Imagine going online, searching your name and finding people “reviewing” you. It wouldn’t be fun no matter how nice of a person you are. Let’s be real here, not everyone is going to like you. And that’s ok! This reality is something most people do not have to deal with. On the other hand, doctors are rated all the time.
There are countless websites online devoted to reviewing docs on everything from their promptness to their bedside manner. If you have recently needed to see a new doctor, chances are you used these websites and other people’s reviews to help make your decision. Since online reviews are now something that has a major influence on people when choosing a physician or surgeon, it’s imperative that these MDs monitor what people are saying or risk losing prospective patients. Below are a few reasons why doctors should monitor their online reputation.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Physicians
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1. You can show prospective patients you care about building relationships
The first reason why doctors should monitor their reviews is so that you can have a say in your online reputation. You don’t want to be in the dark if someone is trolling you online and making false claims. This can negatively affect future business. If you find outlandish comments that are 100% false, you can try getting the review taken down or respond so people know that you object what is being said.
No matter if the reviews are positive or negative, responding to all reviews will let people know that you care about building relationships with your patients. This may make them more inclined to choose you over your competitor who is not monitoring his or her online reputation.
2. You can improve your practice
Next, it’s just good to hear legitimate complaints so you can work on fixing them. While odds are that you will hear of a major fault in person, there are other problems that you may not hear about until you read them online. For example, you may have a great interaction with a patient, but he or she has a negative experience at the front desk. Because of this negative experience, he or she may turn to Healthgrades or Yelp to vent.
This is your chance to hear what people really think and work on fixing that problem, if possible. You also have to be aware that if multiple people say things online, others will then believe it’s true and find another doctor. Providing a personalized response will show potential patients that you value their feedback.
3. You can flip a negative experience into a positive one
By monitoring the conversation, you have the opportunity to flip a negative situation into a positive one. People like to feel like they are being heard. By responding to a legitimate negative review and showing that you are concerned about their experience, it potentially can help you keep the patient, show other prospective patients that you care about what patients have to say, and perhaps the patient will end up removing the negative review or updating it to a positive one. Just show concern in the response and offer an email address or phone number where the patient can talk to you or a staff member to resolve the issue.
4. You can show appreciation for your loyal patients
Responding to positive reviews is just as important as responding to negative reviews. Take the opportunity to respond to the patients who are saying nice things to show that you appreciate their comments. This is an opportunity to continue building a relationship with your patients that can last a lifetime.
Prospective patients want to see warmth from their physician and this is an opportunity to show the bond between doctor and patient. In addition to responding to all reviews, you should actually encourage patients to write reviews for you online. Anything from a sign in the office to a follow up email can help boost your online rating.
5. You can make sure that all websites have correct business information
Even if you don’t care what anyone has to say about you online (which you should), being active online can help ensure that every website has your correct business information. Between hours of operation, phone numbers and addresses, new patients will not be happy if they cannot get in touch with you or cannot find your practice. In addition, by having the correct information on all of these review sites, you’re helping your own website when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). This will help you show up higher than your competitors on a search engine results page (SERP).
Begin Monitoring Your Online Reputation Today
When it comes down to it, it’s good to know what is being said about you online. Whether you’re getting positive or negative reviews, you have more power knowing what’s being said and responding to them than by just ignoring a major referral source. Your reputation lives online. Be a part of the conversation. For more information on how Today’s Business can help you monitor your online reputation, please contact us today.