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Building a Successful Reputation Management Program

Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Positive patient reviews on the Internet can push tons of new patients to you and really help reduce your advertising expense. But, according to a recent study, just one negative review about your elective surgery practice can cost you 30 new patients or more.

We live in a world where one’s reputation is formed by a few vocal patients. Why? Because we are all doing so many more things every day than ever in history, we only have time to make quick decisions based on the information at hand. So, a good online review or a bad online review can make all the difference in our decisions.

Thankfully there are new tools that can be used to both reduce the impact of poor reviews and enhance your ability to get a steady stream of positive reviews. Some of the work will be done by your staff in the office and some of it can be done by an external source.  We have outlined the top 8 components of building a successful online reputation.

Top 8 Components to Building a Successful Online Reputation

#1:  Patient Experience. This is by far the most important.  The old adage of “you catch more bees with honey” has never been more accurate. By extending courteous and professional interactions with your patients every day, with every contact, your practice’s reputation will develop as the “go to” place.  It is important to understand how patients perceive their experience.   We believe that surveying your patients is the easiest way to understand where you can improve. But, most importantly, you must find the exceptionally happy people and ask them for a review.

#2:  Knowledgeable Staff.  Your staff is the face of your business once a patient arrives or calls.  How are they at dealing with patients? Could they easily and professionally handle an unhappy patient?  Do they need training or support on how to deal with unhappy patients to turn them into at least a semi-satisfied patient?  Can they formulate appropriate responses to online reviews?

#3:  Monitoring Your Online Presence.   Is someone in your practice monitoring this?  Bad reviews can kill your business.  We’ve quoted this stat before, but we’ll say it again. 1 Negative review on a social media site can cost 30 new customers!  (Convergys, Mar 2012).  There are over 200 social and review sites to monitor.  For this reason alone, you may consider a service to automate this process.  (Contact Fast Track Marketing for more details on this.) 

#4:  Review Generation.  Get your staff members asking happy patients for online reviews.  Your staff knows who is happy and who isn’t.  Those happy patients are singing your praises in those first days and weeks after their elective surgery procedure.  Help them to share their experience!

#5:  Website.  How good is your website at attracting new patients and most importantly converting them.  When we first start working with practices, many of them have a bounce rate (people who stay on the site for only a few seconds and leave) of 70-85% (currently, our clients average 50%).  This means that your website is not capturing your audience.    Your website is how people learn about you and is your first opportunity to make an impression.  If you have a mediocre site that doesn’t capture their attention, they might just assume you are mediocre too.

#6:  Search Engine Optimization.  You can have the most beautiful and interactive site in the world but that will do absolutely nothing for you if you do not have good SEO.  SEO will help build your online foundation should any bad things occur.  When people search for a service, your SEO is what will make you searchable or not.

#7:  Blogging.  This has been a hot topic for quite awhile.  Essentially, practices know it’s a nice perk to have on the internet but they don’t always know why.  Keyword rich blogs that link back to your website help boost your SEO.  Enhanced SEO of your site should result in more traffic for you and enhanced listing on the search engine.

#8:  Social Media.  It’s not just a passing fad.  Find ways to enhance you social sites to make them appealing to prospects in addition to getting reviews and recommendations from patients on your sites.   Would you think highly of your social sites if you were a consumer right now viewing it?  There are many ways to boost your fans and leads from social media. Once you learn them, you must practice them religiously.

You have to be both proactive and reactive in order to keep your patients – and future patients – happy.  Prospective patients will look at your online presence to guide them on making their decisions.  Word of Mouth has been replaced by Word of Internet.

If you would like to discuss these topics or find out more about what Fast Track Marketing can offer your practice, call Brandi Musgrave at 303.731.2634 or email her at