Like it or not, you and your practice already have an online reputation. Are you managing it?
You might think, “I’m safe because I have not set up an account on Yelp, so people can’t post about my practice.” Think again. Reviewers don’t need your account or even your permission to post on Yelp or Google about their experience at your practice. Even if someone just posts on their personal social media page about your practice, it can become part of your online reputation.
You have three choices when it comes to online reputation: 1) ignore it and hope it goes away (trust me, it will not go away), 2) try to manage it yourself, or 3) get professional help.
If you decide to go it alone, know that there are several components to managing an online reputation:
1. Monitor Use online tools to scour the internet to see what people are saying about you or your practice, including all social media outlets.
2. Manage Respond quickly to people who post about your practice (positive or negative), and make sure your business listings are correct. Some sites , such as Yelp and Google, may have already created a business listing for your practice from what they find on the internet.
3. Market Actively use internet techniques and tools to help “shape” your online reputation.
4. Benchmark Compare your practice’s online reputation to other practices to see how you stack up.
If you’re busy and don’t have the time (or inclination) to follow these steps, get professional help. There are several companies that will take care of these steps and more. Their sole job is to make sure you and your practice’s online reputation are managed well and look good. Here are a few programs to try.
This platform allows businesses to see a comprehensive BirdEye view-what their customers are saying across all channels, including review sites, social media, Net Promoter Score surveys and support cases. BirdEye’s natural language processing and big data engine convert all the unstructured customer feedback into actionable insights, so businesses can benchmark performance across all their locations and against their competitors. In addition, the reputation-marketing platform auto-promotes businesses’ positive reputations across search engines, social media and review sites so they can acquire new customers.
One nice feature Reputation.com offers is to search the internet for any mentions about your practice and then put that data into a summary on a detailed dashboard. This is helpful for alerting you that patients or prospective customers were on the internet talking about your practice so you can respond quickly. The dashboard offers a reputation score so you can gauge your online presence as well as analytics that help you improve your online reputation and gain revenue. The service can manage your reputation for you, or you can use the dashboard information to do it yourself.
Patient Engagement Software
Software companies that can offer a lot of help managing your online reputation include Solutionreach and Demandforce. These two companies are well known in our industry as champions of online reputation management and will also help your practice get good online reviews in the “online pipeline.”
Solutionreach aggregates web reviews of your practice and compiles results for your dashboard. The software will also help solve the opposite problem-lack of reviews-by directing patients to sites where reviews are needed.
Demandforce collects and shares your patients’ reviews on your website, social media platforms and Demandforce business profile.
This is important to you (and your practice), so make a plan and get started monitoring, managing and improving your online reputation.
Bob Main is an optical industry veteran with over 35 years of experience in the eyecare industry, in which he is a business development consultant. He is currently a consultant to NASA on eyecare technology.
WHERE TO FIND IT: BirdEye 800.561.3357 • BirdEye.com // Demandforce 800.210.0355 • optometry.demandforce.com // Reputation.com firstname.lastname@example.org • reputation.com // Solutionreach 866.605.6867 • solutionreach.com