The Stats:
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

YET…
55% of local businesses never ask for reviews!

With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that including reputation management as part of an overall digital marketing strategy is gaining popularity among healthcare organizations. But with little experience and limited resources, many organizations have trouble getting started. Gaining control of your online reputation doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s look at a few tips to get your organization up and running.

Start Small
Getting started with reputation management can be overwhelming, but a great first step is to simply start monitoring your patient reviews on public sources. Find out where your consumers are already sharing their feedback online, common feedback categories (staff, wait time, billing, etc.), and key areas for organizational improvement. Begin to build your strategy with a focus on those key sources where your patients are most vocal (where you currently have the largest review volume) and on those sources that are most important in the healthcare industry (Healthgrades, ZocDoc, Vitals, etc.).

reviews-by-source

Engaging with Patients
Remember, when engaging with consumers online, the audience breakdown for your review responses is only 30% for that particular patient, with the other 70% being prospective patients.* Timely and relevant responses from your organization help build trust within your local online community. Here’s where engaging a trusted partner to help manage and respond to patient reviews on channels like Facebook and Google can simplify your process and help you stay on top of best practices.

Increasing Review Volume
What’s the simplest way to increase your review volume? Ask your patients! Look for any opportunity to ask your patients to share their feedback online – have your providers and office staff point them to your directory listings or social media pages, send follow-up emails post-encounter directing them to your most valued public sources, and/or include links to your directory listings on your website.

Most importantly, ask EVERYONE, not just your known promoters, and truly hear them. It takes effort for patients to leave reviews, so make sure you’ve acknowledged them. According to the most recent Google Local Ranking Factors Survey, review quality outweighs quantity – Google takes overall review sentiment, diversity of review data, and relevant keywords in review comments into consideration when ranking local business listings. Businesses that ask for patient reviews demonstrate true authenticity, both to Google and to prospective patients.

review-ratings-over-time

By partnering with a team experienced in online listings and reputation management, and the technology to provide you with real-time insights about what’s being said about your brand online, you’ll have the team and tools needed to effectively manage your online reputation.

Want more insight into building a brand reputation that engages today’s demanding healthcare consumers? Read our guide to bringing the Amazon experience to healthcare.

*2016 Get Five Stars