Why Reputation Management is important for Doctors & Physicians.
Recent studies indicate that 84% of patients now evaluate online reviews before selecting a healthcare provider. Because deciding who to trust with your medical needs is an important and personal choice, people have relied on the recommendations of friends and family members for years. The Internet, though, is quickly growing to be the most trusted source in word-of-mouth marketing, with 88% of consumers now trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. It is now more important than ever for doctors and physicians to manage their digital footprint and online reputation.
Ensure you Have Consistent Contact Information
In the world of digital marketing, we refer to this as NAP (Name, Address, & Phone Number) consistency. Search engines like Google use context clues to deliver responses to user queries. One of the context clues is user location. If you search for a doctor on your mobile phone, Google determines your location and returns what it believes to be the most popular doctors near you. In fact, Google does this with any search from any device.
Google’s primary concern is their user experience. Giving someone bad directions, a disconnected phone number or incorrect hours of operation would all lead to poor user experiences, so Google likes to verify contact information and tends to favor established businesses with consistent and widespread NAP data. Therefore, the first step to cultivating a strong online reputation for your doctor’s office is ensuring that your company’s NAP data is widely available and 100% accurate.
Complete All of Your Profiles
While it is a good practice to create multiple profiles for NAP consistency, we recommend putting in additional effort for profiles which are likely to rank highly in search results. For doctors and physicians, or anyone in the medical space, some of the most powerful profiles are Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, HealthGrades, Vitals, and ZocDoc. Due to the age and popularity of these sites assure that they rank highly in search results when patients do research on specific hospitals or clinics.
Reputation Monitoring & Brand Surveillance
Once you have ensured people can find profiles with accurate information about you and your practice, it’s time to make sure that you are part of the conversation. The Internet can be a noisy place, and it’s difficult to manually track social media, new sites, blogs, and review sites for new information. The best option is to implement Internet monitoring software that automatically scours the Internet and sends you an alert anytime you are mentioned. This is the best way to ensure that you are never caught off guard and always have the opportunity to respond in a timely manner.
Respond to Reviews
It’s imperative that you carry an online dialogue, especially with regards to reviews. Bill Tancer is a New York Times Best Selling Author and thought-leader on the topic of online reviews; he cautions business owners that neglecting to respond to reviews may even be more damaging than responding inappropriately.
When responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, it is best to keep an optimistic, professional tone. Even customers who are providing constructive criticism are taking the time to let you know about their experience. Potential patients will take note of your commitment to customer service.
Assume Every Patient will Leave a Review
Recent studies have shown that only about six percent of patients will leave bad reviews. A problem arises for healthcare providers when this six percent is heard in isolation. The most efficient way to generate reviews from customers who had a good experience is to make it very convenient to leave reviews about your company. Here are a few suggestions we recommend.
- Assume everyone will leave a review and offer outstanding customer service.
- Mention how important reviews are to your company in conversation with patients.
- Include links to review pages in your email signature.
- Utilize your email list to request reviews.
- Offer promotions for patients who do leave a review (positive or negative).
- Include a link to review websites on your business cards.
Implementation and Next Steps
At Reputation Resolutions, we understand that doctors and physicians are often preoccupied caring for patients. Our team of digital marketing veterans and online reputation management specialists has helped numerous clients implement all of these strategies and more. If you are interested in improving your visibility in search engines, creating a positive online reputation, and attracting new patients, call us today at (855)239-5322 or click Contact Us below to fill out the form and someone from our team will be in touch shortly to discuss your needs in more detail.