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February 14, 2020

Top Customer Engagement Metrics to Measure

By: Kieran McQuilkin

With the increased growth of data analytics over the last few years, it can be hard to focus on the right metrics for measuring what matters most to your business. If you’re like most healthcare marketers or practice managers, you know that consumer engagement is one of the many areas you need to focus on…

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customer-engagement-metricsWith the increased growth of data analytics over the last few years, it can be hard to focus on the right metrics for measuring what matters most to your business. If you’re like most healthcare marketers or practice managers, you know that consumer engagement is one of the many areas you need to focus on to truly measure your efforts in gaining and retaining patients. 

Engagement metrics are often considered “soft metrics,” meaning they don’t show a definitive ROI, but they do reveal how your business is perceived by customers and predict your ability to grow your customer base.

But what metrics should you monitor to know if your consumer engagement efforts are going well? What kind of numbers or trends should you be reporting to executives?

If you’re not sure, you’re in luck. We’re breaking down the top customer engagement metrics that healthcare professionals should analyze regularly.

In this article we will cover:

  • Measuring the quality and volume of online reviews 
  • Tracking engagement with internal surveys and ratings
  • The importance of net promoter scores (NPS)

Quality and Volume of Online Reviews

Thanks to technology, patients are taking a more active role in finding healthcare providers by conducting online research before choosing a provider. Kyruus reported in 2018 that 33% of patients found a medical provider on their own online, and that percentage is sure to have increased over the last two years.

The quality and volume of patient reviews is one of the easiest ways for you to measure your customer engagement online and it has the most direct ROI affiliated with it. According to a Patient Pop survey, nearly 70% of patients consider having a positive online reputation as a key factor in choosing a provider.

If that isn’t enough of a reason to pay attention to your online reputation, remember that online reviews are a key indicator of patient satisfaction. Paying attention to what patients say online not only impacts your ability to attract new patients, but also helps identify opportunities to increase your current patient satisfaction and ultimately retention. 

When looking at your online reviews, pay particular attention to:

  • Number of reviews 
  • Overall rating 
  • Ease of booking appointments 
  • How quickly they were able to see a doctor  
  • If the quality of care matched the patient’s expectations

Managing your online reputation can be hard if you don’t have the right tools in place to monitor your listings across multiple sites. Technology like Binary Fountain’s online reputation management platform allows you to view all of your online reviews (like Google, Healthgrades and Facebook) in one place.

Additionally, Binary Fountain’s platform offers Patient Feedback Scores (PFS) and Physician Social Indexes (PSI). 

The PFS score represents all aspects of the patient experience at your practice (telephones, parking, etc.) and feedback about the physician. Your PSI score only focuses on feedback about the physician, and therefore more closely matches reviews the doctor may see online.

Our platform also allows you to track specific interactions with patients, so you can zero in on areas to improve and follow up directly with the patient from a service recovery perspective.

These are the kinds of metrics your practice managers and executive team are going to care about as they directly influence the bottom line.

Internal Survey Results

Similar to online reviews, the volume of customers responding to patient experience surveys is a good indicator of how your practice is perceived. If you are sending out a lot of surveys without much response, you may not be getting the kind of feedback you need to improve the patient experience.

Having low response rates could mean a variety of things, from patients being satisfied with your level of service to them having one foot out the door and exploring a different provider.

When looking at your survey results, pay close attention to these areas – they will probably have the most direct impact on your bottom line: 

  • Bedside manner of physicians and staff 
  • Patients feeling like they are listened to 
  • Wait times 
  • Physicians answering patient questions or concerns 
  • Patients receiving an accurate and timely diagnosis 

Getting this customer feedback will help your executives make the right operational decisions needed to improve patient retention, which should be the ultimate goal of your survey data. 

To inform you approach to attracting survey responses, we have this guide on how to write surveys that will be helpful for your patients and for your organization.

NPS Score

In addition to your online reputation management and internal surveys, no customer engagement metrics are complete without the net promoter score. This metric determines how likely your current patients are to recommend your practice to others.

This metric should give you a clear idea of how likely your current customers are to refer your practice to friends, family or other acquaintances. While online reviews are trusted just as much as personal referrals, personal recommendations are still the highest-quality lead possible for your business.

Don’t ignore your net promoter score if you want to focus on growing your patient base!

You Can Own Your Reputation Management

If you focus on these customer engagement metrics, you are sure to grow patient acquisition and retention for your practice. No healthcare marketing strategy is complete without an active plan for maintaining a good reputation online.

At Binary Fountain, we have the reputation management solutions your practice needs to manage all of your online reviews in one place, including post-visit surveys and social media platforms. We help businesses like yours organize customer feedback and get the actionable insights you need to make operational changes and improve the customer experience.

Download one of our free e-books or watch one of our free, on-demand webinars to learn more about how our reputation management platform can help you take control of your online presence.

Want a personalized tour of the Binary Fountain platform?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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February 12, 2020

10 Online Reputation Management Books for Savvy Digital Marketers

By: Kieran McQuilkin

What you’ll learn in this post: Which reputation management books are worth reading in 2020 How to uncover the best content and expert advice for ORM strategies Ways to build marketing skills and improve your company’s online presence About 1,000 books on Amazon have ‘online reputation’ in their title, so marketers have plenty of options…

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reputation-management-booksWhat you’ll learn in this post:

  • Which reputation management books are worth reading in 2020
  • How to uncover the best content and expert advice for ORM strategies
  • Ways to build marketing skills and improve your company’s online presence

About 1,000 books on Amazon have ‘online reputation’ in their title, so marketers have plenty of options when it comes to researching the topic. But which ones are worth your time? 

The short answer is that it depends what your goals are. Some reputation management books are written from a marketing perspective, exploring how companies can increase awareness, build interest, attract loyalty and generate business leads. Others dive into the trenches of online reputation protection and defense, analyzing public relations, legal issues, search engine marketing and customer service. 

Whatever you’re looking for in a reputation management book, there’s no magic formula or quick fix. Digital marketing pros need to take in as much quality information as possible and test strategies with real customers to find out what works best for their business. 

You can find some of that information in Binary Fountain’s e-books and case studies, which all focus on ORM and its many facets. For a deeper dive into the world of online reputations, we’ve curated a list of 10 books and e-books that will help get your ORM strategy at the front of the pack.

Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, Jay Baer 

Based on an exten­sive proprietary study of how, where, and why we complain, Hug Your Haters makes the case that companies must take all customer complaints seriously, invest in customer service as a priority and develop appropriate processes for handling complaints internally. Baer explains how to deal with “haters” using specific play­books and formulas from Fortune 500 companies. You’ll gain insight on how to embrace complaints, put negative comments to work for you and turn bad news into good outcomes.

Establishing, Managing and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices, Kevin Pho 

Maybe you’re not a big social media user, but your patients are. And they rely on social media sources when they’re finding a doctor or a medical practice. This comprehensive guide to physicians and social media includes insights from practicing physician and author Dr. Kevin Pho. Pho offers healthcare providers advice on branding themselves on major social media networks, insider tips on responding to online ratings and a guide to the most prominent healthcare review sites. 

Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age, Gini Dietrich 

Most PR books tell you how to “spin” your message, but “Spin Sucks” aims to teach you how to communicate honestly, responsibly, openly and authentically. PR thought leader and blogger Gini Dietrich created this actionable guide for business leaders who understand there are new rules to communications, but don’t know how to capitalize on them. You’ll learn how to share your story more powerfully, humanize your organization, create fresh content and handle online criticism, among many other lessons.

Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans, David Meerman Scott 

In this book, business growth strategist David Meerman Scott and fandom expert Reiko Scott explore the neuroscience of fandom and interview young entrepreneurs, veteran business owners, nonprofits and other companies to pinpoint which practices separate organizations that flourish from those that plateau. Their road map will help you convert customers’ ardor into buying power, using examples from organizations including MeUndies, HeadCount, Hagerty and HubSpot. 

How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online, John P. David 

This ORM strategy book peeks into the dark alleyways of the internet and explains how to respond to negative search engine results, product reviews and other unfortunate situations. You’ll read about removing content from search results, responding to online attacks, managing online reviews and using marketing strategies to bolster your bottom line. David also covers how to deal with hate blogs, Google’s “right to be forgotten,” the business of online complaint sites and much more. 

Managing Online Reputation: How to Protect Your Company on Social Media, Charlie Pownall 

This book draws on interviews with environmental activists, media and IP lawyers, IT security, digital forensics, emergency response and search engine marketing professionals to determine how companies should plan for hostile online incidents. The practical guide to protecting and defending your organization’s name, image and reputation examines the threats posed by the internet and social media and offers strategies to respond to digital hostility, breaches and leaks.

The 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation: Creating, Protecting, and Repairing Your Most Valuable Asset, Ronald J. Alsop 

Following years as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, where he witnessed the implosion of Enron and watched as a scandal rocked the Catholic Church, Alsop knows a thing or two about crisis management. In this book, he offers 18 rules for building a solid corporate reputation and protecting it through fair weather and stormy seas. These pages offer a holistic view of reputation that can help answer the “why” of your ORM strategy. 

Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management, Bill Coletti 

In Critical Moments, corporate communications expert Bill Coletti strategizes reputational excellence by meeting the needs and expectations of the public. He guides you through the Four A’s – Awareness, Assessment, Authority and Action – that will help develop your company’s situational understanding, research agenda, operational risks and action plan to recover and grow your reputation. 

Online Reputation Management Guide: 280 Expert Tips for Improving Your Personal Reputation Management, Adam Gold 

This book offers a wealth of ideas to help you substantially improve your reputation, including ORM best practices, little-known tips and learnable skills. Gold aims to dispel reputation management myths and offer industry-tested solutions to marketing challenges, ranging from personal growth to effective management methods.

Fame and Fortune: How Successful Companies Build Winning Reputations, Charles J. Fombrun and Cess van Riel 

The main features of this introductory book are data-heavy visuals that show, rather than tell, how to enhance your corporate reputation as a whole. Fombrun and van Riel present a roadmap that provides real-world case studies from well-known companies like FedEx, showing how to measure a company’s reputation, estimate its business value and systematically enhance it over the short term and long run.

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can improve your online reputation?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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February 07, 2020

Google Cookies Update: What Healthcare Marketers Need to Know

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Internet users are demanding greater privacy, including control over their data, and the web ecosystem is evolving to meet their demands. Browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari already have eliminated third-party cookies in response, and now, Google is following suit by eliminating third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022. Publishers using the Chrome…

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google reviews rich resultsInternet users are demanding greater privacy, including control over their data, and the web ecosystem is evolving to meet their demands.

Browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari already have eliminated third-party cookies in response, and now, Google is following suit by eliminating third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022.

Publishers using the Chrome browser will now have to adjust the code on third-party cookies to reveal how they track users across the web. If they don’t, Google will delete them. 

The move has left digital marketing professionals scrambling to strategize the continued collection of consumer data. This article breaks down what the Google cookies update means for healthcare marketers. 

Why Google is phasing out cookies

Third-party cookies allow marketers to track the browsing history and behavior of consumers, and have long fueled programmatic advertising, marketing and ad targeting. 

Google’s initiative to remove cookies aims to create open standards for digital tracking. It first announced the project last August, dubbing it Privacy Sandbox. On Jan. 14, the search engine giant announced it would phase out support for third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022. 

In phasing out cookies, Chrome will join Mozilla and Safari in the movement to render them obsolete. 

Google’s impact outweighs theirs tremendously, with 69% of desktop browser market share and 40% of mobile browser market share. Whether you consider it corporate altruism, a self-serving effort or somewhere in between, the decision is a big deal. 

The Google cookies update explained

Ultimately, Google plans to eliminate third-party cookies entirely in two years, causing digital marketers to rethink the way they track and sell to consumers. The changes to Chrome will affect anyone with a website, including brands, agencies and traditional news publishers. 

Website owners will be required to employ “SameSite,” a backend protocol allowing cookies to be designated for various uses. Publishers must also make sure websites are secure, or Google will delete their cookies. 

Chrome won’t automatically block cookies, but the code change limits their use to HTTPS connections. The company said in a blog post that segregating third-party cookies is a foundation for more substantial updates, such as precise browser cookie controls for users. 

Justin Silberman, VP of product and video at DailyMotion, told AdAge that Google is protecting the consumer with SameSite and its decision to phase out third-party cookies. 

“The market has taken third-party cookies to an extreme,” Silberman told DailyMotion. “There are companies that drop hundreds of pixels on websites and they do that to collect audiences. But the reality is, in the future, that stuff just isn’t going to be a business anymore.” 

What it means for healthcare marketers

The implications of user data collection are massive in healthcare, which ranked low in Gallup’s most recent public sentiment rankings. For years, the unauthorized collection and sale of protected health information (PHI) and personally identifying information (PII) has been enabled by third-party cookies. 

As cookie restrictions tighten, however, marketers have devised workarounds like fingerprinting, which combines data to identify users based on their device, time zone and operating system. Google derides fingerprinting as “invasive” and “opaque,” and the cookies update in part is a response to those and similar methods.

Luckily, healthcare marketers are relatively well-prepared for a world without cookies.

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare providers already work with various constraints within Google Ads that are specific to healthcare, according to Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing at Binary Fountain.

“Healthcare will be less impacted by this change than other industries who rely heavily on cross-site cookies for advertising,” Clifford said. “What remains unchanged is the importance for brands to develop loyal followers by consistently providing valuable content that serves the interests and objectives of the followers.”

In an op-ed for MM&M, Clare Kirlin, director of marketing for Meltmedia, said healthcare marketers will need to adapt to the changing search engine landscape.

Kirlin recommends considering how impactful programmatic data is on your core business objectives and investing in contextual ad placements, which are especially positive for healthcare brand favorability. Brands shouldn’t neglect their owned media, she said – incentivize users to exchange personal information for valuable content, and treat their data as a precious resource.

Of course, few healthcare organizations have the internal resources to stay abreast of ever-changing internet protocols, making third-party vendors a valuable asset. Specialist partners have the insight and expertise to anticipate these sorts of Google updates before they affect your bottom line.

We don’t know exactly how browser cookie restrictions will change healthcare marketing, but it won’t necessarily be for the worse. With healthcare’s reputation burdened by incidents of poor privacy protection, standing behind user privacy policies can signal credibility to a wary public.

Google remains confident that privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web while rendering third-party cookies obsolete. With a countdown clock of two years, healthcare marketers would be wise to check their websites on Chrome and stay ahead of the updates. 

Here are some related topics you might be interested in:

A Complete Guide to Building Your Company’s Reputation on Google

Ask an Expert: Google Questions & Answers

3 Takeaways from the Google Review Rich Snippet Update

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can improve your online reputation?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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February 03, 2020

The 2020 Guide for Optimizing Your Yelp Profile and Listings

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Yelp used to be one of the most popular review sites for local businesses with millions of visitors per month, making it an essential component of a company’s online presence. While it has lost ground to Google and Facebook in the consumer feedback space, the review platform is still a place for millions of consumers…

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Listings ManagementYelp used to be one of the most popular review sites for local businesses with millions of visitors per month, making it an essential component of a company’s online presence. While it has lost ground to Google and Facebook in the consumer feedback space, the review platform is still a place for millions of consumers to compare businesses and make purchase decisions.

If you created your Yelp profile years ago and haven’t reviewed it since Google and Facebook took over the top spots for consumer reviews, or if you think Yelp is only for restaurants, think again. Yelp is still the third most trafficked review directory in the world, and optimizing your listing means more digital and foot traffic to your brand.

Here’s our comprehensive 2020 guide on how to optimize your Yelp profile, from setting it up to responding to reviews.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Claim or register your business listing on Yelp
  • Optimize your profile
  • Utilize keywords in the right places
  • Enhance your business page
  • Manage and reply to reviews

Step 1: Claim Your Business Listing on Yelp

If you are a new company or haven’t taken the time to register your business, now is the time!

Yelp is particularly important for these industries:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Home repair and services
  • Hair and beauty services
  • Gyms and other wellness
  • Car dealers and repair shops
  • Local retailers
  • Healthcare providers
  • Apartment complexes

All businesses that fall into the above categories should have a profile on Yelp and optimize it to put their best foot forward.

First, make sure your business is not already listed on Yelp before creating a new profile. Don’t create a new profile if your business is already listed! Start by searching here. If a profile exists, follow the steps necessary to complete the claiming process.

If not, you can create a new profile here.

Step 2: Optimize NAP and Business Information

After Yelp receives your business listing request, you should be able to confirm your email address and view your page. Your listing will not appear in search results until all of the submitted information has been verified and approved by Yelp’s team of moderators.

Claimed businesses are able to add additional information, like your history and parking availability. The more information you can get on the page, the better.

At the very least, you will want to provide the below details:

  • Your NAP (name, address, phone number), which match your Facebook, Google and other listings
  • A profile picture
  • Hours of operation (including holidays)
  • A link to your website
  • A detailed business description
  • A correctly labeled business category
  • A meet-the-owner/manager section to personalize your page

You should also link to your Yelp profile from other sources, including your website, Google My Business page, company emails and on social media accounts. This will help boost your page visibility, making it more likely people will see your listing in search results and leave reviews.

Step 3: Use Keywords in Important Real Estate

Using the right keywords can make a significant difference in traffic flow to your Yelp profile.

Start by putting the primary keywords associated with your business or service in your business description, photo captions and, if possible, even in your company name. For example: “North Grove Dental Associates: Dental Care in Austin” may work if you run a dental practice in Austin, Texas.

The key is to use the keywords naturally, in a way that is appealing to your customers and doesn’t come across as spammy or robotic.

Similarly, you will want to use the right keywords in your specialty section (all of your different kinds of services) and all of the relevant neighborhoods that your customers are in. Make sure you only input the nearest locations, so you are driving the right traffic to your listing – instead of people who aren’t likely to drive an hour to your location.

If you have multiple locations, you will want to make sure that each location has their own information and profile listed. You can claim multiple locations by following these directions once you set up your profile. Optimize your strategy to impact the most people by focusing on location keywords that are most relevant for the area, especially with multiple locations.

Step 4: Consider Using Enhanced Business Pages

Yelp offers businesses a chance to improve their pages with additional upgrades and paid features. Some of these include a call to action button, exclusive deals for customers, improved photo galleries and ad removal.

You can also look into creating paid ad campaigns through Yelp, though they can get expensive depending on the traffic and clicks you accumulate. Prices typically will range from $4 per click to upwards of $15. Yelp also offers special deals and gift certificate options, though you will be charged a commission on sales at 30% for deals and 10% for gift certificates.

Paid ads are a great way to attract more potential customers, but they aren’t right for every business. What is necessary for every business, regardless of industry, is to follow our final Yelp profile optimization tip: responding to reviews.

Step 5: Respond to All Types of Reviews

Yelp is designed to be a dynamic experience for businesses and customers alike. It is meant to be a place for social interaction, not a set-it-and-forget-it business listing.

Make sure you take the time to monitor and respond to your customers’ reviews. You should be checking your account daily for new reviews and replying to them publicly as soon as possible.

This goes for both positive and negative reviews. Responding to Yelp reviews shows that you care about the customer experience, creating a favorable perception of your brand if you respond quickly and politely to negative reviews.

If you need help figuring out how to respond to negative reviews, check out our complete guide here.

Responding to reviews not only influences your current customers, it also can help you attract new ones. People like seeing engaged owners and managers interacting with real people.

If you respond to reviews and fix the problems they bring up, you will be able to attract new customers and make them life-long clients.

One last note about reviews: never offer rewards, promise financial compensation or ask for positive reviews. These practices go against Yelp’s policies and can cause a massive headache for your business if you get caught.

If you want to help optimize your business’s Yelp page and greatly improve your online presence, responding to reviews and making operational changes based on that feedback is a great place to get started.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 30, 2020

Ask an Expert: Build a Winning Strategy for Listings Management [Webinar Recap]

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Is your company’s online presence up to date? It’s never easy to manage online business listings when your organization has multiple locations, but 97% of consumers use the internet to find a local business. In our latest on-demand webinar, Binary Fountain Customer Success Manager Hannah Borchik and SVP of Marketing Aaron Clifford highlight strategies for listings management that…

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listings-management-webinar-titleIs your company’s online presence up to date?

It’s never easy to manage online business listings when your organization has multiple locations, but 97% of consumers use the internet to find a local business.

In our latest on-demand webinar, Binary Fountain Customer Success Manager Hannah Borchik and SVP of Marketing Aaron Clifford highlight strategies for listings management that save hours of work for your staff and boost your bottom line.

In the webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Decide what resources are needed to build and maintain a robust listings management strategy.
  • Establish guidelines and processes that keep your staff informed and in control of your listings.
  • Prepare to manage your online reputation once your local listings are active and updated.

You can find a link to the on-demand webinar here and at the bottom of this page. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Identify your listings management strategy

Before anything else, identify the type of listings management strategy you plan to establish. Will your company manually manage its listings or use software to automatically track data and report on listing performance? How much time can your team dedicate to local listings? There also may be enterprise-wide reputation management strategies you want to consider, like whether you will enhance local search strategies on your own website in conjunction with a listings management project.

Identify your data owners

Create an organizational chart of the people who will be managing and updating location data. Depending on the type of organization, the number of internal departments will vary. Your Building & Maintenance, Financial, Credentialing, Marketing, IT and Customer Experience teams may all have pieces of data needed to distribute correct information to online directories. Since you’ll be providing local content on your listings – descriptions, images, services and appointment links – make sure there is a point person in place for each location.

Collect your data

Find detailed information for all your locations and identify a process to continue updating that data. Decide on your preferred user experience – do you want to direct everyone to your primary location or phone number, or is it better to guide consumers to specific departments or people? Tailor your data management strategy accordingly.

Location data that is necessary to collect includes Name, Address, Website, Phone Number and Hours. Optional (but highly recommended) data to collect includes Appointment URLs, Photos, FAQs and Holiday Hours. Including local – and helpful – additional content will lead to the best results.

Monitor and enhance your listings

Review your site analytics to determine where customers find you before they click to your site, and target those critical directories and sites to focus the bulk of your listings management strategy. For SEO purposes, we recommend regularly publishing hyperlocal content via different types of posts, finding out what works for your brand. Knowing that listing management is not a ‘set-it and forget-it’ chore, be proactive in changing details like new hours, locations or products/services. Update your listings as soon as information changes to avoid conflicting or inaccurate data.

Speakers: 

  • Hannah Borchik, Customer Success Manager, Binary Fountain 
  • Aaron Clifford, Senior VP of Marketing, Binary Fountain

To learn more about business listings and to see why leading organizations use Binary Fountain’s Listings Management solution, check out the free, 30-minute star ratings webinar – now available on demand.

Ready to watch the webinar? Click here.

 

Read more about how to manage business listings:

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 27, 2020

What Patients Look for in Online Reviews

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Healthcare consumers are playing a more active role in deciding their healthcare provider now than ever before. According to a patient research report by Kyruus, 91% of patients conduct research online, making your online reputation extremely important. In the same study, researchers found 33% of patients found a medical provider on their own, without a…

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patient reviewsHealthcare consumers are playing a more active role in deciding their healthcare provider now than ever before.

According to a patient research report by Kyruus, 91% of patients conduct research online, making your online reputation extremely important. In the same study, researchers found 33% of patients found a medical provider on their own, without a word of mouth or medical referral.

But what do potential patients value the most in online reviews? What are the green lights that make them book an appointment and what red flags keep them from visiting your office?

If your practice or medical facility is like most, potential patients are going online to research your location and want to find convenient, accessible and patient-focused care.

What you will learn in this post:

  • What patients are looking for in online reviews
  • Why convenience is still king of the patient experience
  • Why accessibility of care matters
  • Questions you should ask to improve the patient experience

If you focus on these key areas, you can grow your practice by attracting new patients and retaining your current customer base.

What Patients Look for in Online Reviews

When it comes to your online reputation, perception is often reality. For practices, an online review is just as trusted as a referral. If you don’t have a good image online, potential patients will shy away from using your services.

When it comes to online reviews, most patients want to see:

  • A large volume of reviews
  • Recent reviews
  • Overall star rating
  • Practices engaged in responding to positive and negative reviews
  • Convenience
  • Accessibility
  • Quality of Care

We will go through the last three later in depth, but let’s camp on the first four for now.

Having volume helps patients see that many people trust you for their healthcare needs, and recent reviews show that the customer experience has either improved or declined over time. These two factors give patients a better idea of what to expect when they visit your location and how many people trust you to provide care.

According to our 2019 Healthcare Consumer Insights Survey, here are the top five online platforms patients used to find a doctor:

  • Google 54%
  • Hospital/facility website 48%
  • Facebook 45%
  • Health Grades 42%
  • Instagram 29%

These are the sites your practice should prioritize when cultivating online reviews.

Your overall star rating also greatly impacts both your local SEO and the likelihood of someone clicking on your business listing. If you don’t have a star rating of 4 or higher, you may not even show up in Google Maps among other results for “best (practice) in (city)” queries.

Lastly, patients want to feel like their opinions matter and that the practice is actively engaged in listening to feedback. This means you need to be responding to both positive and negative reviews online.

We recommend responding quickly to negative reviews with an apology and a description of what you are going to do to resolve the complaint. This makes current patients feel like you value their opinion and potential patients feel like you are actively making improvements to your staff, operations or facility.

If you see a positive review, we recommend taking the time to thank them for their review and leave some kind of personal message that is in HIPPA compliance. Acknowledging when people give you a compliment is not only polite, it also makes it more likely that the reviewer will feel like you value their business (and they will be more likely to refer your business to people in their lives).

Now let’s take a deeper dive into convenience, accessibility and quality of care.

Convenience Matters Most to Patients

The most important factor patients consider when choosing a practice or provider is convenience in both the physical and digital world. This means you need to have a good physical location and an approachable online experience.

While changing your physical location may not be possible, there are things you can do to make sure you are showing up for the right potential patients and attracting people who would be most interested in your practice.

First, you will want to make sure you’re focusing on the right keywords for your location. While there will be more people searching for “dentist in Nashville,” if your practice is actually in Brentwood (a suburb of Nashville), you are better off optimizing around that term to drive the most qualified traffic to your site. If you need additional information on how to win the local SEO game, check out our article on how to dominate local search.

Next, you will want to make sure your online experience is top notch. This means you need a website that is easy to navigate and loads quickly or you will be losing business to competitors who do have that kind of user-friendly functionality.

Another aspect of a good user experience is being able to book appointments online and over the phone. Many health systems do not currently offer self-service scheduling without having to go through a patient portal, which can be a turn off for prospective patients.

This is why most patients currently prefer booking an appointment over the phone rather than booking online. According to our 2019 Healthcare Consumer Insights Survey, 47% of patients book over the phone while only 29% book appointments online.

That doesn’t mean the desire isn’t there, however – the number of patients seeking to book appointments online grew 100% from 2018. So, if you want to get a leg up on your competition, make sure the user experience on your website allows them to book an appointment quickly and easily.

Similarly, patients care about being able to access your practice easily with convenient hours, short wait times and accurate information online.

Patients want access to your facilities when it is convenient for them, which means having hours that are easily accessible for them. Being ill is already an inconvenience and they don’t want their ability to get in and see a doctor to be any more of a hassle.

Patients are looking for these qualities when evaluating your practice or facility:

  • Convenient office hours (early or later hours so they don’t have to miss so much work)
  • Weekend availability (when possible)
  • Reviews that say your wait times are reasonable
  • Open appointment availability
  • Doctors that took the time to answer patient questions
  • The necessary ADA compliance improvements

If you make sure that your online and physical presence is convenient, you are likely to attract more patients to your medical facility.

The Patient Experience is Crucial

The final and most important factor that patients are looking for in online reviews is quality of customer service and the level of care that you provide, or the patient experience. Patients want to know what people are saying about their experience at your medical facility and the quality of care you provide.

All of this can help you appear in search results and will also help you attract new customers because healthcare consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal referral. According to our 2019 study, 48% of patients of said online ratings and reviews were a crucial factor in choosing a physician.

You should be taking your online reviews seriously and monitoring them often to understand what operational improvements you can make to improve your patient satisfaction.

According to the same study, these were some of the most important factors patients took into account while evaluating physicians based on online reviews:

  • Thoroughness of the examination 41%
  • Bedside manner 39%
  • Ability to answer all questions 36%
  • Including the patient in treatment decisions 33%
  • Previous success in treating the illness 23%

None of these should be particularly surprising, but they are all important factors that patients are looking for when they are researching medical providers.

The patient experience should be an organizational focus for your practice, regardless of what job title someone holds. Every staff member should be expected to have people smarts when dealing with ill patients, particularly the caregivers on staff.

While you shouldn’t react too strongly to negative reviews (like firing a staff member after one complaint), negative feedback should allow you to see patterns of behavior or failures in your personnel or processes that require your attention.

Here are some of the questions you may need to ask:

  • Is the staff friendly and welcoming?
  • Are the doctors taking time to answer patient questions?
  • Are we actively letting the patient play a role in their healthcare?
  • Do we respect the family members of patients who voice concerns?
  • Are we accurately diagnosing?
  • Are patient able to get appointments quickly?
  • Are our wait times reasonable?
  • Is our facility welcoming and clean?
  • Are we following up with patients after they visit your office?
  • Are we responding quickly to voicemails?

Paying attention to what people are saying online about your patient experience will help you attract new patients and understand what you need to do to retain your current patients. While patient acquisition is great, retaining those patients and making them lifelong customers is the true value of paying attention to your online reputation.

If you care about your customers’ feedback and make the necessary changes, you should be able to grow your practice like never before.

If you need help getting started, check out our article on how to measure the patient experience for more information.

You Can Own Your Reputation Management

The most successful physician practices know what patients value and understand the importance of a good online reputation. Focusing on convenience, accessibility and the patient experience will ensure you are getting the kind of reviews patients will be looking for while researching providers.

At Binary Fountain, we have the software you need to track your practice’s online reputation across hundreds of platforms, all in one place. Get the clarity and the actionable insights you need to improve your practice’s patient acquisition and retention.

Download one of our free e-books or watch one of our on-demand webinars to learn more about how Binary Fountain can help your practice grow in 2020 and beyond.

Here are related topics you might be interested in:

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can enhance your online reputation?

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About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 24, 2020

Reputation Roundup: How Multifamily Property Managers Boosted Renter Feedback in 2019 [Infographic]

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Renter surveys and online reviews hit record highs for Binary Fountain clients last year, pushing multifamily marketers to focus heavily on monitoring and responding to consumer feedback. With nearly 2 million renter reviews, 2019 brought significant increases in both the volume of online feedback and review responses. Social media and third-party review sites produced nearly…

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Renter surveys and online reviews hit record highs for Binary Fountain clients last year, pushing multifamily marketers to focus heavily on monitoring and responding to consumer feedback. With nearly 2 million renter reviews, 2019 brought significant increases in both the volume of online feedback and review responses.

Social media and third-party review sites produced nearly 150,000 more positive reviews than first-party renter surveys, incentivizing multifamily marketers to pay close attention to external feedback sources.

That’s no small change: The amount of review responses increased by 69% between 2018 and 2019. Not to mention, positive reviews for multifamily facilities outnumbered negative reviews five to one.

That positivity was reflected in consumer ratings throughout the year. Ratings of property managers steadily rose in 2019, with average Patient Feedback Scores, Facebook Reviews ratings and Google ratings all holding above 3.4 out of 5. Facebook’s 4.4 average rating was the highest of the three platforms last year.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of comments were processed by Binary Fountain’s proprietary Natural Language Processing software, producing 2.5 million unique insights into consumer sentiment.

 

For all the insights and a peek into Binary Fountain clients’ 2019 results, download the infographic here.

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can give your multifamily organization’s online reputation a boost?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 23, 2020

Reputation Roundup: Healthcare Organizations Upped Their Patient Feedback Game in 2019 [Infographic]

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Patient surveys and online reviews hit record highs for Binary Fountain clients last year, pushing healthcare marketers to focus heavily on monitoring and responding to patient feedback. With nearly 13 million healthcare facility and provider reviews, 2019 brought significant increases in the volume of both feedback and review responses. Patient surveys produced nearly 1 million…

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Patient surveys and online reviews hit record highs for Binary Fountain clients last year, pushing healthcare marketers to focus heavily on monitoring and responding to patient feedback. With nearly 13 million healthcare facility and provider reviews, 2019 brought significant increases in the volume of both feedback and review responses.

Patient surveys produced nearly 1 million more positive reviews than social media and third-party review sites, giving healthcare marketers using Binary Star Ratings a swath of favorable comments and ratings to display on provider profile pages.

That’s no small change: The amount of review responses increased by 200% between 2018 and 2019. Not to mention, positive online reviews for providers using the Binary Fountain platform increased for both surveys and social media/review sites.

That positivity was reflected in provider ratings throughout the year. Online provider ratings remained high in 2019, with average Patient Feedback Scores, Facebook Reviews ratings and Google ratings all above 4.1 out of 5.

Meanwhile, millions of comments were processed by Binary Fountain’s proprietary Natural Language Processing software, producing 53 million unique insights into consumer sentiment.

 

For all the insights and a peek into Binary Fountain clients’ 2019 results, download the full infographic here.

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can give your online reputation a boost?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 20, 2020

Survey Best Practices: How to Get More Replies

By: Kieran McQuilkin

If you are like most business owners, you know that surveys are hard to write and even harder to be compelling enough for people to respond. Creating surveys can be frustrating, especially if you really do care about your customer or employee feedback. Surveys, however, are a crucial part to understanding how people experience your…

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survey-questions-responsesIf you are like most business owners, you know that surveys are hard to write and even harder to be compelling enough for people to respond. Creating surveys can be frustrating, especially if you really do care about your customer or employee feedback.

Surveys, however, are a crucial part to understanding how people experience your business, your brand or even yourself if you are asking for peer-to-peer feedback.

Below we explore some of the best practices for writing surveys to ensure you are getting quality and numerous responses to your next survey.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to start with a clear goal
  • The right length for a survey
  • How to write survey questions
  • The importance of personalization
  • How to make the most of your data

Start with a Clear Goal in Mind

The key to great survey writing (and to guarantee more replies) is starting with a clear goal. What are you asking for? Why?

These will be easy for you to answer from a business perspective, but you need to understand how your questions relate to the needs of responders. Your survey should not be solely focused on your business goals. Instead, focus on your customer’s desires to attract relevant, actionable responses.

For example, your goal may look something like: “I want to understand the main reasons our customers would take their business somewhere else.”

This specific goal acknowledges a customer behavior observation and gives them a reason to respond. Unfocused surveys usually lead to confusing answers, or worse, no answers at all, so keep a true north in mind.

As long as you are able to marry your business goal with a compelling reason for your customer to take the survey, you should be on the right track.

Don’t Make the Survey Too Long

Writing survey questions seems easy, until you think of things you want to ask and suddenly your five-question survey becomes 15.

No one wants to respond to a long survey!

You aren’t doing your audience a favor by asking for their feedback: They are doing you a favor by filling out your survey so you can improve their experience with your business. Don’t make it too long or complicated for them to provide you feedback.

If your survey is more than 10 minutes long, you are probably going to want to cut back on questions.

Focusing on the right questions that will answer your clear goal should limit the amount of superfluous questions that will bog down your survey.

Ask Questions the Right Way for Better Replies

There is a reason why research and survey writers have their own niche in marketing and analytics: writing survey questions to get maximum value is hard. It takes understanding of how to use closed-ended questions and properly balance questions to get clear insights and survey responses.

First, don’t write survey questions where you try to lead a survey responder to reply in a certain way – this will lead to inauthentic feedback and potentially ruin their interest in completing your survey.

If you want to make the most of your data, you will want to have most of your response options pre-populated, like multiple-choice questions, which accurately balance every kind of response.

You may want to structure questions something like this:

How helpful or unhelpful were our nurses?

  1. Very helpful
  2. Helpful
  3. Neither helpful nor unhelpful
  4. Unhelpful
  5. Very Unhelpful

You should notice a symmetry in these potential answers and a question that demonstrates a balanced view. If you just asked, “how helpful were our nurses?” you would be implying that your nurses are helpful.

These kinds of questions are also easier for responders to answer, making them a win-win for both the survey creator and respondents.

Personalize Your Email Surveys

Emails with personalized content or subject lines tend to get above average responses.

One of every three people will open an email by subject line alone, so make sure you have a catchy subject line with some personalization thrown in the mix. You want something compelling that avoids using the word “survey.” People may be intimidated by that word alone!

Additionally, your first lines also need to be personalized. Opening with “Hi (insert name here),” is going to work better for you than “Hi, there” or some other generic greeting.

Lastly, if you are sending your survey out via email, make sure you are keeping these things in mind:

  • Make sure your email is branded correctly so they can clearly identify who you are
  • Explain why you want their feedback
  • Explain how their feedback will be used
  • Set expectations on how long the survey will take (don’t lie)
  • Mention what’s in it for them if they fill out the survey
  • Include only one CTA, preferably a button

Always, and we do mean always, preview and double check your email and your survey before you send it out. You don’t want to forget an important question or confuse customers with a typo and lose their trust.

Speaking of trust…

Use the Data You Collect for Good

Do you know what really makes survey users want to respond to more surveys?

Actually following through on their feedback.

If you don’t make the operational, personnel or product improvements your survey responders suggest and then send them another survey, do you think they will take the time to answer it?

Probably not – or at least not positively.

Following through and making the necessary improvements shows you are able to take constructive feedback, can commit to making changes and value your survey responders.

If you want to increase your customer retention and make them advocates of your brand, don’t just ask them questions. Make the changes they recommend.

Get Actionable Consumer Insights Today

At Binary Fountain, we help business owners and managers get the actionable insights they need to improve their business operations.

From online reputation management to storing survey data, we have everything you need to listen to customer feedback and quickly identify the areas where your organization can improve.

For an in-depth look at survey best practices and other customer feedback strategies, check out our on-demand webinar on reputation and listings management.

More on this topic:

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can give your online reputation a boost?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 16, 2020

Webinar Recap: How Healthcare Systems Increase Transparency Through Star Ratings

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Is your organization looking to boost patient trust and transparency? Publishing survey ratings and reviews on your provider pages is vital to developing a trusted voice in the consumer selection process. In our latest on-demand webinar, Binary Fountain VP of Healthcare Products Chase Ausley and Sales Director Zargham Ghani explore the importance of online physician…

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star-ratings-transparencyIs your organization looking to boost patient trust and transparency?

Publishing survey ratings and reviews on your provider pages is vital to developing a trusted voice in the consumer selection process. In our latest on-demand webinar, Binary Fountain VP of Healthcare Products Chase Ausley and Sales Director Zargham Ghani explore the importance of online physician ratings, along with ways to effectively manage and display your provider ratings and reviews.

In the webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Use new features and functionalities – including an infinite scroll that enables you to access all providers or comments on a single page – that have been added to the platform.
  • Capitalize on optimizations to the user interface, making it simpler and more efficient to manage all your online reviews.
  • Get the most out of our transparency solutions by displaying ratings on your provider pages.

You can find a link to the 30-minute webinar here and at the bottom of this page. Here’s what we discuss:

Benefits of Transparency

For healthcare organizations, a transparency solution is becoming necessary to drive SEO and web traffic.

Prospective patients want to better understand the experience that a provider gives to other patients. Without provider feedback easily available online, those patients have a much lower likelihood of entrusting you with their healthcare.

With a star rating system, you can mark up provider pages so that search engines find first-party ratings on your website. That will result in more prospective patients clicking through to your sites and increase their trust. Since the data you collect from patient surveys is verified and only on your site, your organization can become the authoritative information source for Google’s search algorithms.

Remember: A bad review is better than no review. Even without a perfect five-star rating, a high volume of published reviews immediately validates the provider, and ultimately enables patients to better trust your organization before receiving care.

Transparency Workflow: Streamlined Approval and Appeals

A crucial aspect to a successful transparency program is achieving physician buy-in.

It’s natural for leadership to be skeptical at first, and to think providers will push back because transparency makes them more vulnerable. But users of Binary Star Ratings continue to prove that a majority of survey feedback is very positive, leading to prospective patients having higher confidence in them.

The benefit of engaging the provider population before becoming transparent is tremendous. If you establish a clear process for appeals and approvals, your physicians can have a voice in the equation.

Most Binary Fountain clients send out reports to providers with reviews that have been approved to go online. Providers have a set amount of time to review the feedback, communicate back to the appeals counsel, and ultimately decide what will appear online. Most clients will publish new survey feedback and star ratings to their sites on a regular cadence.

Typically, appeals are frequent right when you start a transparency program, but they drop significantly after a couple months as physicians get used to the system and learn the value of displaying ratings – even including negative reviews.

The Future of Star Ratings

Consumers now expect this information on health system websites, so not having star ratings or a similar review-publishing system is a disadvantage. Most of the healthcare market already is employing these solutions, and adoption will continue to grow.

For example, one customer increased 25% web traffic to provider pages within 15 weeks of launching a transparency strategy. For another, customer 92% of appointment requests are coming from providers with published star ratings and comments.

Health systems are also getting more creative with ways patients can navigate this content, such as filtering comments by age, demographic or care type. And technology like Natural Language Processing is leveraging AI to parse through reviews automatically, searching for profanity or PHI.

Success with a transparency solution will come from understanding and displaying that feedback, which can also provide additional layers of content to the rest of your online presence.

Here are other transparency questions that we answer in our star ratings webinar:

  • Where does the survey data come from, and how is it analyzed?
  • Can you combine third-party data with your own first-party surveys?
  • How are star ratings and patient experience scores calculated?
  • How do the reviews and ratings get published to a website/provider page?

Speakers:

  • Chase Ausley, VP of Healthcare Products, Binary Fountain
  • Zargham Ghani, Sales Director, Binary Fountain

To learn more about healthcare transparency solutions and to see why leading organizations use Binary Star Ratings, check out the free, 30-minute star ratings webinar – now available on-demand.

Ready to watch the webinar? Click here.

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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