In the modern healthcare landscape, implementing robust physician reputation management is indispensable for a practice’s success and sustainability.
In today’s digital age, prospective patients heavily rely on online reviews when choosing a healthcare provider. Managing your medical reputation and patient feedback is paramount in building trust and attracting patients to your practice.
But how do you begin the process for your medical practice?
Medical Online Reputation Management: Rules to Remember
Before you start on the “How” of managing your practice’s online reputation, it’s essential to understand why your virtual reputation is as important as your “offline” image.
These are a few rules to remember to help you stay motivated, on task, and focused on managing your online reputation.
What you don’t know CAN hurt you
Not knowing what’s online about your practice doesn’t mean that information can’t hurt you. In fact, if you don’t know about those negative reviews and how to even respond to reviews, patients may assume you don’t care about delivering a quality experience.
Constructing and nurturing positive patient relationships is a strategic approach to mitigate and prevent negative online reviews.
Most people who leave negative reviews are disgruntled in some way. Working hard to provide each patient has a positive experience can help reduce the negative reviews you’re getting online.
Negative reviews can be positive experiences for your practice
While no one likes to be disparaged in public, negative reviews can be a great opportunity to learn about patient expectations and experiences. What’s more: you can use this information to make things right with patients and avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Prospective patients are researching you online
Recent studies indicate that more than 75 percent of people requiring medical services research physicians online before choosing a provider. This makes getting your medical online reputation management right is incredibly important for the future of your practice.
In every industry, positive online reviews are the “make or break” for business growth. Your healthcare practice is a business, and people are reading reviews before deciding whether to patronize your business. In the medical profession, trust is an essential component. Do your online reviews reflect a level of trust between you and your patients? Positive reviews build trust, while negative reviews can damage not only your reputation, but the trust that prospective patients need in order to feel comfortable seeking treatment from your facility.
Patients significantly weigh their healthcare decisions based on the experiences and reviews shared by others online.
According to Search Engine Journal, 91 percent of younger (aged 18-34) consumers place a great deal of trust in online reviews. While it may seem like negative reviews are all doom and gloom, there are things you can do to reduce their impact while improving your standing with potential patients.
Not all negative online reviews are legitimate
Sometimes, unscrupulous competitors seek to discredit your practice in order to siphon off more patients to leave you. In such cases, a solid plan for managing your medical online reputation can help overcome the negativity these reviews generate.
Now that you understand the importance of managing your online reputation, it is time to learn more about the medical and physician online reputation management process.
Implementing Proactive Strategies to Amplify Positive Patient Experiences and Strengthen Your Online Reputation
It is much easier to make a good impression than to negate a bad one. After all, it takes work to overcome bad reviews and improve those first impressions. But when patients enjoy a positive first experience with your practice, they are far more likely to take negative reviews with a grain of salt.
Ultimately, ask for reviews first; this means they may grant you some leeway when making decisions about your practice. It doesn’t mean patients will completely ignore bad reviews about your clinic. It simply means they’re likely to seek out additional information to confirm those reviews.
How can you foster a positive online reputation for your practice?
Physician reputation management can take numerous forms, with services designed for the specific needs and goals of your practice. There are several steps you can take to help in this effort. You may have taken some of them already:
1. Create a website for your practice
This is the first step to improve your business listing online credibility. Make sure your website is professional, provides accurate information, and is properly maintained. Additionally, introduce your team (with smiling photos), provide testimonials from satisfied patients and fill your website with the helpful information your patients are looking for.
2. Start a blog
Launch a blog. Once live, give patients the opportunity to sign up for updates and access the latest information on your services. Also, update your blog regularly. This brings in new patients and keeps your existing patients informed about what matters most.
3. Engage your patients on social media
For medical practices, COVID-19 news provides a steady stream of information to share with your patients online. Use social media to reach out and connect with existing patients, and to attract new patients. Social media can be a powerful tool for medical online reputation management.
4. Respond to online reviews (whether good or bad)
This is likely the single most important thing you can do to help mitigate negative google reviews and views. It also serves to reinforce any positive reviews you have online.
Once you’ve begun to foster a positive reputation online, it is time to mitigate negative information about your practice wherever exists on the web.
A Strategic Approach to Effectively Handle and Mitigate Negative Online Reviews for Medical Practices
While many physicians now operate virtually, there are still quite a few who don’t. You don’t have to operate your medical clinic online to practice medical online reputation management. In fact, it may be even MORE important to engage in proactive physician reputation management actions.
Convince Reviewers to Remove Bad Reviews (It can Happen!)
One of the easiest solutions for addressing negative online reviews is to respond to the reviewer directly on the review site. Do not simply request removal of the review. Rather, apologize to the reviewer for their bad experience and ask how you can make it right.
Whatever comes of this, know that those who read the review and your response will understand you tried to make things right. Ignoring it allows it to fester, and can make others think you don’t care enough about the patient experience. Both are bad for your practice.
In some cases, responding to reviews and initiating a dialog is all it takes to turn the table for your clinic. In many cases, negative reviews are left by people who are frustrated and want to be heard. Reaching out helps them feel heard and can help soften hard feelings toward your practice.
Once you’ve appeased the reviewer, you can decide whether you’re comfortable asking them to remove the negative review.
Contact the Publisher About Removing Negative Reviews
Should the initial approach prove ineffective or yield no response from the reviewer, contemplating reaching out to the platform to discuss potential review removal may be worthwhile
Many understand that there are sometimes ulterior motives for leaving bad reviews. This is why many have a process for uncovering those motives and processing the removal of unscrupulous removals and negative feedback. Sites usually investigate requests and notify you of their decision.
Follow their process and give the system an opportunity to work. It’s a long shot. There’s no doubt. However, there are instances where reviews are removed following this method.
Medical Online Reputation Management that Works for Busy Health Practices
The one downside of effective physician reputation management for medical practices is the commitment of time and energy involved. Your best move is to have someone else do the heavy lifting, the back and forth negotiations, and the legwork on your behalf. Not only will that save you time, but it can help you save the reputation of your medical practice.
NetReputation is your first stop for managing the online reputation of your medical practice. We help with everything from the positive content creation to the removal of negative reviews necessary to foster the solid reputation your medical practice deserves.
Begin Your Journey Towards a Stellar Online Reputation Now! Speak with our specialized medical reputation management experts at 844-461-3632 for a tailored strategy to uplift and protect your practice online.