Patient satisfaction is the driver of your annual collections. If your patients are satisfied with the services rendered and their experience while at your practice, you will have a higher case acceptance, more referrals, and a better reputation online – all of which lead to higher conversions.
Recent statistics shared by Inc. show that “68 percent form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.”
Picking a random doctor from your list of available providers is a thing of the past. Everyone is copying and pasting your name straight from their insurance list onto Google, or their trusted reference platform, to read others’ reviews, hoping to know if they are making the right choice.
Today’s patient experience is tomorrow’s review, and tomorrow’s review is what determines the number of new patients who will choose you after a quick “Dentist Near Me” online search. Your patients, both existing and potential, will browse top practice listing sites, like Google, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, Facebook, Yellowpages, Healthgrades, and more. You don’t have to have five stars or a two-page phenomenal review to gain new patients; all you really need is for them to know that you listen to them, admit to any mistakes, and do your best to correct them.
So, what are some of the ways to keep your online reputation working in your favor? Let’s take a look.
How do existing and prospective patients view your practice?
Being intentional about monitoring and managing your online reputation is crucial to your practice’s continued growth and success. With more web channels and growing user access to those channels, online reputation has become a very dynamic entity.
Online reputations have an innate ability to grow and build over time, yet still be subject to complete destruction in the blink of an eye – or scarier yet, the click of a mouse. Here are a few reasons why you need to make reputation monitoring a top priority for your practice.
There are imposters everywhere
n this day and age, new listing directories pop up online every single day. Unfortunately, they aren’t always legitimate. So, what happens when those sites go live? How did your listing even end up there?
Well, most of these sites use bots to crawl other directories and then copy over all the information to theirs. They are also happy to receive input from customers and let them make changes without actually verifying if the information is correct. As a result, these listings can negatively affect your reputation.
What happens if there are reviews being left that customers are reading and you have no idea about them? How do you thank those five-star reviews, and, more importantly, how do you combat those bad reviews that might pop up? If you aren’t aware of existing listings, you are already at a disadvantage in the online reputation battle.
Taking ownership of those same listings is going to take some time
We didn’t mean to scare you with that last conversation; we know it can be a bit overwhelming to know anyone can create a listing for your practice online. But don’t worry, with consistent monitoring and the patience to go through the claiming process, you can maintain your online reputation.
The claiming process can sometimes even require mail verification, but is of the utmost importance to make sure that the time between the listing’s initial publishing date and when you claim it is as short as possible.
Word-of-mouth travels fast; word online travels faster
Online reviews have power. At the end of the day, people trust what others have to say because we are hoping that our fellow man will look out for us.
According to Forbes, “The benefits of an active and positive review profile are hard to overstate, and the reason is simple: 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”
It may seem naive, but even if the review is posted by someone you have never met before, seems biased, or untrue, it’s all prospective patients have to go by.
Patient experiences can be subjective and miscommunications happen
At some point, you’re bound to have at least a few patients who claim they had negative experiences, no matter how great your practice is. Sometimes it’s because patient expectations are too high. Other times, it’s due to a mistake or miscommunication, which can happen at any practice and that’s okay.
That is exactly why online reputation monitoring is so important. It allows you to identify these issues, find ways to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future, and implement those solutions. It’s all about how you respond.
Speaking of responding…
Responding to your patients’ comments is one of the most crucial elements of online reputation monitoring. It allows you to celebrate with your patients when they’ve had a great experience, which helps build more engagement. That being said, it also allows you to do some damage control when things don’t go as planned.
Responding to negative posts shows patients that you acknowledge their concerns and take responsibility when necessary. You can also use this time to let your patients know what you plan to do both immediately and in the future to ensure the negative experience doesn’t happen again.
There is always room to grow
Your practice’s online reviews are an invaluable asset. Whether they are positive or negative, you’ll have a firsthand look inside the mind of your patients and gain insight into what your practice’s strengths and weaknesses are. This, in turn, allows you to find ways to play up your wins and solutions for the losses. Ultimately, you’ll gain your patients’ trust (regardless of their experience) and attract new patients.
If you are worried about what the next step to take in online reputation monitoring and that you may not have time to keep up with monitoring, the team at Conversion Whale will help you get your reputation right.
We make sure you are dominating your market in that 1st position ad on the search engine results page while keeping your reputation squeaky clean. Our experienced team of Client Success Managers will walk you through the reputation management process, discussing what you can do in-house to build patient satisfaction while the rest of our team helps leverage your online reputation through our online reputation monitoring and local SEO management. Contact us.