Reputation in healthcare used to be a term that fell solely within the realm of direct marketing via word-of-mouth. The changing landscape of online healthcare marketing has changed the dynamics of reputation management. Mass adoption of various social sharing platforms and easy access to other digital platforms has transformed the hospital reputation management equation.
In this digital era, the reputation of all businesses, including the world’s biggest and most famous corporations, can be tarnished with just a few mouse clicks by any post, comment, quote, photo, blog, video or news article going viral. In the instant “click” and “post” culture we are living in today, you need to be proactive more than ever in managing your online reputation. Of course, there will be challenges and obstacles because the path to achieve it isn’t easy. The goal should be to build your hospital’s online reputation in a way that leverages your strengths, mitigates risk and creates competitive advantage. Stated below are some of the challenges you may face in the journey of building up an online reputation:
Getting insights about your customers – KYC (Know Your Customer)
The healthcare industry is similar to any other business in which you need to “know your customer” well before drafting any strategy to target them online. In healthcare, the customers are patients who are now empowered with digital platforms to make their health decisions. It’s of utmost importance to be where your patients are, i.e. social media, hospital review websites and blog posts. By understanding the patient sentiment and what exactly they look for while receiving treatment, you can get deep insight into their mind-sets.
Shaping patient expectations and experience to provide patient satisfaction
Online marketing offers a huge opportunity to reach out to new patients and grow your healthcare practice. But what remains a big challenge is to shape patient expectations to come up to their level of satisfaction. For percolating into the patient mind-sets and to know what is being said online about the hospital, it’s essential to proactively monitor social media sites, blogs and review websites. If there is negative/biased content about the hospital, the online marketing team should make efforts to turn it around. An appropriate response to patient feedback, suggestions or grievances gives them the satisfaction that their concerns are addressed and helps build brand loyalty for the hospital. Based on the patient experiences at the hospital, chalk out a strategy and channel it to improve services at the hospital facility. Arm your employees by training them to deliver the best patient experiences.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Transparency about the quality of healthcare and patient safety
Digitally empowered consumers prioritize high-quality and cost-effective healthcare while making their healthcare decisions. Constant online interaction with patients and responding instantly to any negative comment/review establishes a sense of trust and transparency about your hospital practices. Patients should get the feeling that the hospital will strive to provide nothing less than the best healthcare services. When patients feel that they are being heard and efforts are made to resolve their issues to make their experiences better, they feel a sense of credibility toward the hospital. These conversations are visible to many others who make a perception – positive or negative – based on how the hospital authorities deal with negative patient experiences. Handling negative reviews correctly demonstrates transparency in the hospital’s practices.
Providing health and healthy-living information on your hospital’s website is also a good idea to develop a bond with online health decision-makers. The marketing team can also create a direct communication link between the patients and physicians to facilitate real-time interaction. Patient feedback can be collected and analyzed to improve patient services.
The high bar of healthcare services and cut-throat market competition has made it imperative for hospitals to be proactive and take charge of their online reputation. Demand for transparent quality information online is rising quickly. Digital sources of information have become first stop for the patient decision-making process, and how hospitals build and maintain a positive online reputation has become fundamentally important. So take control of your online reputation and keep your hospital’s online reputation “healthy.”