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Important Steps to Take to Manage Your Online Reputation

As a busy healthcare professional, you don’t always have the time to keep track of your online reputation. One negative review may not ruin your practice, but it certainly doesn’t help. You may not even realize that negative reviews are out there for the world to see until it’s too late. Fortunately, there are some ways to mitigate the effects of bad press. You just need to be proactive. Here are some steps to take when managing your online reputation.

Step 1: Know where you stand.
You have to know where you stand in order to improve. Monitoring all of the major review sites is impossible as a sole practitioner or busy healthcare practice, but there are services available to handle this task for you. Technology can be used to alert you to new posts or to tell you when a review may require your response. You can also invest in tools and resources that allow you to resolve disputes. While you may not be able to remove comments unless they’re defamatory in some way, you can keep up with negative reviews and respond to them professionally. Generating positive feedback from satisfied patients, as described below, will also portray a better image to future clients.

Step 2: Explain yourself.
There are multiple sides to every story, and one bad review shouldn’t be the end of yours. If you’re keeping up with your reviews online, then you should make sure to tell your half of the story so that potential patients get a clearer picture. Keep it simple and objective. There’s no need to match the negativity of the original post.

Step 3: Communicate with good patients.
When people read reviews online, they expect some amount of negativity. After all, not every doctor-patient relationship is a good fit. However, you should reach out to satisfied patients to encourage them to give you positive reviews. The more legitimately positive reviews you have, the better your chance will be of attracting similar patients.

According to BrightLocal’s annual Local Consumer Review Survey of 2014, nearly nine out of 10 consumers read online reviews in order to determine a local business’s quality. Doctors, dentists, medical offices and others in the healthcare industry are providing an invaluable service, but they’re also running a business. Staying on top of your online reputation allows you to track negative reviews, encourage positive ones and attract new patients.

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