Online Reputation Management: Does It Work for Healthcare?

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An awful online reputation can make or break an otherwise thriving medical practice. Even one negative review can damage the trust that exists between businesses and their clients that takes so long to build up. On the other hand, a solid online reputation can boost profits and help patients see that the business is trustworthy, credible, and competent.

This is especially important now in the middle of this global health crisis where people depend on virtual telehealth services for their medical treatments. Many patients have to refer to online reviews to see which physicians or practices are worthy of their money and time. So, it’s more necessary than ever to make sure clients leave satisfied and only have good things to say.

Whether you’re a medical professional or someone running a healthcare franchise, everyone who works in the healthcare industry has an image to maintain. Here are a few effective strategies for what you can do to manage the online reputation of your medical practice.

Audit Your Business’ Online Reputation

The first order of business is knowing what you’re doing wrong and what you can do better. The best way to find this out is by taking a good look at what’s already being said about your healthcare business online. Search your business’ name on multiple search engines and survey the first several pages of results. Take note of both the negative and positive critiques, and use this information to improve on your services.

Value Your Existing Client Base

Attracting new clients is important, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of neglecting your current client base. Make sure to regularly engage with your existing patients and involve them in your efforts to enhance your online reputation. Showing your dedicated clients how much you value them will make them willing to give you a good review and more word of mouth referrals. Because of how well-acquainted they are with your business, their word is more likely to be trusted by people.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media is the best place to monitor what people are saying about your brand. Make sure to keep an eye on posts that your business is mentioned in or tagged. You can refer to these critiques when thinking about which areas of your character still need work. These platforms are also a great way to engage with critique directly and have meaningful conversations with your client base. Just be careful about your responses, and don’t antagonize anyone with a negative opinion of your brand.

Motivate Patients to Post Reviews

Most businesses think that shying away from allowing reviews is a good thing because that means they’ll receive less negative reviews, but it actually has the opposite effect. It makes a business look less trustworthy and credible when there aren’t any critiques about the business available to read online — positive or otherwise. This is why it’s important to motivate your patients to post reviews about your business online. The more people talk about you, the more dependable your business will be.

Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Reviews

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Negative reviews give you an opportunity to improve your services. It would be best if you weren’t afraid of receiving them, as one or two of them won’t sink your entire career. They can always be dealt with diplomatically, and you can even use it as a way to showcase your excellent customer service skills. The best way to respond to the person who posted the review is by apologizing for the trouble, assuring them it won’t happen again, and proposing a productive way to resolve the matter. Rather than deleting or hiding negative reviews — which is bad practice — you should share and promote positive reviews on your website and social media profiles instead.

Control Your Search Engine Results

No, you probably can’t hack into Google and rearrange your search engine results to make your business look great, but you can at least influence your results to reflect more positively on your brand through search engine optimization (SEO). You can do this by creating relevant and compelling content on a regular basis. Familiarize yourself with SEO best practices so that you can generate useful content that’ll secure a spot at the top of the search results page.

Get Involved With The Rest of The Online Healthcare Community

Participating in discussions and events where you can engage with other medical practitioners and businesses is a great way to assure your patients that you’re the real deal. Not only will you be able to establish your online presence further, but you’ll also be able to build a network of like-minded individuals who you can learn a thing or two from.

Managing your online reputation is necessary, no matter what your profession — but it’s especially important for professionals in the medical field since attracting patients is all about trust. After all, it’s their life on your hands. These strategies will help you gain that trust and build a successful medical practice.

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