Reputation is at the heart of a brand’s image, especially in healthcare. If you find yourself dealing with a bad reputation, it could have a major impact on whether or not patients feel comfortable coming to you. If not dealt with right away, you may experience a domino effect as word spreads to stay away from your practice or facility. Luckily, there are steps you can take to fix it.
Assess the Situation
Before you panic, take a closer look at what may be affecting your online reputation. If it’s only a few “bad” patient reviews out of many positive comments, most people will overlook the negative ones. In many cases, it’s not as dire a situation as you may think. Assessment also means:
Identifying the source(s) of your bad reputation
Checking your overall online stats to determine the impact
Seeing what the reaction has been since your reputation first took a hit
Determine Your Level of Control
Shift your focus to the issues with your reputation that you can control. If the source of your reputation problem is a single issue, a well-prepared response may counteract the damage. If it’s a series of negative reviews and ratings, determine the validity of what’s being said. In some cases, you may be taking a hit because of old directory listings and re-posted negative reviews from several years ago.
Clearly Show You’re Working On Improvements
With eight out of ten people looking for doctor information online, doing nothing at all isn’t an option. Instead, address any valid issues with your practice or medical facility head on. People tend to be forgiving if they see you are:
Willing to admit fault with valid issues
Actively making adjustments or changes
Truly concerned and committed to restoring your rep
Think Big Picture and Long Term
The process of reputation repair is going to be gradual and progressive. Consider working with a marketing firm if the problem is widespread and not limited to a few negative comments. Since most people will judge your practice or facility based on what they see on search engine results pages, you may benefit from adjustments to your keywords and content geared towards putting your positive attributes on display.
When it comes to reputation management, being proactive is essential. Further diminish any negative comments by encouraging patients to submit reviews or post comments after their visit. If your practice is active on social media, staying engaged with your followers can also minimize reputation issues.