A brand’s reputation has always been intrinsically linked to its overall success. Customers are more likely to conduct business with an organization that others recommend. The prevalence of social media and online review sites has exponentially increased the quantity and importance of this feedback.
No matter what type of operation you run, you must invest in some level of reputation management if you wish to flourish in today’s competitive landscape.
The question remains, though: just how much should you spend on reputation management? As with any major investment, you must weigh the costs and benefits in both the short and long term to find your answer.
For healthcare providers, the general calculation for return on investment (ROI) is the same as any other business. You take your net profit and divide that by your total investment, and multiply the result by 100. Ideally, you want that number to be positive, and at least in the double digits.
Despite this simple equation, actually determining the ROI for healthcare reputation management costs can be challenging, especially without any previous point of reference. Here are some important details to consider when coming up with a budget for managing your reputation.
Time is Money
One of the most important concepts in economics is opportunity cost, which refers to the losses incurred when one course of action is taken over another. Calculating opportunity costs is not an exact science, but we understand that spending time on one pursuit inevitably takes away time that could be spent on another.
In other words, time is money. When it comes to creating a reputation management strategy that yields a positive ROI, you must keep this principle in mind. Using manual processes to track and respond to reviews, extract insights from feedback, and maintain a social media presence takes time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.
However, your business still must focus on all of these things to maintain its reputation. It is usually worthwhile to invest in reputation management software and/or services. These partially automated solutions range in cost and scope, so choose a provider that offers the best value for your needs.
The Potential Cost of Negative Reviews
The internet has made customers and patients more vocal than ever, which is a double-edged sword for your healthcare practice. Good reviews can help attract new patients, but even one bad review can severely drag down your reputation and cost your business dearly.
According to a study by Moz, a single negative article can cause a business to lose 22% of its customers, and three bad reviews can increase this loss to 59%. These potential costs increase as the negative feedback piles on.
Investing in online reputation management solutions is crucial for mitigating the cost incurred by bad reviews.
These services can notify you when you receive a review, provide insights from the text data, and make it easy for you to respond quickly. Responding to all reviews, especially negative ones, can mitigate the cost they might otherwise incur. And understanding the feedback quickly and in detail can help you make operational changes that will lead to better reviews down the road.
The Potential Benefits of Greater Engagement
Healthcare reputation management services are not just useful for defending your brand against negative feedback, though. They are also key to keeping patients engaged and interested in your practice. With detailed analytics, you can view data regarding social media engagement, website clicks, search rankings, and more.
For instance, you might lack reviews on a popular platform, such as Vitals or Healthgrades, which negatively impacts your online presence and reputation. Now, when asking for reviews from patients, you can focus your outreach efforts on these platforms in particular. These seemingly minor adjustments can greatly boost your search and engagement rankings, and in turn, your revenue.
KPIs: Optimization and Efficiency are Crucial
Online reputation management services also help trim the fat of your marketing efforts by tracking the most relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs allow you to measure the impact of your reputation management strategy so you can make well-informed adjustments that will increase your ROI by reducing unnecessary costs. In healthcare, crucial KPIs include star-rating improvements, patient engagement, overall patient sentiment, social media followers and more.
Your reputation management services will help you choose the KPIs that pertain to your healthcare organization’s online and offline presence so you always have a finger on the pulse where it matters most.
Long-Term Approach to Healthcare Reputation Management
If every aspect of your organization and brand reputation could be crunched into hard numbers, determining the ROI of your reputation management costs would be a lot simpler. To make matters more complicated, you must also think about short-term ROI versus long-term ROI, as these figures often differ. When it comes to managing your reputation, you may incur some short-term losses in order to achieve long-term success.
Ultimately, the long game should be your main concern. After all, it takes time to establish a great reputation. But doing so is worth it if you wish to succeed for years to come. By investing in the right reputation management solutions for your healthcare organization, you can establish lasting, trusting relationships with your patients and see a return that is highly valuable in the long run.
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist