|By Mojgan M. | Solution21 | Senior Web Admin|
For most women, choosing a new physician – especially an OB/GYN – is a highly personal decision that requires careful thought and consideration. The vast majority will look for opinions and recommendations from other patients, often going online to find positive and negative reviews about local doctors. In the same way that positive reviews associated with your name could be driving traffic to your practice, negative reviews could be depriving your practice of new leads and first-time appointments.
As an OB/GYN, you know the importance of steering the conversation about your practice online. However, the burdens of running a medical practice and taking care of your patients leaves little time to worry about online reviews – especially when they are spread across multiple websites and review platforms. However, the fastest way to let your practice reputation die a painful death is to avoid managing it altogether.
Tips for Improving Your Online Reputation
There are several ways to redirect the conversation about your medical practice that is taking place on the Internet. Examples include:
Asking for Referrals
Word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing. If a close friend or family member recommends your practice, potential patients are much more likely to schedule an appointment – perhaps skipping the online review process altogether. Make a habit of asking for patient referrals in your office, and perhaps offer an incentive to patients who do so. You can also include a refer-a-friend button or page on your medical website to facilitate easy sharing online.
Responding to Negative Reviews
You may not be able to delete reviews about your practice left on third-party websites, but you can take steps to minimize the damage. You can start by addressing the negative comments of unhappy patients with an apology and an offer of resolution. Sometimes, the response is enough to rectify the situation and prompt the reviewer to change your rating. If not, your professional response is still visible to the public, allowing readers to read both sides of the conversation – not just one.
Leveraging Strong Patient Relationships
Your loyal and long-time patients are a major asset to your practice in more ways than one. Not only do they continue to support your practice year after year, but they could also hold the key to attracting new patients in the future. These patients may also be more likely to leave you a glowing review online – especially if you ask them to. You can personally ask your patients to leave a positive review, or you can include the request in your social media posts or in printed materials in your office. Remember, more positive reviews can offset fewer negative reviews and improve your overall rating.
Creating a Review Platform
You can only filter reviews on a website if you own or have administrative access to that website or platform. If you work with a professional reputation management company, such as Solution21, you may be able to pick and choose the reviews that you feel most accurately reflect your practice, and showcase them on your website or some other platform.
Marketing to Women
Social media is an important tool in reputation management. By creating an account on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular platforms, you can determine what type of information is in your practice profile. You can post your own testimonials, run special promotions, and give a face to your name.
Video testimonials are a powerful form of advertising and tend to hold more weight with viewers that written comments. When a patient is willing to put her face with the words she is saying, it gives the commentary more credence. You can post video testimonials directly on your website or on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
Professional Reputation Management for Obstetricians and Gynecologists
At Solution21, we offer professional reputation management for obstetricians and gynecologists who desire a better online image but do not have the time or experience to bring that vision to reality. We utilize a team of professionals and several digital tools to help us finely tune your practice reputation. For more information about professional reputation management for OB/GYNs or other medical practices, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.