After the recent upheaval in online reviews, business owners have walked away from their computer screens disgruntled and anxious over what their patients have said or will say. However, there are a few small things every practice can engage in to make those negative reviews look positive.
1 . Understand Reputation Management
According to Gartner, there are 1 billion people on Social Media networks and by the end of 2012, 67% of those people will already have used social media to hash out their customer service issues. That’s a lot of people, both current and potential patients, who want to communicate with you via social media.
Whether for better or for worse, the social media platforms are constantly changing. That means that you, as the business owner, need to invest a bit of time into finding your local profiles, claiming them, and using those websites as tools of growth for your practice.
The top three review sites are Google+, Yelp, and CitySearch, Site Jabber, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, and Insider Pagesas the runner ups. Look into these sites and start optimizing them as though your own personal website.
2. Respond to Patients
As stated previously, consumers want to use social media as a way of communication, so keeping up with them in their preferred manner is the way to make them happy.
Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, check in every once in a while and respond to your patients. If it’s positive, great! A short response thanking them for their review and a short snippet about how much you enjoyed working with them is a good place to start showing your potential patients that you’re engaged. In the same right, if the review is negative, apologize for their negative experience and offer solutions or explanations.
Don’t get Defensive
Explaining changes in management, a rare scheduling issue, or insurance payment guidelines to a patient can ride on the thin line of being defensive. If there are such issues, explain the goals of your practice in a way that answers their problem, or simply apologize without explanation.
If a review makes you really anxious or even upset, make sure to take a stroll or sleep on it to mull the review over in your head before responding.
Constantly Update your Content
Content is a very vague word here as there are many things you can do with your local directories. First, posting images has become the new form of information, especially with the rise of social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Pictures are also a good way to engage present patients. Snap a photograph of a patient in their new glasses and ask them for their permission to post on your local sites. Most will be excited to be pseudo-models for the day!
Second, posting trendy articles that relate to your demographics of patients helps them see that you leave your practice every once in a while to check out the current social landscape. It can be anything from health-related topics to celebrity eyewear as long as it’s somewhat relevant, it’s a goldmine!
Lastly, keeping your patients up-to-date on the current offers and happenings in the office is a great way to keep people coming for more. If you don’t have any special promotions going on, create an event that brings the community together such as a charity concert, or family BBQ.
If you use the local directories available to your advantage, you’ll never see a review in a negative light again.