Plastic surgeons have always known how essential it is to maintain a good reputation among their patients and peers as well as in their community. In the past damage to one’s professional reputation was somewhat limited to the scope of influence a person making a negative comment had. Online doctor reviews have great increased the scope of influence one person can have and thus changed matters significantly.
No medical professional can afford to ignore the influence of social media and the resulting accessibility of online doctor reviews. False information and negative comments are no longer relegated to idle chatter at the supermarket but can now move at light speed. Tweets are retweeted to large numbers of followers, Facebook comments are liked, shared and reposted on blogs, and entire diatribes are farmed out to article mills.
Commenting about your practice is no longer a passive activity that depends on someone coming along to have their ear bent on the golf course. An increasing number of potential patients are actively researching online doctor reviews. There are numerous websites dedicated to nothing more than patients detailing their experiences with physicians.
This doesn’t mean online doctor reviews are your enemy. It does mean you need to get ahead of the game and turn online doctor reviews to your advantage. Three ways to accomplish that are so simple many medical professionals fail to use them.
Ask for Them
It sounds too easy but it works. Don’t sabotage the process by asking clients to give you a glowing review. Rather wait until a relationship is built with a patient and then ask if they would think about writing a brief review. Let them know you value them as a patient and take their judgment seriously.
Have a moderated review page on your web site or a link that points to your Google Places page where patients can leave reviews. Younger patients are the most likely to be turned off by asking for a review. This is where a Facebook business page and Twitter have added value. The social media generation is already accustomed to expressing itself online.
Respond to Them
Have a regular process for reading every online review you can find. When it’s a good review, thank the patient. When it’s bad, thank the patient. Most professionals find the best way to deal with a negative review is NOT online. Instead, contact the reviewer personally and see what can be done to repair the relationship. Many patients dealt with in this manner often will go back and leave a positive review as a result.
Some businesses work can operate on a “numbers game” philosophy. A used car lot in a big city store, for example, can operate under the following correct assumption: a lot of people buy cars, we have cheap cars; therefore, as long as we put a sign up that says “we sell cheap cars” we’ll do decent business even if we do have some dissatisfied customers.
As every plastic surgeon knows, that is not an assumption that applies to their profession. A cosmetic surgery practice thrives on its reputation built often on the foundation of solid referrals from pleased clients. That is why it is essential you keep track of online doctor reviews and respond the right way to those that are about you.
If you don’t have the time to track all the reviews being posted about you online, let us do it for you for free!