Posts tagged brand reputation
Years ago, the only way you would know if one of your patients or clients was satisfied with a treatment, or had a complaint about a recent visit was if they contacted you directly via a letter, phone call or email.
Today, many patients turn to the Internet to share their opinions and comments with friends, family members and the world at large. Review sites and blogs have made it incredibly easy for anyone to publicly post their experience with you and your office within minutes.
Last week, we discussed ways to handle negative comments about your practice, and outlined some specific strategies that can help you continue to attract and retain clients. Since many online conversations happen without your consent, you also need a brand reputation monitoring strategy so that you can respond as quickly as possible.
One of the easiest ways to monitor reviews or posts about your practice is to set up a Google Alert on your company name, physicians and other medical practitioners. Google Alerts provide you with email updates on the latest Google search results based on the keywords you request. You can set up alerts that are delivered to you as they appear, once a day, or once a week. The alert goes straight to your inbox, and can make it easier for you and your office to keep tabs on what is being posted online at any given time.
Patients who maintain a blog, or individuals that post on other people’s blogs regularly may be leaving comments about their experience at your practice, or sharing information about a particular procedure. Backtype is a free service for monitoring blog comments. You can track where and how people are linking to your website, and follow those links to post a response when needed.
Services like BoardTrackers.com also allow you set up alerts on certain words and phrases, except this search is a little more comprehensive and keeps track of mentions across forums and discussion groups.
Again, keeping up with these posts puts you in a more powerful position because it gives you the chance to provide a professional response.
Next week, we’ll discuss some other tools and services that can help you monitor your brand reputation online…
The social media landscape now encompasses hundreds of blogs, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and user-generated sites that allow your patients to post reviews and experiences after visiting your practice or office.
While a glowing review of a treatment or procedure can help to bring in more clients, a negative review can damage your reputation.
How can you effectively handle bad reviews and insure yourself against negative comments and feedback from clients?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a single bad review won’t destroy your business or reputation — as long as there are a number of positive reviews posted on the same site. Most patients will take the time to read at least four or five reviews, both positive and negative, before making a decision.
If you think the review is unjustified, or that it is particularly vindictive and not based on an actual patient experience or visit, you may be able to have the comment or post removed by the site administrator. Another option is to post a professional response to the site so that other patients can see that you have acknowledged the post, and have an explanation. The key is to take action as soon as possible, and support any unjust negative reviews with a professional and positive response.
In a situation where you can identify the patient, you may be able to resolve the issue and address the negative feedback offline. Some patients may be willing to remove their review or edit their comment after you have approached them in a professional manner and express concern about their experience. In many cases, the patient simply wants to be heard — you can be the first to listen to their situation and take steps to remedy the situation, if possible. Find a way to e-mail or call the patient directly so that you can address their review or comment privately.
Handling negative reviews about your practice and patient experiences can be challenging, so it’s important that you have a plan in place to acknowledge the review and can take steps to improve the situation.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog post with more tips about monitoring your reputation online.