Posted on December 2, 2016
Top 5 Reputation Management Tips
Think maintaining a decent online reputation is a daunting task? It’s not. Let us help break it down for you.
There are a million and one things a practice can do when it comes to managing your reputation. From having friendly office staff to providing a clean and open waiting area to following up with patients to get feedback on their visit. The list of the potential to-do’s that a practice is bombarded with seems endless. With that in mind, we’ve decided to help wade through the plethora of advice you get inundated with each week and point out five rather important “big picture” reputation issues you should consider.
FIRST AND FOREMOST – BE AMAZING AT YOUR JOB.
At first glance, this might seem like a ridiculous throwaway idea. The kind that gets mentioned merely to make the folks that write and analyze such things seem important. We promise you it is not. Consider this; if every person in your practice is amazing at what they do the rest, for the most part, simply takes care of itself. Granted, you will always have a small minority of people that you will never impress and will not be satisfied with no matter how amazing your practice truly is. That’s understood and quite honestly, perfectly fine, however, when you are amazing at your job the word gets around rather quickly. Folks naturally tend to recognize and reward amazing things. The amazing is celebrated and becomes naturally discussed. There is very little marketing needed for the amazing, it simply lives a life of its own. So, strive to be consistently amazing.
The reality, of course, is that this is difficult to do day in and day out. Strive for it, but also be realistic and recognize that you just might not be amazing 100% of the time. So, let’s talk about what to do for the times when you are not so amazing.
IMPLEMENT SOME FORM OF REVIEW OR REPUTATION MONITORING SYSTEM.
Your patients are talking about you online; do you know what they are saying? Most practices simply will not take the time to investigate what their online reputation actually looks like. Once they do they typically see issues right away. A common scenario is this: A practice decides to search for themselves and they see a popular review site or two populate on page one of the search results. Unfortunately, that profile that populates contains reviews that have some not so nice things to say about a practice or individual doctor. Worse still, the comments have been out there for months (and in some cases years) without any response from the practice. This has allowed multiple potential patients to see a very one-sided, and negative, version of the practice.
Quick Question, do you think the people that saw that review picked up the phone to call you? Easy Answer: Not at all, they moved on to research your competition instead. Had you only been notified of the review quickly; you could have worked with that patient to resolve their issue. Engaging quickly with a patient that is unhappy with your practice often changes the reviewer’s option of you. This can lead to the reviewer changing or removing the negativity. At the very least you could have put out a public response that advises the way the reviewer feels they were treated is not at all how you wish to run your practice. This online response goes a VERY long way towards influencing the next person who sees that review. If you take the time to respond professionally to criticism it shows you care and want the best for your patients.
CARE ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT YOUR PATIENTS ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT.
It is hugely important to know what people are saying about you and understand how your patients feel about the time they spend with you. You might think you’re being amazing every day but then you discover that this is not how your patients view you. There is an obvious disconnect and your patients are telling you where it is. Be aware of it, adapt and change. Your patients will tell you exactly how they feel about their experiences and interactions with you and your staff. Listen and be aware of what they are telling you.
For example, you might feel that the video you paid a lot of money for that is displaying in the waiting area is highly informative and a fantastic addition to your office. Your patients, however, feel otherwise. It is not uncommon for the environment of an office to be viewed from two completely different viewpoints, yours and theirs, listen to theirs and change.
SHOWCASE THE THINGS YOU DO INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICE.
Believe it or not your existing and potential patients want to see the human side of your practice. They want to see you as people. While you might be the best surgeon in the area, they want to see you as human and the office should reflect that desire.
Showcasing your skill is wonderful, showcasing your humanity is far better. People respond to discussions of what the office did last week like far more than they do about the technical aspects of medicine. Posts and discussions like “Ann celebrated her 5-year work anniversary on Thursday” or “Don ran the 5k for Breast Cancer Awareness and raised $1500” get far more engagement than a technical post on the latest advances in Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery. Remember that your patients are going to you as a professional, they want you to be amazing at your job. They expect you to be up on all the latest technology and trends for your profession, but they also want to know that you are a caring, fun and compassionate people. They want to spend time with you, so show them how amazing that time is going to be.
CREATE A PLAN TO ENCOURAGE PATIENTS TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK – PREFERABLY ONLINE.
There has been a recent uptick in the number of dashboards and programs that assist with the process of getting your patients to provide feedback. Many do this with simple emailed requests and then house the feedback on their own sites, others do it so the feedback can potentially go on the highly valued review sites themselves. The latter is the preferred method as people do go to actual review sites to research your practice. Some of these programs are complicated, some are expensive and others offer limited functionality. We have done the research and found what we feel is the best option for medical practices. Because of our research we have partnered with MDIdentity to bring this functionality to you and we strongly encourage you to think very seriously about investing in a reputation management platform. Without a clear and easy system in place, for your patients to provide feedback and reviews you are losing out on the ability to maintain and build your online reputation.
Welcome to the wonderful world of an online reputation. It might seem daunting at first but in all honesty, it’s actually quite simple. The items discussed above can propel a practice to being the most amazing practice they can be. So, strive for the amazing, showcase your humanity, know and respond to what people are saying about you and ask for feedback. See? Easy.