01 Jun How Reputation Management for Medical Practices Should Be a Part of Your Marketing Plan
Review acquisition and reputation management for medical practices is key to lowering their patient acquisition costs. You’ve invested a great deal into creating the medical practice of your dreams, including state of the art equipment, the top medical personnel, solid infrastructure and modern technology. But if your patients aren’t spreading the news about their experiences, you will be paying more per patient acquired than needed.
If a patient is deciding between two doctors online, he or she is 91% more likely to pick the provider with higher reviews.
At a time when potential new clients are searching for a treatment or medical provider via smartphone, online reviews and testimonials can make or break your practice. People trust online reviews nearly as much as personal references, so user-generated content like reviews are heavily weighted by search engines. Reputation management should be a solid part of your healthcare marketing strategy or you’re likely losing out on patients. So what should you focus on?
Don’t be shy. Ask for reviews!
If you already have positive online reviews, you know the power of this. This is a first impression embedded in the minds of new patients who read these reviews and enter the lobby with a positive feel for your practice. Instead of waiting for occasional reviews to trickle in, make your online reputation a priority.
Google prefers consistency over a flood of reviews. Focus on getting just 2 – 5 new reviews per week, analyze your results and tweak your approach, if needed.
A few proactive approaches to growing reviews for your medical practice include:
- Train your staff to ask for reviews at checkout. Explain to them the importance of getting good reviews and how that benefits everyone.
- Include a question on the intake form that allows your patients to opt-in for giving you a video testimonial. While Google reviews are important and should be a continued focus, a video is worth a million words!
- Set up an automated and filtered review acquisition system that texts or emails your patients after their treatment. SocialCow’s reputation management services include a system that does just that and also allows the patient to start the review process right in your office – when they’re most pleased with the service! This system also helps prevent bad reviews from ending up on third-party sites like Google by first requesting private feedback and only sending satisfied customers links to third-party sites.
Always respond to feedback.
The worst thing you can do is not answer a negative review, but it can get tricky. As we like to say, “No one wants to hear their baby is ugly.” It can be hard to reply to less-than-kind reviews about your own practice or one that you work at. Having a professional medical practice reputation management team reply to them instead with non-inflammatory responses shows that you care and that you can handle conflict professionally.
Pro tip: Maintain confidentiality as you respond to patient comments in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant manner. Never disclose identities and Protected Health Information (PHI) for any patient.
SocialCow, a Marketing Management Agency in New York and Miami, uses HIPAA-compliant review generation software that lets provider practices seamlessly generate review requests into existing checkout workflows! We’re the experts in Reputation Management for Medical Practices. Reach out for a free consultation and let us show how we can help your practice.