Reputation management is key for your practice
By Jessica Taylor

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Whether you're a small or major practice, you live or die by your reputation. Reputation management is the process of identifying what other people are saying or feeling about you or your business, and taking steps to ensure that the general consensus is in line with your goals. Most of reputation management is focused on pushing down negative search results.

INDUSTRY PULSE

How often do you respond to online reviews?
  • 1. Always
  • 2. Sometimes
  • 3. Never

Reputation management may attempt to bridge the gap between how a company perceives itself and how others view it. But does your practice successfully follow through with this? If you haven't started following through with this, your practice could be put in a negative spotlight.

Would you go into a medical practice that had bad reviews of the office environment and staff? Probably not, and you'll want to avoid this scenario with your patients. Here are a few tips to get started:
  1. Communicate with social media — Social media is one of the strongest ways to interact with your community, patients, friends and family. Actively communicate with them through this platform. Find out their likes, dislikes, what makes them tick. This will help you establish a platform of how to get them involved within your practice and will allow them to visit more frequently than before. It will also allow you to have a common ground with your patients, which leads out the negativity. Happy patients, happy practice.

  2. Maintain the message — Make sure your social media management mirrors your other Web content. All marketing channels need to have the same "atmosphere" as your social media. Have one person in charge of all aspects of your Web content so that you don't have several voices out there for your practice.

  3. Respond to reviews — Establish where your patients talk and search out the typical platforms where reviews are seen — Yelp, Angie's List, Google, Yahoo, etc. Once you locate your practice on these sites, respond to every review on there. Negative or positive, each one needs a response. This will show your patients that you care about their feedback and will work to improve your practice based on their comments. When responding, remember to always be positive. In the customer service world, the patient is always right. After all, you want to make the patient happy in order for him/her to return to your practice and refer you to his/her friends and family.

  4. Prepare for the negativity — Whether it be online or in your office or if you have a large or small practice, everyone needs to be prepared for a crisis. Come up with worst-case scenarios and what the best remedies and plans of action online would be for that event. Proactive reputation management helps you deal with the crises before they occur. These tools can help communicate your practice's stance on the issue, address press concerns and explain your next steps.
Follow these few steps and you'll be on your way to having a successful practice with your valued patients following and supporting you in every aspect of your practice.

Jessica Taylor is a content editor at MultiBriefs specializing in the nursing and healthcare industries.