Patients nowadays rely heavily on the internet to find and select healthcare providers, making doctor reputation management a top priority for both large and small practices. Your online presence is how you make your first impression, and the quality of that first impression is important in the decision-making process of patients. A positive online reputation can help new patients choose your practice over others.
Dont be concerned if you havent actively focused on doctor reputation management up to this point, or if your reputation isnt where youd like it to be despite your best efforts. Check out these actionable tips for doctors on reputation management to take control today.
7 ways to step up your doctor reputation management efforts
Make or claim an online profile
Your practice may be listed on dozens of online business directories as a business. You most likely have a profile on physician directories like Vitals as well. Online directories are highly regarded by search engines, and these profiles may rank higher than your website in search results.
Unclaimed profiles are frequently riddled with inconsistencies, which can harm your online reputation, particularly if patients are unable to contact you. If you arent already listed in these directories, creating profiles will help you improve your web presence and lay the groundwork for your online reputation. Many patients use these sites to find a new doctor, so its critical to be listed in order to increase brand awareness.
Respond to negative reviews as needed.
Addressing negative feedback is critical for doctors reputation management. Negative reviews happen to all doctors, and they even have some advantages, so theres no reason to let them derail your efforts to manage your online reputation. Instead, take charge by responding thoughtfully.
Patients actually expect doctors to respond to reviews, which may surprise you. According to a Software Advice survey, 70% of patients believe it is very or moderately important that providers respond to negative reviews. According to the same survey, one in every five people will disregard a negative review if the provider responds thoughtfully.
Thank the patient for their feedback when responding. You must be cautious not to share too much information while also adhering to HIPAA regulations. In your response, offer to take the conversation offline to better understand the source of the reviewers dissatisfaction.
Report phony or fraudulent reviews
Fake reviews are disheartening because they misrepresent your practice. Although fraudulent or incorrect reviews are not uncommon, there are steps you can take to have these removed.
Removal procedures differ from one online directory to the next, so its critical to read and understand each websites policies. Google My Business, for example, prohibits fake content, spam, and off-topic reviews, among other things. If you receive a review that is contrary to Googles policies.
Ask your patients for reviews
Because your satisfied patients are your best advocates, you should regularly solicit feedback from them as part of your online reputation management efforts. Requesting online reviews from patients will increase the number of reviews for your practice, providing a more complete picture of what it is like to be a patient. According to BrightLocal, consumers want a business to have at least 40 reviews before they believe its average star rating is accurate or trustworthy.
Even if you have a large number of reviews, it is critical to continue asking your patients for feedback because consumers place less weight on older reviews. According to BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers believe reviews older than three months are irrelevant, and two-fifths of consumers only care about reviews written within the last two weeks.
If you have your patients email addresses, send them patient satisfaction surveys after their appointment. Wed like to know how well were meeting your needs, you could write. Would you mind sharing your experiences?
decrease wait times
Your online reputation is a reflection of your patients interactions with your practice. Patients will express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their visit online. Having a friendly staff, keeping your office clean, and having a caring bedside manner are all ways to increase patient satisfaction at your practice.
Patients also value being seen as close to their scheduled appointment time as possible. According to a Vitals report, 30% of patients have left a doctors appointment due to long wait times. According to the report, high average star ratings are associated with short wait times: Doctors with a five-star rating had the shortest average wait time, at 13 minutes and 17 seconds, respectively.
Create and disseminate useful content
Sharing useful content on the internet can help you improve your online reputation. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Through a blog on your website
- On social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter
- By sending emails to your patient database
Blogging allows you to add pages to your website, which expands your web presence. Simply increasing your online footprint can assist in burying any information that may be damaging to your online reputation. Blog pages can also help your online reputation, especially if you blog about conditions, you treat or services you provide. According to Google, one in every twenty Google searches is for health-related information, so by blogging, you are providing information that people are looking for.
Being active on social media helps to raise brand awareness for your practice and allows you to interact with your target audience. By sharing useful content, you can establish your online reputation as a credible source and thought leader in your field.
Actively monitoring your online reputation is the best way to ensure you have control over it. It can be difficult to keep track of all the reviews you receive if you have profiles on multiple websites. Consider using reputation management software to keep track of what people are saying about your company.