Managing Online Review Sites
Everyone knows that healthcare consumers rely on online reviews and ratings when researching and choosing providers and facilities. These findings from Binary Fountain’s second annual Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey really drive home the close relationship between reputation as represented in reviews, and the way they influence consumer choices:
- 95% of respondents find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
- Of that group, 100% between the ages of 18-24 find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
- 97% of respondents between the ages of 25-34 report the same sentiment: “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
- 70% say online ratings and review sites have influenced their decision when selecting a physician.
- When referred by another doctor, 41% of consumers still check online ratings and reviews of doctors/specialists.
Join the Conversation
Effective reputation management requires that you monitor − and participate in − online conversations about your healthcare organization on the most popular rating and review sites.
The first principle, according to many experts, is that every review merits a response. Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, observes that most businesses answer some complaints, on some channels, some of the time. His research on the science of complaints shows consistency is vital. “Answering a customer complaint increases customer advocacy, always,” he says. “And not answering a customer complaint decreases customer advocacy, always.”
Step one is to get familiar with and get control of your listings on the most popular review sites.
Learn how to create and update listings, and how to claim listings that may already exist. And, learn the rules for posting responses to reviews.
Good, Bad and Neutral – How to Respond to Reviews
It’s important to respond with the right tone to reviews, whether they’re positive, negative or in between.
- Positive – Thank the reviewer for their kind words and their visit; be specific, without revealing personal details or private health information. Invite the patient to tell others about their experience, and for SEO’s sake, mention your business name and location.
- Negative – Even if the comments are unfounded, keep your response brief, non-confrontational and sympathetic. Apologize for the upset caused, and offer to make things right. Invite the reviewer to contact a staffer by name, to take the matter offline. This is a place to leave out your business name and location.
- Neutral – Lukewarm reviews should get a warm response, so treat a “meh” review as a one-star complaint. A detailed and sympathetic response shows you appreciate this patient, and everyone who might be reading reviews as part of their decision to call your facility.
What about false, inaccurate or inappropriate reviews?
Learn the ins and outs of review site guidelines, or you could find yourself at a disadvantage. For example, do you know the policies of important review sites on disputing or removing a review?
Facebook, for example, offers these criteria as violations of its community standards:
- hate speech
- graphic violence
- nudity or sexual activity
- cruel or insensitive language
- false advertising or fraud
- bullying or harassment
- privacy violations
- false news
There’s lots more, of course, because each site that accepts reviews has slightly different standards and practices for responding, disputing or removal. If your responsibilities include reputation management, it’s best to gather all the different details in on spot, so you can set and act on policy, instead of wasting time on repetitive research.
Download our E-book
Binary Fountain offers lots more detailed advice and how-to instruction for managing review sites, and we’re eager to share it all with you. We have created an e-book entitled The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Managing Online Review Platforms that offers detailed instructions for all of the most popular review and rating sites:
- Google My Business
Download the Binary Fountain e-book here: The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Managing Online Review Platforms
About the Author
Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.