The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence (Part 2/3): Mastering Your Online Reputation
This is part two of our course, The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence. For part one, visit blog post, The Doctor’s Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence: Mastering Your Online Presence
Mastering your Online Reputation Without Losing Your Reviews on Google and Yelp
When sites like Amazon and Yelp have conditioned us to seek reviews in our online habits, researching providers is no longer any different than, say, researching our next book purchase. With 84% of your patients basing their healthcare decisions on your online reviews, turning your online reputation into a positive influence in their healthcare shopping habits is smart. For many doctors and dentists, there is no better way to achieve this than through an online reputation that is sustainable and well optimized to reach 35 million+ monthly “patient shoppers” on Yelp, Google, HealthGrades and other major health sites.
Read our post, The Doctors’ Guide to a Sustainable Online Presence on major health sites to establish your online presence.
In this post, you will learn to transform your online reputation into your most powerful asset by shifting away from solicited reviews that are damaging. You will learn to focus on the customer experience instead and organically generate reviews that improve, not hurt, your rankings on Google, Yelp, and wherever thousands of patient decisions are made everyday.
Generating High Quality Reviews for a Successful Online Reputation
Reviews are valuable. Reviews are the difference between thousands of potential patients scrolling past your medical and dental profiles every month, or becoming your patients for life!
For reviews to retain their value, they need to be generated organically and of their own accord. Simply put, reviews should not be solicited.
Today, more than ever, Google and Yelp are enforcing this to preserve the trustworthiness and authenticity of their reviews. Here’s Yelp’s stance on it:
Businesses should not ask for or solicit reviews on Yelp, as it leads to deceptively biased content. This includes asking friends, family, or customers to write reviews; offering incentives or freebies in exchange for reviews; or working with companies that send review solicitation emails.
Solicited reviews can damage your online reputation. Google and Yelp will revoke them. Your listings could be banned altogether and you could stop showing up on patient searches.
For more on the risks of review solicitation, read our blog, No Shortcuts: Real Talk about your Online Reviews.
Furthermore, if practices continue to aggressively solicit reviews, the reputation management industry will sink further into dirty competition; paying for reviews, pressuring patients to write reviews, and encouraging unsavory review tactics from vendors who promise quick fixes just to keep up. All this erodes patient trust and harms the many great providers who earn authentic patient reviews based on the merits of the service and outcomes they deliver. If you’re reading this, you’re likely among that group, which should drive home how high the stakes are here.
Your Customer Experience Drives the Quality of Your Reviews and Reputation on Google and Yelp
To avoid creating any bias in your reviews and hurting your search rankings, it is important for doctors and their staff to deliver a truly great customer experience that transcends the digital world and your physical office. An experience that puts the patients first as they move from one place to another in seeking the best possible care is one that patients would naturally want to share with the world.
Regardless of your specialty, all physicians and dentists can start delivering their best customer experience today. Here are some areas of opportunities you can tap into immediately:
- Maintain a positive first impression online (to learn more on the value of the first impression, read our post here).
- Engage post appointment – always show appreciation.
- Deliver top notch service – responsive staff, no wait times, complete and comprehensive information that’s easily accessible.
- Logistics – proper parking, proper facilities.
- Excellent “bedside manner” e.g. listen to your patients, stay knowledgeable and up to date in your areas of expertise, and always communicate, clearly and with empathy.
- Respond to ALL reviews (for best practices on how to respond to reviews online, read our blog, “The Do’s or Dont’s of Healthcare Reviews”).
So, start engaging your patients holistically online, in person, and beyond. Today, people are no longer just “shopping” for their medical and dental needs. They expect much more in return for their time and cultivate loyalty for practices that deliver a richer, more personalized experience, even before they meet.
Once you have fine-tuned the customer experience your provide and started building a sustainable digital reputation, it’s time to start converting the massive patient searches you’re now attracting into more appointment bookings for your practice. The final part of our course will cover this – stay tuned. To access the entire course at once, register for our FREE webinar, “How To Improve Your Online Presence for a Better Customer Experience” today.
If you’re ready to improve your online presence for a better customer experience, request a FREE strategy session by clicking here.