Reputation Management For FQHC’s
Reputation management can be a wonderful way to bring in new business, increase credibility and establish your FQHC’s presence online. In this post, we cover the many sides to reputation management (a far broader scope than just company reviews) and we discuss tips and best practices FQHC’s should be adopting in your clinic’s digital marketing plan.
Reputation management reaches far beyond just reviews. It is managing your brand’s presence online, which stretches through the digital sphere from paid media to content creation. The way to manage your brand’s reputation isn’t an overnight process as there are typically many moving parts involved in having a successful reputation management for your brand’s digital presence. The simple fact is, the majority of patients are searching online before they ever reach a provider’s office. According to a recent medical survey, 71% of people use online reviews as the very first step in finding a provider. With that, how you are perceived and talked about with patients and prospects is a crucial part to the value of your clinic.
Reputation management can be broken down into three segments: Build, Maintain and Repair.
To take a proactive approach to building your brand’s online reputation, create, share and display quality content for readers to see.
Building your social media presence with paid Google and Facebook Ads is a great way to start the process of brand recognition. Simply by having a presence and getting seen online, establishes trust through recognition and ultimately generates a reputation through social media. While paid ads can be a heavy expense for a lot of company’s FQHC’s have the advantage of qualifying for grants that completely cover ad spend- courtesy from Google. If you haven’t checked out the Google Ad Grant for 501 organizations, learn more here.
Have a blog
One way to boost your reputation and credibility with prospective patients is by establishing yourself as an authority in the space with quality content on your company’s expertise. If you are answering questions or addressing the healthcare concerns readers have, they’re more likely to trust you as a reliable source in finding further resolutions. Additionally, blogs provide potent value when it comes to creating organic SEO. Be sure to follow a couple guidelines on your Clinic’s blog: reader relevancy and regular posting.
92% of people are hesitant to deal with a provider or clinic that has no reviews. While negative reviews are not ideal neither is a provider with no reviews. When a patient is signing up with a new provider he’s seeking reassurance through other happy patients. Having reviews is commonplace for clinics and providers. When there are no reviews it might appear that the provider is new and not established in the community or that they have very little business. One thing patients like to see from their provider is that other patients see their value and also attend the clinic. If they believe the provider has few patients they may be more opt to get in with someone who has positive reviews and is more in-demand. To have no reviews is a wild card that many patients aren’t willing to test out.
Get Your Location and Hours on Google
Keeping your clinic’s hours and location up to date is important in establishing trust with patients. If they miss an appointment because your location on Google is incorrect or they aren’t getting accurate hours, they are less inclined to be satisfied with their service. Patients who aren’t happy with their service are not only less likely to become an advocate for your facility, they’re more likely to share their negative experience with others whether it is through reviews, social media or word of mouth. Brand reputation isn’t solely online, with a lot of damage being done without a digital trail. It is imperative all public information about your clinic on your website or Google is up-to-date.
Maintaining your presence online is less about raising awareness and more about getting the right engagement with the patients you already have. This is done by actively engaging with customers who comment through your various online outlets whether it be social media, blog or Google. It is important to ensure you are providing them with personalized value that encourage them to further interact with your clinic and even become an advocate of your brand.
Get Active on Social and Google
Any blog post that is created should be linked through your social accounts for users to access. Not only will it bring awareness to your blog, it will also increase traffic to your site. Outside of posting your blog topics to social media you should also be keeping users up to date with company information and news. This is an opportunity to engage your audience and promote upcoming events that you have going on and allows the patients and prospects to see the inner workings of your clinic, for example capturing pictures at your clinic’s events. This will create a personal touch and bring in brand warmth. Outside of posting and linking blogs, many patients start their search for a facility through social networks, so it is important to have good reviews on the various platforms.
If you’ve found yourself in a position where reviews are less than average, it is time to pivot the focus from proactive to reactive reputation management. The good news is, coming back from this isn’t impossible with a little strategic effort.
Negative Reviews and Conflict Resolution
It is no surprise that negative reviews can severely impact your new business. When a patient leaves a negative review on your website it is important to address the concern immediately, as this concern was made public for other prospective patients to see. If the prospective patient is able to see that the concern was addressed and resolved, the situation has been tamed. If the concern is never publicly addressed, not only does the prospective patient see that the issue remains, but the lack of response further pushes the narrative of the complaint and appears you’ve not considered finding a resolution.
70% of people would do business with you again if the issue is resolved in their favor. Not only is it important to resolve the publicly posted issue for other prospective customers to see but also to retain the customer who posted the review in the first place. There will be times when your facility is in the wrong and in these situations it is important to apologize wholeheartedly and do what you can to make it right. Other times, when your facility was in the right, the best solution might just be explaining your policies in a polite and respectful way, as this does have an audience. It is very important to always remain HIPPA compliant in your responses, which means you can never confirm if the reviewer is a patient and if they were seen at your clinic, so it is best to be broad in the explanation.
Reviews that are unnecessarily negative, unfair or overexaggerated are mostly disregarded from reasonable patients. Below is a survey to patients when asked: Under what circumstances would you disregard a negative review about a healthcare professional?
The Importance of Better Than Average Reviews
In a study, it was confirmed that people have a hard time trusting any organization with under 3.3 stars. With the amount of competition, finding a clinic with good ratings is typically pretty easy unless you’re in a rural area. If you’ve found yourself in this position, it is important to focus on building more positive reviews to offset the negative reviews and boost your rating. A tip on this is to reach out to happy customers directly and ask for them to take some time to review you. Concentrating on getting reviews from those who’ve had a good experience can increase your rating and overall reputation.
Tips on Better Reputation Management
Build: Post regularly display ads, content and company information stay up-to-date with hours/location
Bonus Tip: Get free Display Ads through Google with the Google AdGrant for 501 nonprofits
Maintain: Keep track of your online reviews. Whether you go through a reputation management tool or you manually keep track of this through Google Alerts, you should be notified immediately when a review comes through
Repair: Address unhappy reviews immediately, remaining HIPPA compliant and solicit happy patients to review your facility