on the positive aspects about your practice so you can put your best foot forward when being considered by new patients.

 

Reputation firms can also offer advice on responding to negative patient reviews and on improving doctor/patient relationships online.

 

6. Address Critiques Objectively

Before you do anything about a critical review, address it objectively. Consider the situation from the patient’s point of view, from a legal standpoint and from the public’s point of view. Examine the most professional response and how you can minimize the damage to your reputation while respecting confidentiality laws.

 

If you are feeling heated and upset by a negative review, come back to the review later on.

 

7. Think Carefully Before Addressing Anyone Online

Nothing looks worse than a doctor arguing with a patient online. For example, if a past patient claims your practice missed a diagnosis, to dispute this online would breach doctor/patient confidentiality laws and cause you to appear unprofessional.

Instead, doctors are encouraged to ask the patient to contact the practice for a specific response while offering apologies. Always address reviews professionally and do what you can to make it right. Do not acknowledge that a patient was in your office, or that you provided treatment for both positive and negative reviews.

 

8. Don’t Create Fake Reviews

Filling a website with dozens of fake positive reviews might sound like the easiest way to improve your online reputation. Instead, this can quickly ruin a practice. Not only is this fraudulent behavior, but many review sites regularly scan for fake reviews.

 

If the authenticity of your positive feedback cannot be verified, the reviews may be removed and your practice may be flagged for fabricated reviews. It’s just not worth it.

 

9. Respond to Positive Reviews

When you receive a positive review, thank the patient for his or her kind words about your practice. Leave an uplifting, professional response that shows your commitment to patient satisfaction. Do not, however, share any patient information that could violate privacy laws.

Stay clear of phrases like, “It was great to see you,” or “Thank you for visiting the office.” Keep it vague and positive such as, “Thank you for the kind words.”

 

Patients prefer visiting practices that demonstrate active engagement with online reviewers.

 

10. Respond to Negative Reviews

Just as you should respond to positive reviews, you should also respond to patients who leave negative feedback. As previously noted, do not do so from an emotional state and always consider your response carefully. Ask yourself if anything you write violates confidentiality laws and if it shows your practice in the best possible light.

 

Most patients feel that it’s important for doctors to respond to all online feedback. In fact, only 27% of patients found it minimally important, or not at all important, for physicians to respond to negative reviews.

 

The right response can neutralize a negative review, preventing it from further damaging your reputation.

 

11. Don’t Get into Online Arguments

When you respond to a negative review, an upset patient might try to antagonize you into an argument. Regardless of what is said, even if the patient is lying, participating in an online argument will do worse for your reputation than the review itself.

Always respond professionally. If a patient instigates an argument, offer to discuss and resolve the matter privately, but do not otherwise engage in a dispute.

 

12. Promote Positive Reviews on Your Website

The positive reviews you receive can be your best marketing material. Promote positive reviews on your website, use quotes from happy patients in your marketing and draw attention to the good things your patients say about you. Before sharing or embedding patient reviews, however, always seek written consent from the patient to protect his or her privacy.

Remember, there is no better narrator for your success stories than a satisfied patient.

 

13. Be Extra Careful of Patient Privacy Laws

Patient privacy laws must be respected when responding to online reviews. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT of 1996 (HIPAA) obligates every healthcare practitioner to protect patient privacy.

Information gained through any part of the patient’s care should never be published publicly without proper authorization. Best practice is to never confirm that the patient was seen by your clinic, according to Dr. Danika Brinda of Planet HIPAA. Instead, thank the patient for sharing feedback, and if necessary, invite further discussion in private.

 

14. Train All Staff in Customer Service Best Practices

Patients leave reviews about their entire experience with a practice, not just with their doctor. Train every staff member in customer service best practices and make it company policy to follow these practices closely. Each phone call, front desk conversation and nurse interaction should be handled with friendly, professional behavior.

When patients read reviews, they’re not always focused on the quality of healthcare that each review reports. It might surprise you to learn that a combined 48% of patients say they value the friendliness of the medical staff and the ease scheduling appointments over other information when reading online reviews.

 

Every member of your staff, even those who do not regularly interact with patients, should be trained in the company customer service policy.

 

15. Maintain a Social Media Presence

Social media is an excellent way to find new patients, engage existing patients and improve your online reputation. Maintain a social media presence that provides useful information, updates about your practice and helpful, respectful answers to patient questions.

 

Many patients turn to social media in their online inspection of a healthcare provider. If you don’t have a presence, you’re selling your practice short. Over 40% of patients report that social media affects their choice in a healthcare provider and facility.

Today, 31% of healthcare professionals have already turned to social media for professional networking. Join these businesses and shine brighter than your competition in 2018.

 

16. Keep a Regular Social Media Posting Schedule

Maintaining an effective social media account for your practice requires consistency. The right posting schedule will boost your traffic and help you find new patients.

 

Include your posting schedule in your organization’s social media guidelines to keep your staff on the same page. Over 30% of healthcare organizations provide similar social media guidelines to staff. If you do not have staff in charge of managing your social media, consider outsourcing the job to a reputation management firm.

 

17. Be a Thought Leader in Your Field

Don’t settle for being an off-line doctor. Become a thought leader in your field. A thought leader drives innovation and brings new ideas to his or her given industry. Such leaders become popular, well-respected professionals in their fields, which increases exposure and boosts their online reputations.

Becoming a thought leader isn’t something you can earn a degree for and be done with, it’s a process. You must establish yourself as a reputable professional, refine your skills and bring new, improved ideas to the field on a regular basis.

 

18. Keep Your Online Private Life Private

When your patients look you up online, you don’t want them to see your nights out with friends, family barbecues and casual social media updates. Keep any private online profiles restricted so only friends can view them and never post personal opinions, photos or videos on your professional accounts.

Ideally, your patients shouldn’t find your personal social media accounts even if they go looking for them. If you have private information online and cannot remove it, an online reputation company can help.

 

19. Register Your Name as a Domain and Secure Relevant Web Properties

Registering your name as a domain dramatically improves your search engine optimization (SEO) and it can even protect you from scandal. When potential patients Google your name, the domain that matches your name will appear at or near the top of the page. If you don’t own this domain, someone else could purchase it for their own means or even to use it against you.

For example, a disgruntled patient or competitor could buy an unregistered domain – i.e. www.DrYourName.com – and post false content about you there.

You’ll also want to secure other relevant web properties on professional website, blogging platforms and more.

 

20. Verify and Claim Your Google Business Listing

Claiming your business on Google provides a good starting point to control what’s displayed about you on Google searches. This includes business location, images, hours and reviews. Once claimed, you can use Google Business tools to improve your listing.

 

Visit www.google.com/business and log in with your professional Gmail account to create your free Google listing.

 

21. Read Reviews of Other Doctors to Identify Trends and Pain Points

Researching the competition is among the best ways for businesses in any field to boost their success. Read reviews from other local doctors so you can identify pain points and trends that impact what other patients are saying.

The more you know about how and why your competition succeeds or fails, the more information you have available to help improve your private practice.

 

22. Know Your Audience and Keep It Professional

Whether you’re posting on the company blog, your practice’s Facebook page or in response to a positive review, know your audience. Consider your patient demographic and use it to define how you present yourself. Also keep every post professional, clean and polite.

 

Doctors, more than many other types of professionals, must maintain complete professional presentation and neutrality.

 

23. Be Transparent

Transparency is possibly the most important aspect of a doctor/patient relationship. Patients currently have access to more information than ever. From medical billing, to staff/patient interaction, transparency can win many positive reviews when handled appropriately.

 

24. Temper Your Expectations

Remember, overhauling your online reputation is a marathon, not a sprint. If you start cultivating your online reputation now, it will not look perfect in five days. However, if you work on your reputation every day, proactively address reviews and continue to improve your practice, you could end 2018 with an excellent online presence.

 

To put it into perspective, Google typically recognizes index profile changes every two to six weeks. This means you can expect some small changes about every month, but you will not dominate the front page of Google after one long night of reputation repair.

 

The more time you can devote to this, the better. If you don’t have hours of extra time to devote to managing your presence, consider outsourcing to someone who does.

 

25. Treat the First Page of Google as Your Business Card 

Whether you like it or not, Google results are the new business cards. It doesn’t matter what your traditional advertisements say if your potential patients find contradictory information on the front page of Google. Often, when a patient Googles a practice, he or she will look for another physician in seconds if the front page lacks information or displays negative reviews.

According to a 2016 survey, 88% percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Furthermore, 90% of consumers read fewer than ten reviews before forming an opinion about the business.

If your online reputation is less-than-perfect, launching a proactive approach will improve your practice’s success. Online reviews are a modern concern for practitioners in all fields of healthcare and the number of platforms used to facilitate patient reviews is rapidly increasing.

 

Whether your reviews are positive, negative, or nonexistent, knowing what’s out there is the first step in protecting both yourself and your practice.

 

26. Pay attention to your Facebook reviews and ratings

Facebook is increasingly becoming one of the more frequently relied upon review platforms. Many experts have so much as predicted that 2018 will be the year that Facebook reviews come of age and begin to rival Yelp and other platforms as the go-to source for customer sentiment about brands. You can be certain that doctors – especially those with the all-important social media presence – will be a healthy part of the mix. Facebook is also a great place to speak to your patient base and directly ask them for reviews through organic posts. And since no one can hide behind an anonymous moniker, you can trust that the feedback you solicit should be a bit more reliable than on other platforms. Take advantage of the following you’ve built to solicit feedback.

 

27. Content marketing is essential, even for doctors

Not only can an effective content marketing strategy win you valuable organic search traffic, but those in your city who see you’ve published thought-provoking articles about your industry of expertise will also see you as a thought leader in your field. What better way to show the world you’re keeping up with current trends in the medical world than to publish a regular stream of articles about your profession? Useful content will be greatly appreciated by readers and it gives you an effective means of selling without being overtly sales-y. Even just one post per month will go an incredibly long way over a period of several years.

 

Status Labs has successfully helped many prominent doctors around the world with their digital reputations. As the industry’s premier digital reputation management firm, we’d happily offer you a Free Consultation should you need additional assistance with any reputation management issues or opportunities.

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Reputation Management for Physicians

Reputation Management for Physicians | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

emphasized the importance and value of creating and maintaining your online presence. Moreover, reputation is an ever-present ingredient in healthcare marketing. And who you are online is who you are to most people.

 

The top 10 rules of reputation

 

  • Claim and maintain your online DIRECTORY listings. Among the four information areas we’ve listed, the directory-type listings deserve careful attention for several reasons. The first challenge is that there are many such “directory” listings; likely including several that you didn’t know existed. What’s more, many “directories” are based on old data files, vital information (as elementary as your address and phone number) is missing, incorrect, and sometimes difficult to correct.
  • Reputation management has two speeds: regular and urgent. Most patients give physicians a favorable rating on online physician-rating sites, according to the same study cited in Part One. (J Med Internet Res 2011;13(4):e95)  But some online comments—both positive and negative—have a timely importance. It’s important to recognize the difference between “maintenance” and “hot potato,” and tackle any tough ones first.
  • Always take action on both positive and negative comments or ratings. Positive comments deserve attention, perhaps with a reply, a follow-up note, or some form of outreach and involvement. Think of it as being aware of public perceptions and a means to encourage and maintain the positive interaction. It’s also vital to listen to a negative issue, take any appropriate remedial steps, and to respond to the concerned individual. A prompt response has been known to douse flames, while a slow response can fan the flames. (See Neglect…)
  • Neglect is a slippery slope. Unfortunately, negative comments, reviews, and outright complaints tend to come forward more easily than positive comments. (The ratio is about three to five positive notes vs. 10 to 20 negative ones in general consumer studies.) A policy of “ignoring things” tends to foster more negativity. Stuff rolls downhill. Conversely…
  • Positive comments and testimonials thrive with encouragement. The fact is, patients, tend to appreciate good service and a little encouragement—without compensation, of course—often goes a long way. To make it happen, you (a) need to ask, and (b) make it easy for them. Consider ways to systematically invite online comments, improvement suggestions, surveys and other feedback and engagement tools.
  • You can’t control what people say, but you can actively tell your own story. You can control the quality of care you provide and deliver a positive patient experience. And in addition to the foregoing list of items, the primary means to influence what the consumer finds online (and what they regard as your reputation) is to contribute significantly to the online conversation.

 

Several favorable notes from satisfied individuals provide balance to an occasional unfavorable note. And using the voice of your website, blog, social media tools, and appropriate, regular and timely responses to comments and questions, the result can be a favorable ratio of positive to negative. And overall, you have control of the story—about yourself and your practice—that you tell online.

 

There’s HIPAA of course. Patient privacy issues and personal sensitivities will guide how a physician can present information online. There are, however, meaningful ways to provide timely and engaging information and to address important issues online, while respecting confidentiality and privacy.

 

Know the meaning of Astroturfing. The term Astroturfing, according to Wikipedia, “is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g. political, advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by a grassroots participant(s).” Without offering legal advice here, it’s easy to understand how “fake reviews” would be deceptive, dishonest and inappropriate.

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7 online reputation management strategies for doctors 

7 online reputation management strategies for doctors  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

According to research, 85% of patients are not comfortable selecting a healthcare provider with only a one-star rating. Why is that important? Well, more than 40% of patients use online reviews and consider doctor rating sites as “extremely important” for choosing their healthcare provider. Patients today are researching thoroughly before choosing a doctor. So it’s crucial for doctors to develop a strategy to establish and maintain the best possible online reputation.

Managing your online reputation is a continuous process. Here are some key things to watch to ensure you aren’t losing patients because of how you appear online.

An effective online reputation strategy can help existing and prospective patients recognize you as a credible, reliable, established and authoritative medical practice. Positive reviews can also crush negative comments, forcing them lower on search engine results pages and minimizing their damage.

 

Check out seven compelling strategies for monitoring and enhancing the online reputation of your healthcare practice:

#1 Leverage online ratings and reviews

Like them or not, review websites are here to stay. More than 77% of patients browse through online reviews as their first step towards finding a new doctor.

Patients use both healthcare-specific rating websites like HealthGrades and RateMDs and general review sites like Yelp and CitySearch. The best way to grab a consumer’s eye online is to have a large number of positive reviews across multiple ratings sites.

Instead of just waiting for reviews to come in, watch for ways to engage your patients and encourage them to share positive experiences online. Make the review process easy, and consider implementing a tool that aggregates reviews from various websites, so you can manage all your reviews in one place.

 

#2 Fix your online presence

In addition to third-party review websites, make sure your business information is updated on search engines like Google and Bing. Uniform and accurate listings on various websites improves search engine rankings and reduces patient’s frustration over incorrect information. Correct listings are especially valuable for small healthcare practices that offer special services like flexible appointment schedules, short waiting times, and different insurance plan options.

Claim your listings on critical online directories, consumer sites and social media channels. These sites let you to share additional content like photos and reviews to present your healthcare practice as the best choice. Learn how lets you fix and enhance your listings across the web automatically.

 

#3 Keep an eye on what patients are saying on social

Social media is one the most useful sources for gathering the unedited opinion of your patients, especially the unhappy ones. With the help of social listening tools that hunt for mentions of your practice, you can discover high-engagement posts and address comments that need your attention. These tools scan social media channels like Twitter and Facebook and use crawlers to identify new review sites and online forums. The idea is to monitor all the feedback buzzing across the web that makes up your reputation. When you know what your patients are saying about your medical practice, you have a clear idea of the problems you need to fix.

 

#4 Always respond to reviews

Almost 70% of patients who share negative feedback feel better if their concerns are addressed. Your unhappy patients want to hear from you. Even if you are unable to solve an issue immediately due to insufficient information or a hectic schedule, do not ignore negative reviews. Acknowledge unsatisfied patients and let them know that you are looking into the matter. If you feel that the best way to deal with the situation is taking it offline, then do that, but try to minimize the steps involved in solving each problem.

Important: while responding to negative feedback, ensure that you adhere to HIPAA guidelines and check our blog on staying HIPAA compliant while responding to patient reviews.

#5 Promote positive testimonials

Negative feedback is inevitable, but it can be overpowered by the voices of your happy customers. If you’ve received some amazing patient reviews, share them on your social media pages and let prospective customers know. The more you intelligently share content online, the better reputation you build. BirdEye can help you do this automatically.

#6 Build a strong social media presence

When it comes to reputation management, social media is indispensable as it helps you reach both your existing patients and discover potential patients. It is crucial to create social media profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter and keep them updated. If you already have social media pages, keep them active by sharing useful content and positive feedback from existing patients. These profiles determine how patients perceive your practice, and it’s up to you to ensure they show you in a positive light.

#7 Motivate your staff to provide outstanding service

Disappointed patients don’t tend to give you a second chance. Often, they share their bad experiences with their family and friends. This negative word-of-mouth can cost you patients. To avoid this situation, ensure that your employees are providing excellent patient care and exemplary service, and dive into patient feedback to find out what specifically your staff could improve upon. Delegate team members to manage patient concerns on certain channels to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Online reputation management is critical to the success of healthcare providers in today’s world of digitally connected patients, but it can be overwhelming without the right tools in place. BirdEye is a powerful online reputation management solution that caters to all the strategies mentioned above and many more. With BirdEye, you can manage feedback, respond to it, get more reviews, fix your online presence, share positive reviews on social media channels and listen to what patients are saying about you.

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Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients?

Is word-of-mouth marketing best to attract new patients? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 reasons why word-of-mouth marketing is not enough to grow your practice

1. Patients still conduct online research even after being referred

A referral might help you attract new patients, but that alone probably won’t seal the deal. Nearly all patients (91 percent) always or sometimes conducts additional research after receiving a referral from a healthcare provider, according to the 2018 Patient Access Journey Report conducted by Kyruus.

 

If your online reputation isn’t great — or is non-existent — people probably aren’t going to take the recommendation. With so much information readily available online for other providers, it’s easy for patients to find a doctor who meets their unique needs.

 

2. There is a limit to how many people word-of-mouth marketing can reach

Online reviews and your practice website can be accessed worldwide on a 24/7 basis. Word-of-mouth marketing has a much smaller reach, as it relies on the discourse between two people.

 

“There’s a limit to how many people you can access through your existing patients, and even if a patient refers me to a friend, that person will look for me online,” said PatientPop customer Dr. Nicole Mermet. “No matter how good your dentistry is, or how strong your staff is, or how well you run your business, you’re invisible if you don’t have a strong online presence.”

3. You’re not in control of the conversation

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of people make recommendations because of a great experience, according to the Chatter Matters report. This is a good thing, but even when patients rave about your practice, you don’t know what they’re saying.

 

Just because patients praise your practice, it doesn’t mean they’re speaking to an audience who requires your services. Even if they are, their recommendation might not include the information needed to convince the other person to give your practice a try. If they go online to learn more about your practice but don’t find anything, they might opt for your competition.

4. Growth can take a long time

When trying to figure out how to get new patients, growth is something you’d like to see sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately, you don’t know when referrals will be given or when recipients will need to use them.

 

Your practice might be referred by a patient today, but it could be months or even years before the other person actually makes an appointment. If you want to grow your practice now, this method might prove to be of little help.

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Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You?

Did you know that Long Patient Wait Times Costs You? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patience is a virtue, but patients don’t always feel the need to practice it. And that makes sense; as more practices offer shorter wait times and more one-on-one time with the doctor, why would they want to put up with long patient wait times?

Attitudes towards patient wait times are changing

If you’ve worked in the healthcare field for quite a while, you’ve probably heard the term “healthcare consumerism.” While the term encompasses many different things, the big idea is that patients expect their healthcare experience to be more like a customer service experience.

 

This retail mindset means patients are no longer willing to put up with long wait times at the doctor’s office—just as they wouldn’t wait a half-hour in line at the store to buy an item.

Reasons for shifting patient attitudes

The truth is that patients have never enjoyed long wait times in the office. In many cases, they simply accepted it as the norm.

 

While some offices have always attempted to streamline processes, we all know that practices and hospitals have a reputation for scheduling appointments that rarely begin on time.

 

So what’s different now? Patients have become empowered to take control of the situation. They know that there are other options out there. And while they may not be able to turn back the clock and choose another office, they can prevent other people from making the same mistake.

Your reputation is on the line

Wouldn’t it be great if a doctor or hospital’s reputation was based solely on their professional merits? Of course, you strive to provide the best level of healthcare you can. But in this day and age, that’s not enough to earn a strong patient referral.

 

And patient referrals are not just limited to someone’s family and friends. A recent Vitals study showed that healthcare facilities with long wait times tend to receive much poorer reviews than those with shorter waits.

 

The highest reviewed practices had average wait times of 13 minutes, while those receiving low star ratings had wait times of 34 minutes.

Patient reviews have greater reach than ever before

90% of patients have researched a doctor or hospital before visiting. Chances are high that most of your patients have looked you up online. They may have been pleased with your reviews, or they may have decided you were worth a shot despite them—but after a visit, they could change their mind.

 

This fact is not just limited to primary care. Even patients who receive a referral from another doctor are likely to research that referral online. And if they don’t like what they see, they may seek out a second option.

Your competition is changing

Depending on your area of specialty, the competition surrounding your practice or hospital is likely a lot different than it was just 10 or 15 years ago.

 

Primary care doctors and some other specialties are competing with urgent care clinics, including those in retail locations like a CVS. Urgent care clinics now compete with telehealth apps on mobile devices.

 

If you want to keep patients in your practice or hospital, you have to create an experience of care that keeps them coming back and is competitive with these modern healthcare environments.

Losing a patient is expensive

According to Vitals, 30% of patients have simply left a doctor’s office because they were dissatisfied with the wait time.

 

In some cases, the cost of acquiring a new patient can be a couple hundred dollars—worth it when you consider the lifetime value of that patient, but not if you lose them!

 

And when one patient leaves, you miss out on the opportunity for several more patients. This includes their family and friends and, of course, several people reading your negative reviews.

What can you do to reduce the wait?

It may be time for an audit of your systems and processes. Think about what you could do to really streamline appointments and make sure everyone is in and out in as little time as possible. Could you…

  • Automate check-ins or keep these online?
  • Keep better estimates of the amount of time needed for certain times of appointments?
  • Text patients when you’re running behind and allow them the option to reschedule?

 

Best of all, listen to your patients and their needs. Even if you fall behind in scheduling, your patients will appreciate transparency and your willingness to fix the issues over time.

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How to Respond To Negative And Positive Patient Reviews [The HIPAA Compliant Way]

How to Respond To Negative And Positive Patient Reviews [The HIPAA Compliant Way] | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Even though patient reviews have a critical role to play in the success of your healthcare practice, they don't work in solitude. They are a conversation initiated by one of your patients that asks for your participation to present your side on the matter. You would provide the final viewpoint on the situation.

 

Not responding to a negative review will give the impression that you don’t listen to what your unhappy patients have to say and aren’t proactively addressing areas where you may be struggling. Whereas, not responding to positive reviews can make you look like you only care to address patients when there’s a damage to your reputation. In both cases, it will be your reputation that suffers.

 

When responding to your patients’ reviews, it’s important to comply with HIPAA regulations. HIPAA compliant review responses keeps you safe from any data privacy-related troubles. Data privacy is a big violation that can bring unnecessary financial and legal problems.

How to Respond to Negative Patient Reviews

Negative reviews are not always a bad thing. In fact, you need a few negative reviews from your patients. Replying to a few negative reviews appropriately can help draw attention toward your business’s positive qualities. Think of this concept as quality control.

 

When you see a negative review, don't immediately write a response. It's better to take a short break, analyze the situation, think of a strategy, and then write your response. Below are the “do’s and don’ts” of responding to negative reviews:

Do Not Even Think of Ignoring Them

When patients are irate, it’s natural for them to sound more dramatic while writing reviews. They’re upset and want the world to know about it. Take it with a grain of salt and never take it personally. However, do not ignore negative reviews.

According to a study, the majority (65%) of patients said that it's highly expected of doctors to respond to patient reviews. Responding shows that you take patient feedback seriously and are committed to improving the patient experience. The key here is to be understanding and sincere.

See if the Review Violates Terms and Conditions of the Website

Another thing to do before you respond is to check if the review is violating the terms and guidelines of the review website. If the review turns out to be objectionable, such as written by someone else, promotional in nature, sexually explicit, contains third-party names, harasses, abuses, or threatens to harm, etc., you can simply “flag” or “report” it. Let the review site know about it so they can investigate it and consider taking it down. Consider writing to the review site. However, remember that they are inundated with these requests and may not get back to you for weeks or months.

If the review is not objectionable and it correctly points out your fault, it's your responsibility to think of a strategy to respond to it.

Here's what you should keep in mind while responding to a negative patient review:

 

Examine the situation: Analyze the situation from all perspectives; the patient's point of view, the legal point of view, and the public point of view. After analysis, consider a professional HIPAA compliant response that not only solves your patient's concerns but also minimizes the damage to your reputation.

 

Begin with an apology: Even if you don't recognize your patient's claims, start your response with an apologetic and sympathetic tone. Next, explain your stance on the matter and let your patients know that you're serious about listening to their concerns. For example – “We are sorry to learn about your bad experience. However, this is not something that goes with our standards. Our representative will connect with you to learn more about it."

 

Passively market your service USPs: There is no harm in providing a little bit of extra information that explains what your patients usually experience. This will insert a little bit of marketing in your response to the bad review. For example – “We are normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark.”

 

Note: Don't include your practice name or relevant search terms, like category and location, in your response as it can make your negative patient review appear in the relevant search results.

 

  1. Keep it anonymous: Make sure that your team responding to patients' reviews is aware of the HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA requires providers to respond to patient reviews without disclosing the patient's identity and/or their personal health information; such as, but not limited to, phone number, email address, appointment dates or times, diagnosis or test results. Failure of HIPAA compliance can invite hefty fines and even court-related troubles.
  2. Offer to move the conversation offline: Provide contact information of someone at your practice whom unhappy patients can contact to discuss their problem in person. For example – "Hi! My name is [name], and I'm the [provider/practice manager] at our practice. If you'd like to discuss this further, please call me at [phone number] or email at [email address] during regular business hours."

How to Respond To Positive Patient Reviews

Just because positive reviews don't cause any trouble (if they are genuine), should you just sit on them and do nothing? Absolutely not. First, that would be like ignoring someone when they give you a compliment, and secondly, don't you think you should amplify the goodwill using those positive reviews? Obviously, yes! Also, it's a great way to spread positive messages about your brand’s online reputation!

The good news is there are a few best practices and guidelines to follow when it comes to positive reviews; these are very important to remember.

Here’s how to respond to positive patient reviews, the HIPAA compliant way:

  1. Start with 'thanks’: Just like you start off with an apology in case of a negative review, you should also thank your reviewer when they praise you. Example – “Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words. We appreciate you taking the time to share your great experience!"
  2. Keep it ambiguous: While thanking, don't use phrases like, "It was great to see you," or "Thank you for visiting the office." Such phrases sound more declaring or affirming and may be used against you for indirectly exposing the identity and actions of a patient.
  3. Boldly market your practice: Inserting your business name, category, location, and your service-related keywords may help these positive conversations, about your brand, appear in the relevant Google search results. For example – “The team here at [your practice name] are delighted to hear your feedback, and we're proud to be the most trusted [service category] provider in [location name].”

Tips to Get the Most Out of Positive Patient Reviews

  1. Amplify it on social media: You should amplify all positive reviews through social media. Try using a graphics tool like Canva or PicMonkey to create engaging graphics of your testimonials and share across social media. Make sure to cross-promote the testimonials on all social channels you’re active on. This is known as social proof.
  2. Promote it on your website: You can also create a separate testimonial page on your site and showcase positive patient reviews for promotion. Doing so will also help your page get better search engine rankings.

 

Note: To get the most out of positive patient reviews, you should strive to get more overall positive reviews.

 

Incentivizing reviews isn't a great option, it's not ethical, and most review sites don't approve of it. However, you can always ask and facilitate your patients to write reviews in an ethical manner.

Handling patient reviews requires time and effort and an understanding of the policies. It's one of the significant tasks under healthcare online reputation management.

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How to Ask For a Google Review

How to Ask For a Google Review | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How to Ask for a Google Review: 6 Proven Techniques to Use

1. Email

A simple way to reach customers is in their inbox. By delivering a request for a Google review through email, you can easily layout the steps and provide simple links for the customer to do so. All they really need to do is open the email and write a review.

 

The obstacle you may encounter with this technique is cutting through the email inbox clutter. People receive massive amounts of emails per day, so make sure you use email marketing best practices to improve the open rate and click-through rate. Another way to make sure you’re practicing these techniques as effectively as possible is to have specific criteria customers should meet before you send out the email. A great way to figure out which customer is ready to leave a review and which is not is to calculate Net Promoter Scores.

Don’t make your customers hunt for your page to leave a review

Use the Google Review Link Generator. 

2. Social Media

To successfully collect reviews, show up where your customers are hanging out. This may require a bit of audience research. Come up with a list of social media platforms your customers use frequently. This list will probably include platforms Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Pinterest.

Online users respond to aesthetics. Try creating a well-designed, branded graphic that will catch your customers’ attention. You can post it to Facebook, Instagram stories, Snapchat, etc. The graphic can include steps for leaving a Google review to simplify the process.

3. Ask In-Person

A slightly different approach to take is requesting testimonials face-to-face. Depending on what type of business you run, you might have the opportunity to interact with your customers in person. This can provide a better gauge on whether or not they’re likely to leave you a good review. If they’ve been purchasing from you for a while, or you’ve maintained a strong relationship, this can be an effective strategy. You might say something along the lines of, “You really seem to be enjoying [product/service]. We’ve actually been working on building up our reviews on Google. Would you be open to leaving a review on [product/service]?” If they say yes, have an info card on hand such as the one you created for your social media accounts, that lists out how to do it and is easy for them to hang onto.

4. In-Store Kiosk

It can be difficult to get an in-store customer to take action online, but it can work with the right strategy. An in-store kiosk can be helpful here. By using kiosk mode, you can lock an iPad or another device to one app, so your customers can write a review right in the store if they choose.

5. CTA

Call-to-actions jump out at people on websites, in advertisements, and on landing pages. With the right and design, and the right copy these can be extremely effective. If you decide to run a testimonial campaign, including a CTA at different touchpoints in your website, social media platforms or digital advertisements may increase the likelihood of people writing Google reviews.

6. Boast

Finally, make use of tools available to you. Boast stores all testimonials in one easy-to-access location, and allows you to filter testimonials based on different factors. We’ve written several blog posts outlining different ways to identify people ready to write a review and how to collect more reviews. By using Boast’s automated processes, you can ask the right customers for Google reviews automatically and save time.

Google is an important part of every business in the Information Age, and you can use this essential tool to your advantage. Ask your loyal customers for Google reviews, and you might be surprised at how many are willing to vouch for you. With your good reputation on display, you can use Google and your customer’s loyalty to bring in more business.

 
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8 Effective Marketing Tips for Hospitals

8 Effective Marketing Tips for Hospitals | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Use these simple, cost-effective marketing tips for your hospital to make it the preferred choice for patients.

Hospital marketing is challenging to say the least. You can’t really inspire people to come to visit a hospital. You know they won’t. However, you need to increase your patient base to do justice to all the investments you have made on your hospital and subtly marketing your brand is the key. We share with you some tips that will help you create brand awareness with minimum investments.

8 Subtle Marketing Tips to Create Awareness about Your Hospital Brand.

1. Get A Responsive Website

The first thing most potential patients will try to do is go through your website (until and unless it is an emergency and your hospital happens to be the nearest) and find out as much about your hospital as possible, online. So don’t just build a website that displays information about your hospital and your team, but focuses on giving patients useful health information to take better care of themselves and their family. A good idea would be to talk about preventive care.

2. Use Social Media Well

The world is on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the likes are the virtual places where you can reach to create brand awareness with potential customers as well as attract good talent. Appearing on social news feeds often will go a long way in keeping you in the mind of the users. Interesting posts keep people interested. And people remember useful tips and their source.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of SEO

You know your potential consumer is going to hit Google, right? When your potential patient searches for best healthcare practice you want your hospital’s website to pop up on the first page. That is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) does. Get your web developer and content editor to focus on SEO keywords. Hire an SEO consultant, you do not need a full-time employee on your payroll for this.

4. Stress on Internal Marketing too

That’s right. Every employee of your hospital is your spokesperson. Get your HR Head to make the employee experience at your hospital great and get them talking good things about their hospital.

5. Give Patient a Chance to Say Wow

Branding is not what you tell your customers, it’s what they tell each other about you. Enhance patient care, and they are sure to remember it for a long time. Give them care and attention and they will speak for you. Get your Operations Head to work towards giving the patient an exceptional experience. Nothing works better than Word of Mouth.

6. Shoot Emails

Emails are effective. Get your IT team to maintain a subscriber email list and share helpful informative emails based on the patient’s illness. It tells your patients that you care for them even after they leave your hospital. Maintaining communication with useful, helpful and high-value information is key to building a good hospital brand.

7. Showcase

Get your good work out there as testimonials, videos, patient stories, etc. Post on your website, post, and re-post on social media show it on the LCDs in the hospital waiting areas. Talk about breakthrough treatments in interviews, conferences and public forums.

8. Automate your operations

The patient and the family is already stressed when they are in hospital. Make their experience simple and easy by using a reliable Hospital Information System (HIS). This will make a world of a difference in the experience right from registration to patient discharge. Another pain point for patients is the way hospitals manage health insurance claims and settlement. Using a robust revenue cycle management solution (RCM) would play an important role in taking the stress out of hospital insurance claims management.

Show your patients and the society in general that you care about their health and well-being and you really do not want them to reach a stage where they have to go to a hospital.

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What Makes a Website Trustworthy? 5 Factors That Make or Break Trust Online

What Makes a Website Trustworthy? 5 Factors That Make or Break Trust Online | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Today more than ever before, trust is an issue online. Users are rightfully concerned about whether the information they’re reading is accurate if their personal information is secure, or how their browsing habits are observed and used. But what makes a website trustworthy? How do users decide which websites are accurate, secure, and ethical? And does this work?

5 Factors that Make or Break Trust Online

1. The URL

Your web address—your URL—is one of the first and most obvious indicators that makes a website trustworthy in users’ minds. A website’s URL explains, in part, where information comes from or what organization the website is associated with. For example, from their URL alone we know that the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab (https://credibility.stanford.edu/) is associated with Stanford University (https://www.stanford.edu/).

 

Each person’s assessment of a URL happens quickly; they decide whether to click on a link or trust a site in an instant. So what makes some URLs and therefore some websites more trustworthy?

 

  • Recognition: If a user has heard of or used the URL before, they are more likely to trust it. Though this can be helpful, as popular websites often have some benefits over others, this can be a problem; what is popular is not always safe or trustworthy.

 

  • Simplicity: URLs with many layers are more easily forgotten and they are harder for users to interpret or understand. What is misunderstood is often mistrusted.

 

  • Authority: Some URLs which are commonly associated with governments, universities or other high-authority institutions are more easily trusted (.gov or .edu, for example). Since these organizations are usually concerned with public education and safety, this is generally a good practice, though it should not be the only factor.

 

  • Security: To be secure, a website should have at least an SSL certificate. This protects users with a layer of encryption and puts the “s” in Https. As of 2018, Google flagged any sites without an SSL certificate with a red “Not Secure” icon by their URL.

2. Social Proof: Testimonials and Reviews

We are all innately social creatures, and we instinctively watch what those around us are doing to see what the best course of action is. This is the effect of social proof; we trust what others trust. This is also part of what makes a website trustworthy.

 

Social proof can occur in many ways. As previously mentioned, when more people use and are familiar with a particular web address, that site becomes more trustworthy. However, a site doesn’t have to be a household name like Google or Amazon to benefit from social proof. Testimonials, reviews, and case studies are all types of social proof. When new users see that the site has worked for others, they are more likely to trust it.

 

For this to be successful, the testimonials, reviews or other signs of approval must be authentic and reliable. Users have known long before the internet that endorsements aren’t always real and reviews can easily be made-up. Video testimonials are one of the best ways to showcase authentic reviews, simply because videos are much harder to fake or steal than text or pictures alone.

3. Social Approval: Star Ratings and Endorsements

Even sites without their own user testimonials can leverage the effects of social proof. Showcasing a star rating gives new site visitors an indication of quality, even if they have never heard of the site before. Many sites use a widget or app to carry over star ratings from Amazon, Yelp, or other sites in their niche, or they may simply display an image and a link to the page. Magazines, blogs, books, movies and other media showcase star ratings from known publications or reviewers. Many products use endorsements from celebrities or experts in their field. Businesses will showcase their high-profile clients on a case studies page or on their homepage.

This makes a website more trustworthy by borrowing authority and familiarity from other websites, people, or brands. Though users may not be familiar with a particular website, seeing high reviews from someone or something they do know gives them some security.

4. Current, Readable Design

Sites that are difficult to follow, read, understand or are simply unappealing will not inspire trust. Though a site’s outward appearance shouldn’t necessarily reflect how reliable, ethical, or accurate it is, this connection definitely occurs in visitors’ minds. This is due to several factors;

  • Outdated site designs make users think the information isn’t current and therefore may be inaccurate or unreliable.
  • Sites with unclear text, capital letters, errors or other problems indicate spam and other online hazards.
  • The bad design shows negligence and users wonder if the site owners are also negligent about security, customer service, or information accuracy.

It is ideal to have a site designed especially for you by a professional. If this isn’t possible, use a clean, legible format from a template. Update your site information on a regular schedule and display the date when it was edited.

5. Transparency

To make a website trustworthy, users should be able to follow the path of information and verify it. There should be no secrets about where information comes from, who posted it, or why it’s there. Maintaining absolute transparency is one of the best ways to make a website trustworthy. Transparency means making the following information known or easy to access. If it isn’t, users can and should wonder what you’re hiding and why.

  • The people or company behind the website
  • Content authors
  • How the website or organization is funded
  • The website’s or organization’s mission or goals
  • Contact information
  • How a product or service works

 

Does your website deserve visitors’ and consumers’ trust, but it isn’t seen as trustworthy? Some of these aspects, like parts of your URL, you cannot completely control, but there are changes that you can make to make your website more trustworthy. Try making these changes to make your site more secure, recognizable, authoritative and transparent. Remember, gaining trust doesn’t happen overnight, but visitors will recognize businesses and individuals that operate with ethics and care.

 
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5 Trends in Online Reputation Management in 2019

5 Trends in Online Reputation Management in 2019 | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

By Sam Stemler on January 8, 2019

 

Now more than ever, customers look online to find where to eat, what to buy, even what doctor to go to or what car to buy. Good reputation management has become even more important in recent years, and 2019 is no exception. Whether you’re just starting to take charge of your online reputation, you want to stay ahead of the pack, or you’re a marketing agency offering valuable reputation management to clients, take a look at these trends in online reputation management in 2019.

5 Online Reputation Management Trends in 2019

1. Good Mobile Search is a Must-Have

You’ve probably already searched for yourself on your laptop, but have you done a search on your mobile device? Mobile searches first eclipsed desktop searches in 2015, and the number of mobile searches has risen sharply since then. This is an important trend in online reputation management in 2019, especially for restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, and similar consumer-facing businesses.

 

Remember that mobile searches are competitive, and getting to the top of a search like “restaurants near me” will be tough. However, you want to be sure that customers who are looking for your business can find it, and find all the information they need. When you search for your business, make sure the following are accurate and easy to find, no matter what type of business you operate. If this information doesn’t come up, it doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on your online reputation, but it can give customers the wrong impression about your attention to detail or your availability.

  • Store or office hours
  • Location
  • Website
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Facebook page
  • Attractive images of your business, products, or your work

If you do a mobile search and any of this information is incorrect, or if negative reviews or unattractive pictures show up, it’s time for a mobile search results overhaul. Businesses that may not have the time, staff, or aren’t sure of the skills needed to tackle this issue often work with a marketing agency. To diversify marketing services and revenue, many marketing agencies provide reputation management services separate or in addition to marketing campaigns. Agencies may help businesses claim and manage Google business listings, post positive photos and videos, and encourage customer reviews. Agencies that understand what customers are looking for and what inspires them to share provide valuable services to businesses seeking to revamp their mobile search results and reclaim a good reputation.

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2. Reputation Management Needs Tools

Searching for your business name and combing through social media mentions isn’t an efficient way to conduct reputation management in 2019. There’s a wide range of tools that can help you automate this process in a variety of ways. To manage your reputation effectively, you’ll need to invest some time at the start, then you can let these processes mostly run themselves.

 

There are dozens of free and subscription-based tools available to help fulfill any of these tasks. The following are just a few examples. You might find other tools that work better for you.

 

  • Social media monitoring: Hootsuite, Zoho Social, and Sprout Social are just a few examples of social media monitoring tools that will comb through keywords, mentions, and more across a variety of platforms.
  • Email automation: when requesting reviews, thanking customers, or following up, you don’t need to write the same emails a thousand times. Use email automation software like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
  • Monitor the web: Google Alerts is one of the best tools for monitoring your name, brand, or other keywords across the world wide web. Choose keywords or phrases, set an alert (for free!), and you can get individual or digest emails whenever the words come up.
  • Testimonial gathering: Organize text, picture or video testimonials all in one place with Boast and display them on YouTube, Facebook, on your website, or use them in your marketing materials. Boast integrates with the most popular social media platforms, mail automation programs, Google analytics and more, so it fits right into your existing tech stack.

Marketing agencies offering reputation management and repair in 2019 know the power of a quality tech stack. With the right set of tools, you can target sources of negative feedback, fix them, and replace them with quality, compelling reviews faster. By automating as much of this process as possible, you can give more personal attention to clients, and focus on growing your business.

3. Video on the Rise in 2019

Over 100 million hours of video content is consumed daily on Facebook alone. By some estimates, video content can help to increase conversions by as much as 80%. These and many other compelling statistics about video all indicate that video content is rising fast, getting more attention, more shares, and winning more customers. If you want to not only manage your reputation this year but to put your good reputation to work for you, video content can help you do it.

 

You don’t need fancy cameras and a studio set up in your office to capitalize on the benefits of video content. Use a video testimonial gathering platform like Boast and you can start using video content just by asking your customers to submit their videos. You can post videos of your customers using your product, visiting your business, or showcase your company culture. Always get your customers’ (or employees’) permission before you use the video, and be sure to thank them or reward them for participating.

 

Businesses may choose to create or manage videos in-house or work with an agency to save time. If you’re an agency using to video to boost your clients’ reputations in 2019, intuitive tools like Boast can help you gather customer stories and develop authentic, compelling videos faster.

4. Social Media is a New Business’s Best Friend

Many businesses monitor their online reviews and consider their reputation management done. While review sites are important, they aren’t the only place that customers are talking about you online. More and more customers are taking their outings, experiences, and complaints to social media, which can mean winning over customers’ friends or keeping them away.

 

Social media and online reviews work in different ways, but they are both important to online reputation management in 2019. Consider when and how customers interact with online reviews compared to social media. Online reviews are important when customers are actively looking for you and nearly ready to make a choice. By contrast, social media works passively, introducing your business to people who may never have heard of you and may never have searched for you. This makes social media a powerful tool for businesses that are not yet well-known, as your first few followers and fans can quickly encourage organic growth.

 

A variety of tools (see point 2 above) can help you monitor the social conversation around your brand, even if you don’t have an account on these platforms. If you notice a lot of conversation buzzing on a particular platform, consider making an account and connecting with your customers.

5. Good Reviews Require Active Participation

It’s no longer enough to simply monitor your online reputation. If you want to improve or maintain a good reputation, you have to be an active participant.

Doing good work and giving customers positive experience is a large part of the online reputation battle, but it doesn’t guarantee that customers will share their good experiences. To benefit from the work you put in every day, you have to close the loop and incentivize customers to share their experiences. There are a variety of ways to do this, and which you choose will depend on your industry, customers, and the time you can commit.

  • Add social sharing information to the bottom of receipts or coupons.
  • Offer exclusive discounts or coupons on social media for everyone who shares your post.
  • Offer rewards to customers who share their thoughts.
  • Run a contest or giveaway for customers who write reviews.
  • Request review through automated emails.
  • Meet with your clients directly and ask for a review.

If they are struggling with negative reviews or they’re having trouble getting reviews at all, many businesses work with marketing agencies to improve the situation. Reputation management is now, more than ever before, a multi-layered project that many businesses don’t have enough time or skills to completely manage. Marketing agencies may offer reputation management and improvement campaigns using the strategies above, as well as many others.

 

If you’re wondering how you can get the word out or improve your business reputation this year, test out these online reputation management trends in 2019. With a new approach for the new year, you may find yourself getting more notice and even beating out the old standbys in your industry.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Tips to help you manage a physician’s online reputation 

Tips to help you manage a physician’s online reputation  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

As healthcare marketers and/or communicators, you know your doctors are being talked about on the web, social media sites and especially rating sites. Right now, as you’re reading this, toggle over to Google and type in a new doctor you are promoting and see what you find. Is the information accurate? What would a viewer say about that doctor based on those results? Is it good? Bad?

 

The more patients go online to find info about your docs, the more their online reputation is being managed – regardless if it’s true or not. That reputation can play a huge role in acquiring new patients and maintaining trust with existing patients.

More and more studies are showing nearly 80% of today’s consumers go online first when evaluating a medical provider. Physicians who don’t actively manage their online reputations can suffer the consequences of an unfair and unfounded digital reputation.  Furthermore, reputation defence is a concern even for very good, reputable physicians as some doctors think that because they are honest and they are good at what they do, there is no cause for worry about their online image. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

 

So what exactly IS online reputation management? Online reputation management is the process of preventing and repairing threats to your online reputation. This is done by tracking what is written about you (or what you’re trying to manage) and using techniques to address or moderate the information on search engine result pages or in social media. The goal is to promote positive or neutral content while suppressing negative content.

For your physicians, this can involve a few key areas: what’s found on search engine results pages, social media sites and rating sites (such as Vitals, HealthGrades, Rate MDs, Yelp, Angie’s List).

 

Here are 4 tips to help you manage a physician’s online reputation:

 

Don’t fight patient reviews, embrace them

The truth is patients expect to check reviews before making economic decisions. And, just like consumers, patients are sceptical to see a doctor who doesn’t have reviews. If a doctor’s competitor has reviews and the doctor doesn’t, the doctor is probably falling behind.

 

Eric Goldman, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law in California says a vast majority of patient reviews are positive. “There’s really a curve of reviews,” he said. “There are only a small number of negative reviews, even smaller number of mixed reviews, and a huge number of positive reviews.”

 

Dr Joseph Bauer, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta, said in the July 2012 issue of “Aesthetic Surgery Journal,” that reviews seen online are real. “When reviews online are real, based on accurate events, it can have tremendous value to patients searching for a qualified plastic surgeon; but the internet is not regulated. Anyone can say anything, and it sometimes gets to be difficult for patients to know which reviews can be trusted.”

Dr Bauer continues, “Most websites don’t make a reviewer prove that they were really a patient before they can post a review. Most don’t have any process to make sure the reviews posted are reflective of a real experience.”

 

An example of how impactful this is to plastic surgeons can be seen in another study showing that 41% of breast augmentation patients begin their research by searching on Google. These searchers are looking for information about the breast augmentation procedure and about the options for breast implants. These patients are also looking for information on plastic surgeon of choice. This includes the doctor’s website, the doctor or practices social media participation, as well as numerous review sites.

 

Social media is your friend

Now, let’s move into social media. If this blog teaches you anything about online reputation management, let it be: you will have 100 per cent control of an online story that you create. It is imperative that physicians create an active social media presence now. Today, in fact, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are wonderful ways to showcase who a physician is and what they represent.

 

Kevin Pho, MD, owner and writer at KevinMD.com is the web’s leading destination for provocative physician commentary on breaking the medical news. He says that creating and maintaining an active blog is essential to the development of an effective online reputation.  And he’s really extremely successful at it.

 

“Blogging allows you to publish your thoughts and opinions, makes you the expert and allows readers to get a sense of who you are and what values you hold close,” he says. “If you do not create your own story you remain at the mercy of what others say and create digitally about you — much of which may not be true.”

 

He also says to be careful about what you post on personal social media sites. “Patients can get access to data that you may not want them to see,” Dr Pho says. “A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t want your mother to see something, don’t post it.”

 

Be diverse and don’t get stale

When developing and managing an online reputation, diversity is key.

 

Dr Pho says to not be focused on one outlet such as Twitter or Facebook. “Instead, know that search engines such as Google are constantly updating how they “hit” and by spreading your presence over several social media networking outlets and frequently updating your website and blog you increase your visibility,” he said. “Make sure you have an active presence on several different types of sites,” he says. “Frequent updates are critical to your success.”

 

Participate in other online communities

Physicians need to be engaging in online communities. Doctors who are involved in patient-led forums and groups can allow to better understand what is important to patients with a particular disorder or disease. For Dr Pho, involvement and participation a group called the “ICD Users Group” has been a wonderful learning experience and has helped him improve the way his approach. “In addition, participation in professional online communities can help to boost your online reputation and increase your recognition as an expert,” he said.

 

Of course, these tips can also be used in managing your organization, services, department and/or products. Bottom line: Don’t ignore what’s being said about your organization, doctors, etc. Be proactive. Once you really start listening, the more positivity will come.

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10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

With the rise of the Internet, medical practices have to change the way they manage their online reputation. A massive amount of information gets shared on the Internet every day, which makes it very difficult to monitor what is being said about your practice. How can medical practitioners sort through the social noise and identify relevant discussions about their practice, products or services?

 

It is no wonder that so many practices are looking for innovative ways to establish, improve and protect their online reputation.

Before potential patients call your office to book an appointment, they often go online to gather all the information they can about your practice. According to a study from Digital Assent, 85 per cent of patients are not comfortable choosing a healthcare provider with a one-star rating of more than 10 per cent of the reviews.


Patients now are conscious, make informed decisions and have more choices now than ever. It is essential, therefore, that practices act in a way that gives them the best possible online reputation.

 

Managing your practice’s online reputation is an ongoing process. In order to establish and protect your reputation, there are a few rules you should follow to ensure you are not sabotaging your brand image or letting a tainted reputation go unchecked

 

While a physician’s primary concern should be the quality of his or her work, it would be a blunder to turn a blind eye to one’s online reputation. As a healthcare provider, it is your responsibility to make sure that online information about you and your practice is accurate and informative.

Follow these ten basic rules to establish, maintain and protect your online reputation:

 

Rule #1: Everyone has an online reputation. Every healthcare provider has an online reputation to maintain and protect. Your online reputation is an extension of your medical practice. In order to understand what you need to focus on, you must know what is being said online about your practice. Put your name in the major search engines and see what comes up. Is the information that you find about your practice accurate and useful? You can also set up a Google Alert on your name in order to keep track of any new mentions.

 

Rule #2: Be proactive, not reactive. It is essential to own your reputation, and do not allow it to own you. A spark is far easier to manage than a firestorm. It is much easier and safer to be proactive than reactive when handling matters that concern your online reputation. You must effectively communicate with your team and those involved with your practice’s brand image. Keep all stakeholders on the same page in order to avoid sending out mixed messages.

 

Rule #3: Listen to what your patients are saying. Social media is one the most popular and effective ways to hear the unedited voice of your patients, especially the unhappy ones. But how can you find all those posts, sift through the relevant ones and address those that need your attention? You can achieve this by using a social listening tool that searches for mentions of your practice, services and related keywords. These tools search the usual social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and use crawlers to discover new sites and online forums. The idea is to listen to the feedback you are collecting about your reputation. Try to listen for trends, opportunities or even complaints. When you actually listen to what your patients are saying about your medical practice, you do more than just fix a problem. You will try to fix the underlying issue that created the problem in the first place.

 

Rule #4: Always respond to reviews, and be prompt. Nearly 70 per cent of patients who post negative feedback tend to feel positive if their concerns get noticed and resolved. Your patients want to hear from you, and they may not wait patiently for days and weeks at a stretch. Almost 42 per cent of users who post online reviews expect a reply within an hour, and 57 per cent of users expect a response even outside of normal business hours. Even if you do not immediately have information to share or to resolve their concerns, do not ignore the reviews. Acknowledge the complaint, let patients know you are looking into the issue, and assure them that you will get back to them.

 

Rule #5: Spread the positive word. Negative publicity is bound to happen. The majority of healthcare providers end up with a negative online reputation because they made it that way. They either posted the inappropriate content or they allowed things to get out of control. If you want a positive online reputation, then you have to work hard to build it. You will have to consistently post relevant and positive content. The more wisely you share content online, the more stellar reputation you build.

 

Rule #6: Apologize genuinely and refrain from arguments. If you or your staff make a mistake, it is critical to own up to it and make a genuine apology. A sincere apology can work wonders in diffusing a delicate situation and can help toward fixing the relationship. Try to make amends unconditionally. Regardless of who is right or who started it, you will be tagged as unprofessional if you engage in mudslinging. Do not allow your emotions to take control as you may end up saying and doing things that damage your reputation. The best approach is to remain calm and polite at all times and to try to take the conversation offline. Staying professional may win more patients than being “right” in an online dispute.

 

Rule #7: Encourage and train your staff to provide unmatched service. Often, dissatisfied patients will not complain but will stop coming to your practice in the future. Such patients, in addition to not returning to your practice, will tell their family and friends about their bad experience. The ripple effect of one dissatisfied patient can be detrimental to your online reputation. Make sure your employees are trained in providing outstanding patient care. Not only can your employees help improve your online reputation, but their strategic presence on relevant social media platforms will also help position your practice as an active member. This activity can deflect negative feedback and drive more traffic and leads to your website.

 

Rule #8: Build a strong social media presence. Social media is vital to your reputation management as it gives you a quick and effective way to stay in touch with current as well as potential patients. It is critical to create social media accounts and keep them updated. If you already have social media pages for your practice, be sure to update them with positive content. These profiles are a reflection of your practice and your reputation, and you must make sure they show you in a positive light.

 

Rule #9: Encourage and monitor online reviews. The best way to protect and enhance your online reputation is to take an aggressive approach. It is important to encourage your patients and employees to write reviews online. The goal is to have more positive reviews than negative ones so that the bad feedback will be diluted by the happy experiences. You can easily monitor online conversations about your practice by using tools like Google Alerts and Social Mention. By monitoring your online reviews, you will be better equipped to turn any negative feedback into a positive comment by responding quickly and professionally. In addition, reading and responding to reviews will help you understand gaps or improvement areas in your service. Online reviews are the most important way to improve your online reputation. It is sad, but happy patients rarely write positive reviews, but a disgruntled patient will smear your brand name any opportunity he or she can get.

 

Rule #10: Claim your online listings. Managing your online reputation starts by claiming your listings on key online directories and social networks. These directories and networks allow you to share information that presents your practice in the best light. You must control the official voice of your practice on public platforms. One of the best things about online directories is that they occupy a lot of search results and tend to push negative reviews off the first page of search results. You can claim your online business listings by maintaining active, up-to-date profiles on popular websites and interacting with patients who post to those sites. Responding to both negative and positive reviews is an excellent way to stay engaged with patients.

Conclusion

In order to keep your online reputation intact, you must be upfront with your patients. If you happen to make a mistake, admit it, apologize and try to fix it. Never try to cover up your errors, and always be honest about what happened. Being transparent also requires direct communication with patients, which means allowing them to complain about your products, services or even staff. Unless the feedback is offensive, let it stay online. You should respond to negative feedback with an apology and explanation. Deleting online reviews will only add to the damage to your online reputation.

 

As a healthcare provider, your online reputation can position you as an expert, determine the success of your practice and help you connect with patients, peers and leaders in your field. Take full advantage of various tools and strategies while protecting your online reputation from potentially damaging information online that you cannot control. Online reputation management for physicians is a worthwhile investment that will pay off professionally and personally. This is why most healthcare providers choose to hire professionals to help them build and improve the online reputation of their medical practice.

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How to Assess Your Current Online Reputation 

How to Assess Your Current Online Reputation  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

As patients are increasingly turning to search engines and review sites for evaluating the quality of care, it’s time that healthcare providers should also be there to provide the answers that patients are looking for. With a proactive reputation management, doctors can leave the right impact that will convince patients and eventually acquire them. This article will guide you step-by-step in developing and managing your online reputation.

 

The success of your healthcare practice depends on how positive a reputation it has with its patients. If that’s the case, then how do you determine your practice’s reputation? Referrals and word-of-mouth are still a well-known and common factors that relate to your reputation and patient acquisition, but then how many of your new patients rely on just these two factors to choose you?

 

As a matter of fact, even after getting referred by their friends or family, or even by another physician, one of the first things that your patients will do is to research your practice and its reputation online to see what other patients are saying about you.

 

While displaying positive patient reviews can certainly help your practice influence opinions in your favour, it doesn’t mean that reviews are all that matters for your practice’s online reputation.

Users check, on an average, 12 different sources including content from review sites, social media, on-site testimonials, blogs, etc., before finally picking a provider. – Google

All this sum up into two things: first, many other factors (apart from reviews) are responsible for your online reputation. Second, reviews and testimonials form a major part of it. The process that takes care of all these is called online reputation management.

What Is Online Reputation Management?

“Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services. – Techopedia. The definition encompasses almost every online marketing activity that directly or indirectly adds to the reputation of your practice and you. So, in those terms…

ORM may involve utilizing your medical expertise to engage with your online patient community on Facebook to answer medical questions and concerns. Or, using the same expertise to provide relevant answers to your patients’ health-related inquiries via content marketing, to establish yourself as an authority in the eyes of your audience and Google (by improving your search rankings).

 

However, as the term ‘reputation’ exhibits more about your patients’ beliefs or opinions, it’s arguable that in its core, ORM strategy deals more with taking control of the online conversation. That way, ORM may involve using Twitter or Yelp to jump in on conversations and tackle negative or defamatory comments about your practice. Or, it could involve soliciting positive reviews from happy patients to improve the search engine rankings and the public-facing online reputation of your practice.

 

With online reputation management, you can ensure your healthcare brand is decently positioned (and represented) not only on review sites but on other important places like search results and social media timeline/feeds. If you are interested to see how these are done, we will explain later in the article.

Before that, you should introspect whether your practice really needs reputation management or not. For that, you’ll need to self-assess your current online reputation. How?

Keep reading…

How to Assess Your Current Online Reputation

Have you ever Googled your practice or your provider’s name to see how they appear in the search result? If you haven’t, do it now! A stellar online reputation starts with a robust internet presence. After all, if you are not properly visible, how can anyone say anything about your reputation?

 

Your website: Ideally, your website should appear as the first result of a direct search (someone directly entering your brand name) on Google. If your site is well-optimized (with proper keywords), is well-indexed, isn’t serving any penalty from Google, then it’ll rightfully appear in the first result. Of all other content links in the search results, at least some should be the predominantly “owned” ones (i.e., those where you control the content). For example, your blog page where your brand owns the content. Appearing with more predominantly “owned” links means a high reputation in the eyes of Google.

 

 

If the review snippet appears, check for these:

  • Aggregate review scores are appearing from how many review platforms?
  • Is it only from Yelp, or from other review platforms such as HealthGrades and Facebook?
  • Are the aggregate review scores positive or poor?
  • Is there parity in the aggregate review scores of different review platforms?

To appear with review snippets from different platforms, your review profiles will need to be well-optimized for local online presence. For a high reputation, they’ll also need to be mostly positive.

 

Google Knowledge Graph: Appearing in the Google Knowledge Graph means you have a high online presence and reputation. The Knowledge Graph sums up the most useful information about your practice such as your picture, the map, the business address, telephone number, patient reviews, etc., all in one place.

 

However, appearing in the Knowledge Graph requires a well-optimized site and proper online listings of your practice on different third-party online directories, including Google My Business.

 

Tip: Search differently as patients will do. It means replacing related words around the keyword. For example, substituting “Dr. ABC Neurologist” or “Dr ABC McArthur Boulevard” for “Dr ABC, MD” will expand the search results. Search results for all these terms will slightly differ, and ideally, for all these terms, you should appear decently parallel to make sure that your reputation is on terms with related keywords.

 

While search engine reputation matters the most, social media reputation is no less important. That’s why you’ll need to assess your social media reputation as well.

 

One of the best ways to assess your reputation on social media is by manually checking your social media profile pages and comparing them with your competitors.

 

If you have been visiting your social media pages daily, you should already be aware of the situation. However, if your profiles are being handled by a social media marketing person or your practice manager, it’s time you make the assessment right now.

Why You Should Focus on Facebook

Facebook is the most important platform as it’s a highly sociable place where you get to learn from your patients’ perspectives. For learning about your reputation with other stakeholders, such as referring physicians, pharma people, and medical industry influencers, Twitter and LinkedIn are the best.

 

For now, stick with Facebook, as that’s the place where you directly get to interact with your patients online. Also, in terms of monthly user traffic, Facebook is already the highest review generating site with 47% of its surveyed users have written a review in the last year.

 

How do you assess your reputation on Facebook? 

 

Review frequency: It’s important that your profile page should be receiving reviews on a regular basis. An outdated database of reviews doesn’t help patients in their decision making. Also, regular reviews help in increasing engagement and keeping up with the algorithmic actions on your profile.

 

However, you should also get a closer look at the content of the reviews, especially the negative ones with fewer star ratings. That will help you understand the factors that are causing a bad reputation among your patients.

 

Review responses: Also, check how your reviews are being handled from your practice’s end. If you find that reviews, especially the negative ones, aren’t being handled carefully and tactfully, it means you need a reputation management team dedicated for the job.

 

Engagement & interaction: Check for how the posts on your Facebook profile page are performing. Are they getting a sufficient number of responses in terms of likes, comments, and shares? You should check the quality of those comments too. That’s because these metrics can indirectly affect the frequency and quality of your reviews.

 

With these informative steps, you should be able to get an idea of where your current online reputation stands. If it needs improvement, don’t hesitate to make the changes necessary to optimize your practice’s reputation.

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The Importance of Getting Involved in Online Reputation Management 

The Importance of Getting Involved in Online Reputation Management  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Your online reputation as a physician is crucial, probably even more so than you may realize. The Internet has opened up the door to allowing people to access info on your practice and yourself, but by the same token it has made it possible for there to be fraudulent information and provided a perfect outlet for negative reviews, all of which can do massive damage. Physician online reputation management has become so important because patients are increasingly relying on online reviews in their decision-making process, sometimes even weighing their importance more heavily than their PCP’s referral.

 

Damage Potential for Physicians Ignoring Online Reputation Management

 

As of 2012, about one-third of patients who viewed online sites sought out or avoided physicians based on their ratings. The findings come from a nationally representative Internet-based survey of 2,137 adults, published Feb. 18 in JAMA. “Patients are increasingly turning to online physician ratings, just as they have sought ratings for other products and services,” wrote the study’s authors, led by Dr. David Hanauer, a pediatrician and associate professor at the University of Michigan.  A more recent Pew Research Center study indicates that 72% of all U.S. internet users looked online for health information in 2012; 30% of them have looked specifically at provider reviews, where anyone can write anything under a near guarantee of anonymity. More than 700,000 physicians are listed on Vitals.com, the largest of the patient review sites, which attracts more than 13 million visitors a month. ZocDoc.com, RateMDs.com, and Yelp.com maintain sizable directories of provider information.

 

Internet access and familiarity with review sites and online searches has increased, leading more people to look up their doctor or dentist online.  Patients can leave reviews on their phone via apps like Yelp & Foursquare, or on map listings like Google Maps.  They can also access those listings rapidly when making a decision on what practice to visit.  Potential patients overwhelmingly consult review sites and the personal opinion of social media connections before committing to seeing a certain physician, and sometimes a strong negative review snowball into an all-out boycott of a practice.

 

“I’m the best in my field. I don’t have to worry about asking for reviews, because everyone already knows me.”

 

Cream does still rise to the top, and being acknowledged by your peers as the best at what you do goes a long way toward securing referrals and a steady stream of new patients.  Most specialists we speak to wave off the issue of reputation management by repeating this phrase, or citing positive patient survey results wherever they have hospital privileges. However, it’s become abundantly clear that referrals aren’t made solely based on the clinical skill of the physician being referred to. Michael Kirsh, MDoutlines 7 reasons, beyond medical quality, why certain medical specialists are chosen for a referral:

  • Availability trumps clinical acumen almost every time for physicians who want their patients seen expeditiously. Added benefit? Those patients are much more inclined to be satisfied with the referral, and thus the referring physician as well.
  • Reciprocity –- patients are referred in both directions
  • Personal relationships
  • Corporate enforcement keeping consultations within the network
  • Specialist willingness to do tests and procedures on request
  • Habit
  • Patient or family request

That last one is especially important to note, because those patients & family requesting a referral to a specific physician/practice aren’t picking the name out of the air. Maybe it’s because where they want to go is the ‘best’, or maybe it’s because that’s the physician that went on the news and talked about cardiology in a way that resonated with them. Maybe it’s because they did a simple google search for doctors treating their disease and saw one that stood out with superior online reviews and an overall solid presence.

 

Physician practices have been hurt so badly by negative online reviews that some have opted to open a lawsuit against the reviewer- often losing the battle, and gaining more negative press in the process.  Internet savvy patients with an ax to grind can wreak havoc by fraudulently claiming local listings, impersonating the practice online, or using the mechanics of search engine optimization to ensure that their negative opinion of the doctor is the top result when searching for that physician’s name.  Because HIPAA compliance ensures you can’t discuss details of the interaction with the patient in a public forum, fighting negative allegations is difficult if not impossible.

 

Why Do Bad Reviews Happen?

 

Why do bad reviews happen?  Because people are passionate about negative experiences, and are motivated by several fundamental desires:

  1. A need for vindication after being ‘wronged’
  2. The desire to warn others or be helpful
  3. To be heard and/or have the situation rectified
  4. The desire to validate other negative reviews, or ‘pile on’ to the popular sentiment bandwagon

To put it in perspective, ask yourself:  are you more likely to leave a review after having a normal, but pleasant experience at a restaurant… or after having a horrible experience?  Most people answering truthfully will agree that the horrible experience will prompt them to ‘take action’, so to speak.  That action, especially when presented with a scenario where they’re either uncomfortable with addressing the business in person, is usually a scathing, anonymous review.

 

Comprehensive data on how often patients leave reviews is sparse.  However, in general, we know that 6% of people write reviews online- those 6% influence the 90% of people who use online reviews to help make decisions. Of those 6% reviewing, you’ll likely see several that leave negative reviews- and, alarmingly, you’re more likely to remember those reviews.  There are physiological as well as psychological reasons that people are more apt to write or remember a negative review. An excerpt from the New York Time article “Praise is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall” on why people remember negative events more than positive ones:

 

Good vs Bad Online Review Statistics:

  • 2012 survey found that on average, a person will tell 24 people about a bad customer service experience they have – this is up 50% from 16 in a 2011 survey, and only set to increase with the pervasive nature of sharing on social sites & access to the internet.
  • More than 8 in 10 consumers have bailed on a purchase because of a poor service experience compared to 55% overall. This translates almost directly to patients avoiding a physician office as well, particularly due to the heightened emotions and importance placed on good healthcare.
  • It is estimated that good reviews can boost a business’s sales anywhere from 32 percent to 52 percent, according to the Harvard Business Review. So it stands to reason that a practice with poor reviews will in turn lose current customers, or fail to attract new ones.

 

Leana Wen, M.D., author of When Doctors Don’t Listen and director of patient-centered care research at George Washington University, says instances of excessive browbeating online could be avoided if physicians would take time to have a dialogue with their patients. “When doctors don’t pay attention, those review sites become the third party,” Dr. Wen says. “There’s a lack of focus in the medical educational system in communication. It’s common for a patient to feel disenfranchised, to not feel as though they know what’s going on with their own body.” According to Wen, around 80% of medical diagnoses come from simply talking to the patient. “It’s a partnership,” she says. “In many cases, the doctor has no idea the patient is this unhappy.”  Additionally, patients who had a mediocre or questionably negative experience seek that third-party validation, and when they find negative reviews, it’s a sort of “a-ha!” moment.  Those patients will feel MORE negative about their experience simply by reading other negative experiences, and are much more likely to add their own negative review.

 

I call this the Snowball Effect: There’s a point in any group where, after some individuals agree with the minority, the minority then turns into the majority. People feel much more comfortable expressing a negative opinion when they feel supported, bolstered, and part of a larger group of individuals expressing a similar negative opinion. The goal of reputation management is to mitigate or minimize the chances of negative reviews snowballing out of proportion. This is achieved by increasing positive reviews, essentially creating an environment where the patient who might feel poorly about their recent experience is more likely to consider it a fluke, rather than the norm, and less likely to report it.

 

Where Should Physicians Focus Their Efforts?

Where should a physician & practice focustheir efforts?  This is an ever changing target primarily based on internet user favor and online search visibility. When determining where you should focus your efforts, you need to consider the following:

 

  • Where are patients looking for physicians & reviews? (rateMds, Vitals, Healthgrades)
  • Which sites are ranking well within search results/ have high visibility? (Google+ local, Yelp)
  • On what high-visibility sites can you control the message? (Facebook, Google+, social channels)

 

Your local online visibility is tied to active reputation management. By managing your reviews and soliciting them to be placed on sites that rank well within searches for your niche, you will be improving your ranking within search engines like Google.  At PRM, our physician online reputation management focuses on driving reviews to Yelp & Google+ local map listings:  these sites readily show up in Google search results, as well as in map results when an individual searches verbally on their phone (think Siri and the iPhone).  Maintaining a positive “5 Stars” review profile on high-visibility sites if vital to attracting new patients online.

 

Potential patients & current patients often search by physician name after being referred or having recently seen that physician.  Websites like rateMDs, Vitals, & Healthgrades come up rather consistently when a search is made for a specific physician name.  Part of your online review strategy should focus on directing patients to leave some reviews there.

Websites like ZocDoc & Demandforce allow you to ‘control the message’ completely, by pushing reviews into their own system that allows you to reject negative reviews. While this sounds great (“I just won’t approve negative reviews!”), it’s a weak tactic. Those sites don’t rank very well in Google searches for most medical & dental niches, so they’re often not seen until AFTER the potential patient has had their first appointment and gotten into your marketing queue. You’re much better off pushing patients to review you on sites that have high visibility, or sites where you’re actively controlling the message- your social media sites like Facebook & Google+.

Physician and practices should consider contracting with a physician online reputation management company to implement a consistent review solicitation & social media management strategy. Since lecturing on this topic at a few hospitals, I’ve found that healthcare practitioners are left at a severe disadvantage in the offerings for managed online reputation services. Sites like Reputation.com are frequently cited as preying on dental & physician groups, charging obscene amounts to manage reviews and ‘remove negative reviews’- something a legitimate company can’t do, unless they’ve negotiated with the original poster (which, rest assured, Reputation.com does NOT). These groups that sign up with groups like that often end up in a position where they feel blackmailed to stay on with them, often being contacted with a sudden increase in negative online reviews after terminating services, and sometimes even after initially contacting them for a price quote. I urge physicians & dentists to read some of their reviews on RipoffReport before ever contacting them.

 

What Should Physicians Do? What Shouldn’t They Do?

What can physicians do to protect their brand & credibility?

  • Monitor the appropriate channels. Set up a Google alert (though this won’t catch everything) for you name, practice name, location, website, etc.  Can set to report ‘as it happens’; can also set to monitor specific websites where someone 
    • might be talking about you. Sign up for physician review sites before negative feedback has been left, if possible.
    • Get involved. There are very few cases where you don’t want to respond at all, most negative reviews can be slightly mitigated by responding and showing concern.  Be honest, be genuine, be helpful.  Steer the conversation off public forums when personal details are being divulged, or when things can easily be addressed.
    • Solicit positive feedback. Ask for good reviews, and provide the sites and directions for where & how to leave them.  Make it easy- a taken away sheet is good, email forms that link directly are great.
    • Curate your presence. Develop informational articles and share.  Take pictures of the office & staff to make your presence more ‘personal’.  Contribute to forums & conversations about applicable medical topics.  Show goodwill efforts in the community & online (example:  an “ask the doctor” post is showing online community goodwill)
    • Provide exceptional service. This includes the physician and the staff; always be thinking about the end goal of a happy patient- happy patients are more likely to return, refer, and recommend (review). Regular patient feedback surveys are fantastic tools, but ONLY if they are taken to heart when a pattern is identified.  Make sure office staff is versed in customer service, including appropriate answer times on phones, manners/bedside manner, interactions with patients (story: phone manners of oral surgeon office); consider customer service coaching programs when feedback is negative.

    Most of all, physician practices should understand that negative reviews happen even to the best businesses.  While you can’t please everyone, you can leverage those who are happy with their experience to offset those who will never be satisfied.

    An Opportunity for Growth:

    As awareness and use of physician review sites continues to increase, online reputation management for doctors has become vital. You can’t stop reviews from happening, so by embracing online reputation management as a crucial component of practice management, physicians can make it work for them.

    Physicians should see online reviews as an opportunity for growth:

    • The feedback of happy patients can encourage new/potential patients to select one physician over another; vital as patients are becoming more proactive in physician selection, even at specialist levels.
    • Curating your presence helps you draw the patients that you’ll enjoy working with; ie. Reviews and articles focused on treatment for diabetic neuropathy will help you attract those kinds of patients.
    • Increase online visibility & strengthen overall SEO and SEM efforts (search engine optimization and search engine marketing efforts). Review sites are becoming more visible as more people use them, and some factor into mobile search results in maps and through voice searching (yelp and Google+). These are crucial components of an overall online visibility strategy.
    • The negative feedback of patients allows you to address potential failings before they become routine or habitual. Analogy: it’s easier to correct a dog from jumping on your furniture when they first do it, rather than 10 years after sleeping on the sofa daily.  Bad staff members and practices are pervasive and can perpetuate even after the initial offender has been addressed.

    Right alongside your marketing and referral generation efforts, your online review management & solicitation is a pillar of your practice health & patient acquisition. Embrace the future by developing a strong online reputation today for a better practice tomorrow.

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How Online Reputation Management Helps Your Practice Growth 

How Online Reputation Management Helps Your Practice Growth  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The first month of a new year is all about creating new strategies for your practice in 2018. From an informative website to strengthening your presence on a social media platform that allows your target audience search you on Google or other search engines. In addition to SEO, it’s the practice reviews that are floating everywhere on the Google and establishing your online reputation. Today, in the world of the Internet, your practice’s growth is at the stake of your online reputation, so you need to get your practice displayed in the most pristine way.

 

Online reputation acts as the decision-influencer of a patient’s journey. 90% people say their decisions were influenced by the positive reviews. The Internet world affects purchase decisions of around 85% of consumers.

 

Online reputation management might seem to be a daunting task because of the numerous review sites and the active, positive or negative response of patients on your practice. And you just can’t ignore them. Let’s check the benefits of strong online reputation.

Building trust

Since online reputation is considered as a personal recommendation by many, it results in building the higher trust of patients in your practice. The number of positive reviews you have is directly proportional to the number of followers you get on your practice. Irrespective of the size of your practice, people want to know about your services before making a physical visit to your clinic. People wholeheartedly trust positive reviews.

Growing profitability

Profitability and trust go hand-in-hand. When a patient, searches online for a treatment offered by your practice and comes across your competitor who ranks higher on various review sites, then you are likely to lose them. So, aim to get a number of positive reviews on all review platforms. People read not more than 10 reviews before visiting a practice.

To maintain the reputation of your practice you are required to deal with conflicts, i.e. responding to negative reviews. Replying to negative feedback should be in real-time to show your concern for your patients but with a calm mind. This act is admired by reviewers and can convert the disappointed patients into happy ones. For effective relationship building, you should learn how to respond to negative feedbacks. This builds your online reputation. The leads and revenue of your practice are directly impacted by the way people perceive your practice.

Some other direct and indirect benefits of online reputation management

– Strong reputation creates a great impression of your practice for existing and new patients. This way you can identify the key touch points for your patients and build sustainable relationships.

– With effective online reputation management strategy, you can showcase the services offered by your practice and how you are better than your competitors.

– You can even win over your cold visitors and turn them into your patients with your good online reputation that will grow their trust in your services.

– With the help of good online reputation, you can display your thought leader personality to the world and influence them. This is an effective way to leverage your image over the competitors and grow your practice exponentially as you end up having free media coverage.

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

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

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