Welcome to the era of Googling, where most of us look up the website and reviews for a restaurant or attraction before visiting, so we know what to expect! Healthcare is no different. Searching for a doctor or health service provider is common practice.
Regardless of your industry, people will be talking about you online; it’s inevitable. Conversations are generated around your brand, whether it’s discussing the latest trending topics, commenting on your social media posts, or venting about your customer service. And, of course, you want those conversations to be positive. That is where reputation management comes into play.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is the proactive process of monitoring how a company or brand is perceived by the public or prospective customers and taking strategic action to improve its image when necessary. It is an essential marketing component that helps drive patient acquisition and long-term practice growth.
Reputation management includes work in areas such as customer satisfaction, online marketing, social media, search engine results, ratings, and reviews. A good reputation is essential for any business, as it can attract new customers and keep existing ones happy.
The most widely accessible medium for communication is the internet, so naturally a large amount of reputation management occurs online. Today massive media platforms such as Google, YouTube, Yelp, TikTok, and Facebook are the judges of reputation. While we cannot control what a person thinks, we can control what a person sees, in turn affecting how they think.
Importance of Reputation Management
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 60% of customers say negative reviews made them not want to use a business (source: Reputation X). A business’s online reputation is critical to its marketing success, and what people think of a brand directly influences sales and marketing efforts. A good reputation means better leads, which often results in a higher conversion rate and improved interactions with clients or patients. Therefore, it’s important to keep track of your brand’s image online and make sure it leaves a positive impression.
Developing A Reputation Management Strategy
In order to develop an effective reputation management strategy, it is important to first complete a thorough audit. This means looking at customer reviews, social media, and simply searching the business name on Google to get an idea of what is out there. By taking the time to do this, you can get a better understanding of where your business stands and what needs to be improved.
Next, it’s important to delegate responsibility for monitoring online conversations, responding to comments and reviews, and handling customer mentions. Your customers are your most valuable asset and it’s essential to take their needs and feedback seriously. By responding quickly and effectively communicating, you show that you value their input.
Lastly, consider all of your digital assets and develop a comprehensive strategy to utilize the digital space to your best advantage. By publicly presenting your expertise, you can reach a larger audience and help grow your business.
Establish Systems to Manage Your Reputation
Reputation management should be viewed as a continuous process, rather than a one-time job. Consistently monitoring a brand’s online presence is a job that is truly never done. Here are some actionable ways to control your online presence.
Focus on channels you control
Ensure all business owned channels including your website, blog, and social media channels accurately reflect current imagery, messaging, and company values. Develop compelling content on these channels to increase positive exposure and establish yourself as a thought leader.
Don’t leave your reputation to chance
Using custom patient satisfaction surveys, such as ClearSurvey, allows practices to easily identify and understand the reasons for satisfaction or dissatisfaction of your patients and allows you to improve the patient experience. Being notified about a dissatisfied patient allows your team to follow up in a timely manner and address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem or the patient spreads negative remarks about their experience. Surveying also allows you to proactively generate reviews from happy patients, further elevating your reputation and building prospective patients’ confidence.
Cultivate a positive patient experience
It is important to remember that your business’ website is for your customers, not the business itself. Intentionally design your website to focuses on customers’ needs not business wants and cultivate a positive user experience from start to finish.
Implement search engine optimization (SEO) tactics
Search engines have replaced word-of-mouth referrals as the main source of information for most people. What appears at the top of the search engine results page is often what people see and believe, regardless of its accuracy. Implement SEO tactics to help control what is being seen in search results.
Stay Ahead of the Competition with an Exceptional Online Reputation
In today’s digital world, most clients and patients consult online review platforms to assess doctors and medical practices before ever making an appointment. An exceptional online reputation can go a long way in making a positive impression on prospective patients and elevate your practice above the competition.
In summary, by being responsive to online queries and reviews, as well as controlling the narrative and what people see online (aka reputation management), organizations can effectively establish and maintain a positive digital presence.
Tracy is the founder of Pink Pebble Marketing, a full service marketing firm that supports businesses with offerings from creative branding to strategic planning. Wether for a once-off campaign or ongoing consultation, Tracy draws from her extensive corporate marketing experience to help her clients develop increased revenue, product awareness, and customer growth.
Amy is a highly skilled search engine optimist with years of experience in the field of online reputation management. She is currently working with Code of Entry, a leading digital marketing agency, where she helps clients improve their online visibility and build a strong brand image. With her keen eye for detail and her analytical skills, Amy has helped many businesses improve their online reputation by developing effective SEO strategies and creating engaging content. She understands the importance of building a strong online presence and uses a data-driven approach to achieve measurable results.