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Are Local Reviews Hurting Your Healthcare Business?
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In the age of information, consumers rely on online reviews in order to make purchasing decisions. Healthcare decisions are no exception. In order to determine the reputation of potential healthcare providers, patients look at online reviews to ensure their doctor is not only the best qualified but also provides an excellent bed-side manner. The better review your practice receives, the greater the opportunity to convince a potential patient he or she should choose you as their provider.
Healthcare reviews exist not only on Google+ but many provider-specific review sites such as ZocDoc, Healthgrades or Vitals. It is important to monitor these sites to see what your patients are saying about your practice. Managing these reviews is the first step toward utilizing your online presence to positively market your practice.
What should I do with positive feedback?
In person, if someone offers a positive comment or pays the practice a compliment you thank them. The same goes for online reviews. By acknowledging their comments and thanking them for their feedback, you are showing patients you care about their wellbeing beyond the time they spend in your office. Who wouldn’t want that additional reassurance from their healthcare provider? This type of online engagement is key to winning new patients.
But, what if I’ve received a negative comment?
Negative reviews and feedback often instill a sense of fear in those on the receiving end. However, you can use this opportunity as a learning experience. View the feedback as constructive criticism and use the information to improve the experience for your patients in the future.
The most important thing to do? Never ignore a negative comment or, even worse, get defensive or delete the comment. It only makes it look like you have something to hide and exacerbates the patient’s frustrations. Simply do your best to respond to the patient with an open mind. Assure him or her that you’ve read their comment, heard their concerns and, if possible, offer a solution.
How do I get patients to review my practice?
The simple answer? Ask them! Is a patient offering glowing compliments during an appointment or after a procedure? Invite them to share their compliments online. It is helpful to have a few site recommendations in mind. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to remind them to follow your practice on social media!
As a healthcare provider, you need to know that you can channel the power of local reviews to help your practice. Savvy consumers are starting to affect healthcare marketing and a strong digital presence is important in bringing new patients to your practice.
If you enjoyed this blog, check out this one on how to stay HIPAA compliant with social media!
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