Most practices we encounter have a passive awareness of their online reputation. They have Googled themselves so they can see their average star ratings on some of the heavy hitters—Google, Yelp, etc. If they occasionally read the reviews, that is one step better. Better still, responding to both positive and negative reviews. But what would happen if you made it an active part of your routine—to monitor online reviews? How much time would that take? And would it have measurable benefits for your practice?
It may sound time-consuming to do, but in reality, an online reputation report can be easy to pull together—with the right communications tool (ehem…Zingit!), you can monitor online reviews. And it can tell you volumes about how your practice is doing and what can be done better. With the right action steps based on what the data says, monitoring online reviews can also help you take charge of your online reputation, letting others know how amazing your practice is and bringing in new business.
What should an online reputation report include?
1. How many reviews?
It’s important to know how often people leave reviews. And the more reviews you get the better. Having no reputation is almost the same thing as having no credit. And having no credit is almost the same as having bad credit. People searching for your practice online love to see that the practice is popular, so a big volume of reviews is great to see. Also, people want to see reviews that are fresh and recent—it helps them to know that if you have a good rating, it is still a current good rating.
Action step. If you don’t have many online reviews, this is a great opportunity to begin an automatic text campaign after patients have taken some particular step with your practice. Perhaps a request for a star-rating is sent after their first visit, and if they leave a positive star rating, you encourage them to leave the rating for your practice on important sites like Yelp, Google, and more. And when you get new great reviews, publish them to your website and social media profiles to let the world know. (Using Zingit, you can even auto-publish them to make it extra-easy to get the word out about a new great review!)
2. How many patient reviews overtime?
In addition to how many ratings, you want to see how many patient reviews you have gotten over time. This is especially helpful if you implement a new program to try to garner reviews. This stat can give you a measure of your success in growing your online ratings. You also can see if you ever have a significant drop off in reviews and assess why.
Action step. If you have exhausted all of your opportunities for getting reviews from new patients, this might be an opportunity to go into your backlog of regular patients you have had for years to see if any of them want to let the online world know how great you are.
3. Where are my patients’ reviews being left?
A good online reputation report keeps track of where patients leave ratings. This ensures you are spending time on sites where it matters most. It also helps you to see where you might need to boost your presence.
Action step. Where it is available, ensure you have claimed any and all profiles in places where patients leave reviews. If patients aren’t leaving ratings on a site that is important in searches, you might ask for a star rating and then encourage positive reviewers to leave reviews where you are missing a presence. You can give a direct link to your business’s profile page to make it easy.
4. What is your average rating?
This extremely important piece of data can make or break a potential patient’s decision to visit your practice. Consider these two facts: 74% of users say they will not select a retailer with a poor reputation (Harris Interactive), and a 1-star difference in reviews results in 5-9% change in revenue (Harvard Business Review). You want to keep a pulse on where your practice stands.
Action step. If your star rating could use a boost, first take a look at negative ratings and see if there is anything you can fix within your practice. In addition, you likely do have a lot of very happy patients—your practice is amazing, right? People are more likely to go online with complaints than they are with compliments—unless you ask them to. Consider making an ask using a text link to your happy patients to get that star rating headed in the right direction.
5. What are people talking about?
A good online reputation report will offer you a word cloud—words that pop up often within reviews. And a great report will separate the words into positive and negative word clouds. This report can, in a snapshot, help you to see what a lot of people think about when they leave your practice.
Action step. The words repeated often will give you clear action steps to take—continue doing the positive things, and take care of the negative things pronto. If a lot of people say the same positive things, use this in your branding—it clearly is a marker that you excel at. If a lot of people say the same negative things, this even gives you an opportunity to fix it. Then go back into those negative reviews and, if available, respond, letting them know that you’ve rectified the situation and how. This will be important for patients who are reading the negative reviews to see—that you want to fix things where they went wrong.
As you can probably sense, monitoring online reviews is not just about knowing where you stand. Rather, it gives you the opportunity to take steps that will ultimately allow you to take charge of and boost your online reputation. This is time well spent, as it is extremely valuable in getting new patients to your practice, boosting your bottom line.
Zingit Solutions makes monitoring your online reputation so easy. Our robust program ties into your existing practice management software, which we can connect to your online review sites. From there, you can generate an easy-to-read online reputation report that will help you take an active role in boosting your online reputation. And this is just one small benefit Zingit provides as part of a total patient communications plan.
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