Yelp yourself- Do you have an online reputation strategy?

Delighted or disgusted- the first thing to understand is that online reviews of your practice or therapists are written by a patient’s most recent experience. As a result, an office that provides good service most of the time, but occasionally keeps a patient waiting a little too long, can easily find itself with a relatively large number of scathing reviews.

But even if your practice has been hit by some negative online reviews, most patients understand that no office is perfect all of the time. The best way to deal with a few negative online reviews is to understand what is driving them, try to anticipate and correct the problems, and build up positive reviews from happy patients to create a more realistic view of your practice.

Here are 5 easy tips to manage your online reputation strategy:

  1. Monitor Rating and Social Media Sites:
    • Yelp and your social media pages are a good place to start. You or someone you elect in your office should check reviews and your social media pages daily. This person should report back to the office what he or she finds. It’s critical to respond to the reviews and comments quickly, emphasize privacy and let the patient know how important it is to speak by phone or in person about the issue.
  2. Communicate Well with Patients:
    • It starts at check-in- simply letting patients know what to expect next and when to expect it can make all the difference. Letting a patient know that your appointments are running 15 minutes late will be a lot happier than a patient who waits 15 minutes wondering if they’ll be waiting an hour. Your whole team should be vigilant about keeping patients informed.
  3. Be Upfront about Payment Responsibility
    • Many patients end up confused and angry at the practice when hit with unexpected costs, and they often now turn online to voice their displeasure. It’s in everyone interest to be clear about what the patient is expected to pay at each visit- and it’s also better for your bottom line that your staff is comfortable collecting from the patients in a professional manner.
  4. Check-in at Check-out
    • It’s not a bad idea to dedicate staff to checking patients out; they can play a hugely beneficial role by simply and sincerely asking each patient how their visit went. When you practice messes up (nobody is perfect) having someone listening to the complaint can make a huge difference. If the patient is really upset, the administrator can personally offer and apology.
  5. Aim to Delight
    • It’s amazing to see what a truly service-oriented staff can do. When patients are greeted by staff that is committed to care for each patient, your practice can stand apart from the typical practice where staff seems disinterred or too bust to bother.