Understanding Online Reputation Management for Doctors

In this digital era, reputation management has become a crucial aspect for any medical practice. 

Reputation is all about how the brand identifies itself, and how the public perceives it. And having a great online reputation is an excellent means to enjoy a partnership with current patients as well as prospects! 

However, many doctors are unaware of the fundamentals of online reputation management. 

Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about healthcare reputation management, and why it is crucial for your medical practice.

But first…

Does Online Reputation In Healthcare Really Matter?

Glad you asked. In the internet era, your online reputation is your reputation.

It used to be that you practiced great medicine and patients came through the office doors. Today, patients have more choices and more tools than ever!

Regardless of whether a patient was referred by another provider or a family member, chances are they’re going to check-up on you online. And what they see about you can greatly influence their decisions! It’s your job to ensure that the offline realities of your practice match the online reality these potential patients see. 

After all, you want your online reputation to be as stellar as your practice’s clinical care and customer service! So, to help you understand the importance of keeping tabs on your reputation and reputation management a little better, we’ve incorporated the most important aspects of it for you below! 

Negative Coverage Is Often Overlooked!

Unfortunately, we live in a society that can be harsh and negative! 

Although nearly every doctor makes every attempt to have a positive impact on each patient, it’s often impossible to please everyone. 

In fact, when surveyed, 98% of searchers won’t look past the first page of Google results for any query. Therefore, the content that shows up on page for a medical practice (good or otherwise) overwhelmingly controls public perception. 

Let me explain a little better. When patients are dissatisfied with a doctor, they regularly use the internet to convey their dissatisfaction through negative content. What makes it worse is that some doctors, through no fault of their own, receive these negative reviews but do nothing about them. Then the domino effect happens!

The Domino Effect Of A Negative Review

What you as a doctor need to understand is, negative reviews can spread like a rash! Then when searchers look for a doctor in your niche they will see these negative review(s). This can then lead to you losing many potential patients, and gain a possible bad reputation. 

How can this happen you ask? Well, negative coverage is frequently overlooked by doctors, and believe me when I say this..ignoring bad reviews is not a healthy long-term approach! 

Instead, doctors should take a more proactive approach to control their online reputation to make their practice stand out! 

For example- Patients looking for a new doctor will be able to find yours on the internet and on message boards. They then see how successful your practice is based on the positive reviews that your patients provide. On the other hand…if your practice has numerous negative reviews they will also see this! 

EXTRA TIP- An agency can help filter and negate any negative reviews and turn it into a positive outcome and control the narrative.

How To Turn Negative Reviews Into A Positive

There’s a few basic ways you can turn a negative review into a positive outcome which include:

  • –Monitor your online reputation constantly. 
  • –Don’t ignore negative reviews- always answer!
  • –Reply quickly. 
  • –Take it offline.
  • –Be respectful.
  • –Offer something for their inconvenience so potential clients see how it was handled.
  • –Offer a sincere apology.

The important thing to remember is that people who post complaints just want to be heard. Ignoring a bad comment, a social media post, or google review, will show them and other potential patients that you don’t care about their experience.

Many prospects regard an unacknowledged negative review as more believable than an acknowledged one on review sites. They may give the impression that you can’t improve your business. When medical practitioners answer, they send a positive message that the patient experience is vital, leaving a positive impression.

When responding to negative online reviews, you can prevent misunderstandings and get people to change their negative feedback to helpful feedback.

However, if you take the time to thoughtfully respond, you can take control of the situation and turn negative feedback into a positive experience for your business. 

Create an Online Reputation Management Strategy

Identify Your Unique Value Proposition.

Before jumping into creating a reputation management strategy for your practice, you’ll want to first identify what makes your practice different from the rest. What can you offer to your patients that they can’t get anywhere else! 

Focus on Providing Valuable and Helpful Information.

One of the best reputation management tactics is being helpful to your current and potential patients.

Many marketers know this too, as several are increasingly focusing on content marketing through blogs or social media posts to share helpful information around their industry. A doctor can do this too!

Focus on medical content that can help people see that you’re an expert in your field. And this can even help you develop strong relationships with your current patients and help you bring in new patients after they see your willingness to keep providing value.

Choose the Platforms Where You’ll Engage with Your Audience.

Just as important as knowing what to share is where you’re going to share it. Understanding your patients’ most preferred platforms for engaging with medical practices like yours can help make sure you not only reach your clients but also makes sure that new clients can reach you.

Part of an effective reputation management strategy also involves you effectively engaging with your audience. Email marketing is one of the most popular and profitable platforms to engage and nurture existing subscribers who can later turn into return patients. 

You may also be on Facebook or Instagram to share helpful tips that will get clients results, based on your practices strategies. Just make sure you stay within HIPPA’S guidelines. 

Read up on one of our other blogs- “How to use Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing for your medical practice”.

Here are some tried-and-true tips for enhancing your healthcare practice’s online reputation:

Use Digital Patient Engagement Platforms

Many patients today demand greater healthcare interaction because it can help them achieve better health results. Positive treatment outcomes lead to increased patient satisfaction and a better reputation. A digital patient interaction tool can help you accomplish this. And it gives your patients more input into their treatment decisions while using technology.

Display Positive Online Reviews on Your Website

While negative comments should not be ignored, positive comments are what bring you new referrals, patients, and retention. Make a page on your site dedicated to good patient testimonials. Allowing the good evaluations to shine and stand out is a successful tactic.

Survey Patients After Their Appointments

You may capture essential components of care that cause unhappiness and have an impact on your reputation by conducting patient satisfaction surveys. 

Surveying patients shortly after their session provides the most honest and useful responses.

Maintain a Positive Online Presence With the Right Strategy

As a healthcare provider, it’s critical to have a strong online reputation management strategy in place. The digital age has made it easier for patients to share information about their experiences with you and your team on review sites like Yelp and Google+. But without the right strategy, tools in place, and proper management of reviews, it can be overwhelming! Modfxmedia can help you with all of your medical marketing needs including reputation management and your strategy. Click Here to schedule your FREE strategy call with us!

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How do you manage your practice’s reputation online? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!

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