Damaging online reviews have become commonplace in the medical and health community. All over the world, qualified and skilled dermatologists are being attacked with negative online reviews. All it takes is one negative review or a defamatory social media post to damage the online reputation of a dermatology practice.
If a negative online review is connected with your name or practice, it will deter potential patients from scheduling an appointment at your practice. According to a recent study, more than 50 percent of respondents looked for product reviews on their mobile phones before choosing their dermatologist. With over 1 million video channels with product and service reviews, YouTube has become one of the biggest and most trusted sources for online reviews.
Review websites such as Healthgrades and RealSelf are frequently visited by potential and existing patients. A dermatology practice can get impacted by online reviews, especially negative ones. This is because the skin is the most visible part of the body, and patients are sensitive to their choice of a dermatologist.
A dermatologist should pay attention to generating positive reviews and handling negative reviews. Potential patients will be more influenced by what your current patients are saying about your practice, rather than self-publicity. A positive review from a third-party site or a current patient can be the strongest form of endorsement for a dermatologist.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
In today’s world when one in every five patients are searching online for a dermatologist, showing up in a potential patient’s search results, especially with positive reviews, can give you an advantage over competitors.
The question is: How can you make your dermatology practice stand out? Luckily, with these six tips, you will be able to enhance your practice’s online reputation and attract new patients.
- Create a profile on review sites: In order to communicate with potential patients in a competitive environment, your practice website and blog are not sufficient. You will need to invest part of your marketing effort in creating trust through third-party review sites such as HealthGrades, Vitals, Yelp and many more. When a potential patient searches online to find a local dermatology practice, these review sites play a critical role in influencing their decision. These sites, along with search engines like Google, can help you reach your target audience even before they find your practice website. However, you must make sure that contact information is updated and that your profile provides an accurate description of your skills and specialties. Also, if your profile was created by someone else, it is important that you claim your profile and make necessary changes in it. For instance, one of your patients may have listed an incorrect fax number. By claiming your profile, you will be able to ensure that potential patients see only the updated information and contact you.
- Track online conversations: Tracking online conversations is all about listening to your patients and knowing what is being posted about your practice on social media sites. You can use tools such as Google Alerts and Social Mention to track and manage online conversations. However, it is critical that you claim and verify all public listings of your practice on local online directories. By claiming and verifying your listing, you can get control over what is posted under your practice’s name.
- Ask for reviews: Have you ever asked your patients for reviews? After every appointment, you should contact your patients through email, telephone or a postcard and request them to post online reviews. Also, it is a good idea to educate your patients on the correct way to post reviews. Most patients do not bother leaving reviews on your social media pages simply because they do not realize the importance of reviews for the success of your dermatology practice.
- Stay active on social media: Practices that maintain an active and positive presence on social media sites are able to gather more reviews than those that do not. According to a report by Syncapse, a practice’s social media followers are more loyal and tend to engage and advocate more. That is why it is important for practices to spend quality time on social media activities. These activities can be as simple as responding to comments posted on your Facebook page or sharing general health-related content.
- Provide excellent customer service: Most often, unhappy patients do not complain; they just never come back to your practice. If you do not provide excellent service to your patients, they will never bother telling you about your mistakes and how you can improve your products or services. Angry customers, in addition to not returning to your practice, will likely tell others about their disappointing experience. This ripple effect of one unhappy customer can be very damaging to your reputation. The first and last impressions will leave a lasting impact on your patients. Make sure your employees are providing excellent customer service. Don’t ever allow your staff to make a patient feel unwanted, because no patient would like to repeat that feeling. Warm and welcoming staff members will help a patient feel connected to your practice and may generate a positive review.
- Acknowledge your reviewers: Irrespective of the nature of online reviews you have received, you must contact every reviewer who leaves a review for your practice. If you notice a positive review on your practice’s social media page, be sure to thank the reviewer. You can also seek the reviewer’s permission before sharing the feedback on other social media channels. Similarly, you must contact patients who left negative reviews, as ignoring these will only make matters worse. Try to pacify the unhappy patient and resolve the issue. Negative reviews may present an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and enhance your service.
If you are looking to improve the online reputation of your dermatology practice, get in touch with the MyPracticeReputation team today to discuss the most efficient solutions for building and maintaining a strong online reputation.