Imagine going about your business, treating patients, when one day someone brings to your attention a review of your practice. You hope it’s a shining 5-star review that raves about how amazing you are and how caring your office staff is, but once you see it you realize it’s a dreaded negative review.
Your entire world seems to crash before you. Ok, not really. But it might as well. After all, you’ve heard from other doctors about how hard it is to get a bad review taken down and how once you get one, the others seem to just pile on.
Reviews can make or break how successful a medical or dental practice is. Read this blog post to learn more. Just think about how often you take the time to research something online and are influenced by reviews. Yeah, pretty much every day. From where to eat to where to get your hair cut to the best plumber in town; online reviews make a huge difference in how people view your business.
While it’s true that getting reviews taken off of sites like Yelp is pretty difficult, managing your reputation online is an important part of maintaining control of how people view your business and ultimately ensuring your profits stay up and practice continues to grow.
But negatives reviews are so negative, how can I combat that?
Remember light always beats the darkness. The best way to combat negative reviews is by first and foremost seeking out positive reviews. The more positive reviews you have the more likely people are to give your practice the benefit of the doubt and chalk the negative ones up to a few angry patients who are impossible to please. Additionally, the more positive reviews you have the higher your average rating will be.
Another way to combat those negative reviews is to respond to them in a transparent, honest manner. Show the public that you’re willing to right any wrongs on your part and that you’ll take accountability for anything that did go wrong. More often than not people want to be heard. If you show them that they’re heard, oftentimes they’ll come back and change their review of your business from a negative one to a positive.
Pay Attention to Your SEO
Reviews in general play a big part in how well your practice ranks on search engines. Negative reviews tend to decrease rankings, whereas positive reviews typically influence search engines to rank you higher than a competitor who might not have as many great ratings. This is because search engines want to deliver the best results to their consumers – people performing searches. If they routinely deliver bad results, then people won’t use their search engines. By delivering results that have good rating search engines are giving the best, most reliable option to their customers as evidenced by the feedback of people who have experience with that business.
Google reviews are particularly important when it comes to SEO. This is because Google dominates the search engine world with over 70% of search traffic. The better you’re rated on their platform, the more likely you are to rank on SERPs (search engine results pages). Read more about SEO in this article.
Control What is and is Not Seen
One of the best ways to control your reputation is to take control of what is and is not seen. You can do this by having your own reputation management system put directly on your website. Through this system, patients don’t have to log into a website to write a review. They simply fill out the form on your page and submit it. You can choose to post a review if it fits your criteria or not publish if the review is unfair or not truthful.
Ask and You Shall Recieve
You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so make sure you’re asking patients to rate your practice. give them links to your Google and Facebook listings and encourage them to write a positive review if they’re pleased with their experience.
Make it a point to train your team to encourage patients to write reviews. And make sure that your follow up emails and reminder emails all have links people can click to get to where they need to go to write a review. Learn how to get more 5-star reviews in this blog post.
Referrals are Still Important
Another “category” of reviews, if you will, are referrals. These are still incredibly important and often are fuel by a combination of online reviews and word of mouth. Start a patient referral program to get the word out about your practice through the use of your best ambassadors: happy patients.
Oftentimes patients who feel they’ve benefitted from your practice are willing to go the extra mile to spread the word about you, so be sure to keep an eye out for those who have a special story that’s tied to your practice.