Online reputation management has become important for physicians. Patients depend on online reviews and ratings to choose the best physicians around them. Research shows that more than 50% of the patients believe that reputation is a crucial factor when selecting a physician. As more and more information about your healthcare practice is becoming available online and several competitors are joining the list to compete, online reputation repair has become the need of the hour.
5 useful online reputation repair tips for physicians
- Leverage existing online reviews and ratings
- Ask new patients for reviews
- Create an impactful online presence
- Respond to negative feedback from patients
- Provide exceptional customer service
Here are five useful online reputation management tips that are yielding great results for physicians:
1. Leverage existing online reviews and ratings
Online review websites are here to stay. That’s because the number of patients using review websites to compare physicians and post feedback about their experience is increasing every day. According to a survey published by the American Medical Association, out of all the patients who consulted online reviews to choose the best physician, 35% of the patients picked physicians with positive reviews, while 37% of the patients avoided physicians with negative reviews.
Patients use both, healthcare-oriented review sites like RateMDs and Vitals, and general review platforms like Google, CitySearch, and Facebook. The best way to grab the patient’s attention is to have a large number of positive reviews for your healthcare practice.
2. Ask new patients for reviews
When it comes to online reputation repair, continuously asking your patients to review you can be of great help. Request the patients to share their feedback. Make it easy for them by providing directions to the review sites and how to post reviews. Here are few ideas you can use, to solicit reviews from your patients:
- Add a clickable link to the review site in your email signature
- Use a mobile kiosk or a tablet on the front desk and request patients to share the feedback before they leave your clinic
- During the billing process, provide the patients with a leaflet or card with a list of URLs of the reviews sites and a short message to share their feedback, along with the invoice
- Send an email or SMS review request, 1-2 days after the appointment
Try different strategies and see which ones work best for your practice. Once you are able to identify the review generation method that is working best for your practice, use it consistently to get a fresh stream of positive reviews every day.
3. Create an impactful online presence
Another effective way to improve your online reputation is to enhance your presence on various online web directories, listing websites and social media platforms. It is also a good idea to claim your listing on review websites like Vitals, ZocDoc, and RateMDs.
Ensure that the details of your practice are complete and accurate on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Accurate business information improves search engine rankings and reduces patients’ frustration over inaccurate and missing information.
Create informative articles and share them on your social media pages. Regularly post pictures of your clinic and staff to make your online presence more personal than professional and business oriented. Also, regularly contribute to discussions on medical forums.
4. Respond to negative feedback from patients
Listening to angry patients and addressing their grievances is crucial when it comes to online reputation repair. If your patient is complaining about an unpleasant experience on review sites or social media, the best way to save your online reputation from getting hurt is by instantly responding to the review.
70% of patients who share their feedback, feel heard if they receive a response from their physician. Even if you are unable to resolve the issue instantly, acknowledge the review and don’t ignore it. If you feel that a better way to handle the situation is by taking it offline, request the patient to contact you on your email address or phone number or visit your clinic for a face-to-face interaction.
While responding to the negative reviews, remember to stay HIPAA compliant.
5. Provide exceptional customer service
Train your staff to focus on exceptional customer service and elaborate on how each role contributes to creating a stellar online reputation. Make sure that your clinic staff is well-versed with different aspects of customer service like appropriate responses to telephonic & email queries and interaction with patients on the front desk. Consider organizing training programs when your staff’s feedback is negative.
The bottom line
Online reputation management is essential for the success of physicians in today’s era of digitally connected patients. However, it can be baffling without the right tools in place. BirdEye is a comprehensive online reputation management solution that caters to all the online reputation repair strategies mentioned above. With BirdEye, you can easily manage feedback from patients, respond to it, solicit more reviews, fix your online presence and share your best reviews on social media.
Take the first step to building a compelling online reputation for your practice.