Today, almost everyone looks at online reviews for doctors. Whether you are a plastic surgeon, own a medical spa, are a general physician or a specialist, people are looking at your reviews. Are you managing your online reputation or is it managing you? Here are some tips that can help you take control and improve online reviews.
Timing makes a difference.
If you think it’s ok to do an occasional campaign to increase reviews, think again. How believable do you think reviews are when you get 5 in a month and then nothing for the rest of the year? Chunks of reviews in a short timeframe appear to be bought, and in essence, they probably are. If you are asking new Yelpers for reviews, chances are that your reviews from new Yelpers will be red flagged. Google and other online review sites may also catch an influx of new reviews. There’s a better way.
Slow and steady works best to improve online reviews. Getting a couple of reviews a month adds value to your profile. It keeps the information current. If it’s Google, it helps your SEO. Ask your staff to talk to patients about their Internet usage. Then, ask a Yelper for a Yelp review. Ask a Facebooker for a Facebook review. Google users for Google reivews. And so on. This distributes reviews across platforms so you have reviews wherever a potential patient looks. One or two reviews a month on each platform adds up to a lot in just a few months.
Respond to online reviews for doctors.
Thank patients that post a positive review. It’s a good time to show you appreciation. While you don’t want to get into an online quarrel about a negative review, it’s a good time to invite them to call you to resolve the issue. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Be sincere. Don’t be defensive. But, remember that HIPPA forbids you to discuss any medical condition in public. A simple “I’m Dr. xxxx, and I’m sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your experience. We’re serious about pleasing our patients. Please call me personally to discuss your unique situation. Sincerity is a plus to improve online reviews.
Can you fix the problem? It’s easy for you to address an isolated incident online. However, it may be that you receive multiple negative feedbacks about a staff member. Take action when you notice the pattern. Either move the staff member to another position or replace the employee. While you don’t name an employee online, it’s easy to say that you have new experienced staff members or that your staff has undergone extensive training for certifications in specific areas.
What is your experience with online reviews? Are you managing your online reputation? Or, do you let your reviewers decide your fate? If you aren’t getting what you want from online reviews, contact our PUMC experts. We’ll guide you down the path to success.