Reputation Management – How to Manage Your Practice Reputation in this Digital Age
We are living in the 21st century with its hallmark advancements in technology. This has led to the rise of the digital era, where all conceivable information lies one click away. There are, of course, some pros and cons of the digitized world that we live in. While it makes it easier for patients to find your service, it also makes it easier for them to leave a bad review if they felt they weren’t treated right. Due to the ease of it all, you have to manage your online reputation religiously because if the negative reviews pile on, it could have destructive effects on your practice and career.
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What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management basically refers to strategies and business tactics that your device undertakes to ensure that your online presence is mostly positive. It may seem like it’s not that important if you are having positive effects on the health of your patients, but from a business standpoint, it is absolutely crucial. It is considered to be quite important for business growth and can significantly increase revenue for any service.
Your healthcare service is no different than any other service, when it comes to the business aspect of it all. To be able to receive more traffic online and grow your business, both online and in-person, you have to focus on the reputation of your service online, as that is what your patients will see first.
Why does Online Reputation Matter?
Nowadays, patients will google your service, along with many others before deciding on one service to go to. The main purpose of this online search is to check what other people have thought about them and how they have reviewed them. This helps the person pick the best one for themselves. If your service has negative reviews online that haven’t been responded to, or negative reviews that have received long, hot-headed responses, most people are not going to want to choose your service. And they would be right to do so. Because in this day and age, online reputation matters, and even the slightest offense could be detrimental to your reputation. It is how people know about you before they choose you.
How to Manage Your Practice Reputation Online?
Given the importance of how your service is viewed online, it is highly recommended that you spend some time focusing on and managing your online reputation. To make it easier on you, mentioned below are simple and basic steps that you can take to help your online reputation. These are the minimum requirements for you to make your online presence a positive one, although there are quite a few tips and tricks that you can add to these for an improved experience.
Have a presence
The first step towards the betterment of your online reputation lies in your having an online presence. You should make sure that you have a Google My Business account with all the necessary information about your service. Anyone should be able to look up your service, the opening hours, working days, location, and contact numbers with ease. Most of the time, people aren’t going to bother with a service that doesn’t have any form of an online presence. It is too hard for them to find any relevant information as you do not have any website or business account for them to look up. This is the most important step because, without this, nothing else matters.
Be active on social media
Social media has taken over the digital world and it is how everyone communicates with one other. It is also easier to share information and personal opinions using social media platforms and people use this opportunity every chance they get. You should have active social media accounts on different platforms where you can engage with your patients. The important thing to note here is that you should have social media accounts that are active, as in someone will be responding to queries and complaints of people. Because inactivity of an account can further taint your online reputation.
Social media accounts allow you to connect with, engage, and listen to your patients and their complaints along with positive reviews. You can use this opportunity to communicate with them and resolve negative comments and reviews so that your service’s online reputation is maintained to the highest level.
Keep your responses short and positive
When someone leaves a review on your service, negative or positive, you have to respond as swiftly as possible. You should also have your response be short, positive, or neutral, and clear so that it cannot be interpreted in a wrong way. You should be careful not to make claims or attack the reviewer either, as that does not reflect positively on you. Try to resolve the matter as soon as possible, without intensifying the problem at hand.
To ensure timely responses to all reviews left online, it is highly recommended to have an employee dedicated to the role of online reputation management for your service. This employee should also have the necessary training to resolve the problem in a calm manner, resulting in high patient satisfaction and one less negative review for your service.
Don’t panic about negative reviews
Negative reviews are going to be left for your service and they can be about anything such as wait times, unavailability, or they could just be the result of misunderstandings. While you should focus on resolving them, don’t be overly concerned when they cannot be resolved. In such cases, try to fill your online platforms with all the positive reviews and comments, so that the negative review will be drowned. A negative review is not the end of your business as long as there are multiple positive reviews supporting your service and speaking of the high quality of care.
The bottom line, though, would be the kind of service you render to your patients, but keep in mind online reputation brings in more patients and more business.