When it comes to research for important decision-making processes, especially for medical and health inquiries, online reputation & reviews for doctors, dentists and physicians can be the difference between getting a new patient or deterring others from making an appointment. Statistics show local businesses which offer a service that is most likely to affect our health and well-being, safety, or comfort and hospitality, are those that people believe a strong reputation is most important.When asked, “For which of these local business types does ‘Reputation’ matter the most when choosing a business?”

Here were the key findings:

Doctor / Dentist – 47%
Restaurants / Cafe – 46%
Hotel / B&B – 30%
Garage / Car Dealer – 30%

As you can see, the majority of customers believed a Doctor or Dentist’s reputation mattered most. Which leads up to the importance of why local medical and hospitality businesses should take additional steps to ensure that not only a good reputation, but that this is also clearly represented online through positive reviews. After all, in this era of technology where people can communicate with one another and share information instantly, it’s no surprise that people rely on reviews from complete strangers online to inspire trust in a business. It’s a radical idea when you actually depict it; however, it’s something we need to get on board with to be successful or risk falling behind.

Now, this information isn’t meant to worry Physicians who are currently running their own their own practice. There are strategies to help you manage your online reputation and reviews.

Ask patients to rate you

  • Hand your patients a card that provides a link to a patient review website.
  • Keep a tablet at the front desk. Ask your patients to take a moment to rate you on their way out.
  • Create a link on your clinic website that will direct patients to a patient review website

The purpose of this strategy is to get one to two reviews a week at a minimum. You can do this by finding a way to ask every patient to leave a review. Essentially, having a higher number of reviews can actually dilute any negative reviews.

Embrace reviews

This goes back to the fact that people will turn to reviews before considering choosing your medical center for their healthcare needs. Meet your patients’ expectations by appearing in their search results. Having a strong internet presence through reviews is how they will gain trust in your clinic. Think of reviews as a good thing for your local business!

Don’t ignore negative comments or reviews

Some medical review websites will allow a physician to respond to a negative review. If it is allowed, your response will be public. In this case, ensure your response acknowledges their concerns in a general way. Show prospective patients you’re serious about creating a positive resolution, and an overall good outcome for the patient.  

“We are sorry to hear you were unhappy with your visit, please get in contact with us so that we may resolve your concerns.  We strive to provide positive experiences for our patients and would like to offer our help in any way we can.”

It is always best to call or get in contact with your patient to offer solutions to resolve their concerns, so that they may change or remove their negative review.  

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