Taking control of your brand’s online reputation is not a start-to-finish project – it’s an ongoing effort that must be built into your team’s regular task list. After getting a handle on your online healthcare reviews and ratings, you will still need a solid strategy for maintenance and improvement. No matter where your organization stands with your online reputation, however, you have a foundation to build off of. To really build and foster healthcare consumer loyalty for your organization and providers, take these four steps below to ensure that reputation management remains top-of-mind and an effective tool for improving your search presence, growing referrals, and more.

Step 1: Build a Solid Team
First, consider your team – both internally and externally. Identify those resources you have internally to manage day-to-day tasks around monitoring, responding to, and reporting on your public reviews. This definitely isn’t a set of tasks you can put off to do less frequently. Data shows that consumer satisfaction plummets when questions aren’t handled within the first 24 hours. When internal bandwidth or skill-sets are limited, consider outsourcing some or all of these daily tasks to a trusted, strategic partner that understands your brand voice, marketing goals, and the healthcare environment in which you operate.

reputation-management-flow-chart

Step 2: Craft Your Response Strategy
Once you have a solid team or partner in place, you’ll want to get everyone together to discuss and document an allowable set of public review responses that coincide with your brand voice as well as patient privacy laws. Of course, some responses will require a more personal touch, but having a set of go-to responses for the majority of comments will help you keep both a consistent tone and build confidence in your team. From there, determine which team members will be responsible for responding to and tracking review responses based on review sentiment and review source. For example, who will respond to and track Facebook reviews – your marketing department or public relations/social team?

Step 3: Know When and How to Escalate
Unfortunately, some reviews and comments will require you to involve other team members or higher ups in order to respond appropriately. When you proactively create a structure for escalation and communication of patient and customer feedback, you’ll be prepared to respond in a timely manner and with the right departments in-the-know.

In addition to capturing themes and communicating negative patient feedback for organizational improvement, you may also consider a recognition program for providers, practices, and internal staff who receive positive reviews online. It’s important to recognize the positive along with being sensitive to the negative, and this is a great way to build internal commitment to reputation management and to reward internal teams for a job well done!

Step 4: Increase Your Positive Reviews
Once you have a strategy in place to address any negative feedback that arises, you can get to work on building a more positive brand sentiment. Start by identifying a process for soliciting new patient reviews across public sites like Google, Facebook, and Vitals. Encourage your providers and in-office staff to mention the value they get out of online patient reviews. Include links to public review sites from your main website, and/or begin an ongoing email campaign targeted at patients who have had a recent encounter, pointing them directly to your public sources based on facility and/or provider. When it comes to review generation, don’t limit your requests to known promoters – including all patients will provide a sense of truth and authenticity in the public space.

Your organization’s online reputation can affect and be affected by so many aspects of your marketing efforts, from search ranking to patient satisfaction to even consumer loyalty. With a strategic approach for ongoing monitoring, response, and improvement, you’ll be in a great position to help your organization grow.

Want more insight into how reputation management affects local search and strategies to improve? Download our Local Search ebook.