Repairing and Rebuilding your Online Reputation
Your online reputation is arguably one of the biggest assets you have in your dental marketing arsenal. Now more than ever it is easy for customers and potential patients to learn who you are, what your dental practice stands for, and how people have experienced your practice.
Reputation management is one of the most common things we see dental practices seeking help with. This is because patients who are very unhappy tend to leave reviews more than those who have had an “ok” experience. These negative review far outweigh any positive reviews you have.
More often than not we see either very happy or very unhappy patients writing reviews. The goal of reputation management is to respond to all reviews with integrity, compassion, and transparency. A crucial part of your dental marketing strategy should be reputation management, so you push the bad reviews down, filter the best reviews of your business, and choose what your clients see.
Who needs reputation management?
Reputation management isn’t something that only certain practices need. Every dental practice should have a reputation management team on their side. The public perception of your company is a fragile thing, one that can easily be destroyed with just a single bad review.
One of the wisest medical marketing ideas out is the implementation of a comprehensive reputation management program that responds to both positive and negative reviews.
Can I get reviews removed?
No. Companies like Google and Facebook make it nearly impossible to remove reviews because of the fact that they seek to maintain trust and transparency with the people who come to them for reviews.
The good news is that if your reviews are on the second page of Google, they pretty much don’t exist. This is why reputation management is so important – it seeks to push down negative reviews and display positive reviews.
How long does reputation management take?
Like search engine optimization reputation management is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a task that requires constant vigilance. It’s impossible to say how long reputation management will take, however, the more negative reviews you have spread out online the longer it will take to get those under control.
This is because each website, from Google to Facebook, is indexed differently in Google. This means that you need a strategy for each domain.
How do I rebuild my online reputation?
Because rebuilding your online reputation takes a lot of time, it’s best to not let your reputation get out of control in the first place. This is only possible through regular staff training on customer service, setting strict guidelines for serving and interacting with customers, and developing guidelines to respond to customers with complaints.
Inevitably, even the best dental practice will get a bad review. It’s how you respond to these reviews that makes a difference. After all, people want to see that there are humans behind a practice, not just mindless robots.
Respond | Take the time to respond to all reviews. You want to respond in a timely manner, but not so quickly that you didn’t take the time to actually think through your answer. If a patient responds that they had a bad experience take a second to look them up in your system. Understand what they were in for and offer a solution that makes sense to them.
Oftentimes practices may feel like they’re being asked for too much, however, it’s important that you weight the value of pleasing a patient compared to the reviews they could post.
Be Empathetic | Put yourself in the shoes of the frustrated patient. How would you feel if your perception was what they were experiencing. Remember that for patients perception is reality. By remaining empathetic to your patients’ situations will help you respond to their needs in an appropriate manner.
Thank Your Customer | Yes, even those who have posted bad reviews. Thank them for honest feedback and the opportunity to make the situation right for them. By remaining humble and open you show customers that you are doing your best to serve them.
Be Precise | Don’t play the whole he said she said game. Be clear and to the point. Get to the heart of the issue. Understand the fact, understand what the chief complaint is, and address those in the most professional and caring manner possible.
Your final response to a complaint should be clear, concise, honest, and own up to any problems on your end. Reassure the customer that you’re doing your best to fix the situation and that you will improve. And then be sure to improve and follow up on your word. If you do come up with a solution to fix the situation be sure to come back and update your response.
Optimized 360 Reputation Management
We have seen firsthand the impact of reputation management. This is why our comprehensive reputation management program works to create a complete business listing that includes photos of your business and details about practice.
Once your practice’s page is set up patients will be given a link to submit their review without having to create an account or login. This is an important factor, because you’re asking customers for reviews and need to make the process of submitting reviews as simple as possible.
After patients submit reviews you can go through the reviews, analyze them, and approve which ones are displayed or not. Over time this customized review page will work it’s way to the top of Google and push down any negative review that might have found their way online.
Now, even if you have a program like our reputation management program, it’s still important that you respond to all reviews on other websites. Having a team supporting you through this marathon is the best way to ensure it’s done successfully. Without a team to vet reviews, write up responses, and craft creative solutions to client needs you would find yourself feeling overwhelmed and likely choosing to bury your head in the sand. Don’t do that! Do what’s best for your practice and start responding to all reviews. You’ll be glad you did.