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Reputation Management

Handling Negative Reviews for Medical & Dental Practices

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More than half of people searching for a new physician admit that they read their doctor’s reviews before ever stepping foot into the office. This can either make or break their decision to move forward with your practice, which is wonderful if your practice is absolutely perfect and you have never received a bad review, or your positive reviews strongly over power the negative, but what happens when your practice is just getting started in the digital realm, and has a limited amount of reviews on any given platform? You loose potential patients, that’s what happens. It does not have to be that way though, and there are many steps you can take in order to overcome any negative voices on your review forums.

Here is a list of the best three ways to deal with negative reviews in your practice:

  • Respond. There are two sides to every story, unfortunately, there is no room for your side of the story in someone’s negative review! Fortunately enough, most platforms will allow you to respond to any reviews on your business. A graceful response addressing the user’s concerns, taking accountability, apologizing, and offering a thoughtful solution shows other users that you truly value each and every one of your patient’s experience, and take pride in your name. Be sure to NEVER engage in childish rhetoric, or try to defend your position– you will catch more bees with honey than with vinegar!
  • Be Pro Active. Having an internal process for acquiring new reviews is an awesome way to make sure all of your patient’s that you know have had an amazing experience have their voice heard! It is as easy as a follow up email or a custom “review us” card that you can personally hand to patients on their way out.
  • Report Abuse of Board. Some people truly are out of their mind (patients, disgruntled ex employees, viscous competitors) and being absolutely unreasonable, responding to their review may not be the best idea and could be antagonistic to someone who is being irrational, prompting another unwanted comment. In this case your best bet may be to report this user.  Many platforms including Yelp and Google allow you to report a review if you think it is an abuse of the system. Once it has been reviewed by one of their staff you will receive a decision.

Handling negative reviews is only a fraction of what is involved in monitoring and marketing your reputation positively. If your practice can use a little help with your reputation monitoring please feel free to reach out to us to discuss how Omni Medical Marketing can help you get your digital reputation to the point where it truly reflects how incredible, talented and hard working your entire team is!


Part II

“Be Pro Active”- Broken Down: How to Acquire More Positive Reviews (for your Medical or Dental Practice)

In the first part of this blog: Handling Negative Reviews for Medical & Dental Practices, we discussed the top three ways to address negative reviews about your practice, and the importance of having a strong presence on these platforms. With our second suggestion “be proactive”, you may have been thinking “right… easier said than done!”, but we are not going to leave you hanging there; The second part of this blog is going to go into a little more detail about how exactly you are able to go about acquiring more positive reviews, really giving all of your patients a chance to have their voices heard.

Asking for reviews can be tricky- on one hand you do not want to be pushy or come off as aggressive or desperate, but on the other hand you really want patience that have had an exceptional experience at your practice to share their experience on your website and their favorite review board. Our favorite tool for gracefully accomplishing this difficult task is our very own Via Omni Reputation Booster. This innovative tool allows you follow up with every patient after a procedure or important appointment via email to provide them a convenient and easy way to share their experience in your office. You would be surprised how many of your patients are willing to share their thoughts if you just ask! Our Reputation Booster Tool automatically updates your website with positive reviews, and directs those users to a page where they have the option to easily review your practice on their favorite review platform as well. Reviews that receive a lower score (bar set by each individual practice) will immediately be filtered and reported to your administration, providing you with instant access to addressing and hopefully rectifying that user’s concerns.

acquiring positive reviews for your practiceCreating incentive can also help motivate patients, or remind patients to review your practice and doctors once they are back in the comfort of their home. Motivation systems should be fun and rewarding, here is an example: “Don’t forget to review us to be entered in our monthly drawing to win a Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush in the color of your choice, winners announced on the 1st Monday of every month”.  Tangible/ physical reminders can go a long way. Handing out a simple “review us” card to your patients on their way out and being sure to personally request a review ads a certain dynamic that makes the request very personal, some individuals respond incredibly well to this type of connection.

If you would like to learn more about our Reputation Boosting Tool please do not hesitate to use the information below to reach out to one of our team members. We are more than happy to discuss how our tools support our philosophy and end goal help medical practices and dental practices be the absolute best that they can be.  Omni Medical Marketing is a full service digital marketing company and we pride ourselves on having the ability to pair innovation with hard work in order to provide a comprehensive list of medical marketing solutions to both individual doctors and medical/ dental practices across the nation. Click Here to receive your complimentary website analysis and to request your practice’s free reputation boosting (& monitoring) quotes.

Omni Medical Marketing

6551 S. Revere Parkway, Suite 135 Centennial, Colorado 80111
(720) 549-9222
(800) 549-0170
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How To Handle Negative Yelp Reviews for Your Medical Practice

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Having hundreds of awesome reviews online can certainly bring new patients to your practice, however having just a few negative reviews without hundreds of positive reviews can have the opposite effect. What steps should you take when a negative review appears? Follow these practices to take charge of your online reviews today.

Stay Calm

A bad review or two isn’t going to shut down your practice. Online reviews do influence a great deal of people as nearly 80 percent or people check them and say they trust them, however not all people looking for your services will check reviews.

Find the Source

If you haven’t already invest, a couple of bucks into reputation monitoring software. Our software is simple, easy to use and lets you know the same day when something negative is mentioned online about you or your practice. Want to go the super cheap (free) route? Try Google’s newsfeed. It’s free to use and will cover a good amount of your online mentions. While its not as robust and useful as our medical reputation software it’s better than nothing.

Knowing who said what is critical. If you have a negative review pop up today most likely you will be able to connect the dots with a patient you saw today or the day before. If you can find the source you may be able to reach out to the person, make things right and have the review removed or edited by the person who gave it.

Was the review from a patient of your competition?  Doctors invest a lot of time and money into medical practice websites, medical practice SEO and pay-per-click marketing. Competition online is only growing with no end in site. It may seem hard to believe but we have witnessed firsthand practices who have received negative reviews from their competition, other doctors in the same specialty trying to gain an advantage. There have been lawsuits filled and settled in multiple states over astro turfing. In one case a practice was caught making employees leave positive reviews to drown out theier own negative reviews.  Knowing the source is critical.

Respond Thoughtfully

HIPAA often times can interfere with leaving reponses on negative or positive reviews. Even if a person complains about their doctor online using their own name responding to the review could be a HIPAA violation. If you are going to respond first get the okay from your legal counsel to do so.

Try to Resolve the Issue Privately

We recommend trying to resolve the issue privately for two reasons. 1) Hippa 2.) It’s the best practice. Always apologize, listen and keep it matter of fact. If you or your practice made a mistake or did not provide the level of service you offer, inform the patient letting them know that.  Flat out ask what you can do to make things right with the patient.

Increase the Amount of Positive Reviews Online

We offer a simple, automated system to help you increase the amount of positive reviews you have online. Asking patients for reviews when they leave the office is a simple way to see more posted. Add review links to your monthly newsletter. If you ever ask employees to review you make sure they state in their review that they are an employee!

It obvious online reviews are important, however there are additional benefits most don’t think of. Online reviews can affect the way your site appears on the search rankings of major search engines. The more high quality reviews you have the higher your medical practice site may rank online. The higher your rankings for keywords related to your medical specialty the better.

Your Medical Practice Reputation Online

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You are running your medical practice and things are going well. However, you notice that business seems to be slowing down. You are not sure why. Advertisement has not changed, but the phone is not ringing like it used to, and the website is not delivering leads like it had. What is happening? Do you just chalk it up to a slow period? Should you raise your marketing efforts? Spend more money on ads? Those seem like good quick solutions, but what if you looked for the reason for the slowdown? What if you Googled your business name? Then you go to Yelp or Healthgrades and notice your reviews are terrible. Your business score is way below average. So you dive into it and notice you have 3 reviews and one is 5 star and there are two 1 star reviews. The 1 star reviews do not even look like patients you have had? Could this be a reason the phones stopped ringing and leads stopped coming in through your website?

online-reputation-managementYour online reputation is essential for the success of your practice. Somewhere between 50-60 percent of patients use online reviews to help them make a medical care decision. That is a lot of people. That number is growing at an alarming rate. Having a poor score is like not having your business phone number listed. On the contrary, when your practice has a great score, it is similar to having a free marketing firm boasting for you. Online, it has been observed that a bad review may spark additional negative comments from others that might not otherwise have been posted.

The following are “best practices” in this rapidly evolving field:

  • Monitor reviews: Since negative reviews can be damaging to a practice, it’s advisable to become aware of them immediately across all websites.
  • Respond rapidly to negative reviews: As noted, 95 percent of consumers will return to a business – and are likely to remove that negative review – if their concerns are addressed quickly. Misconceptions from outdated or incorrect information are a common problem that can easily be corrmected once identified.
  • Generate positive reviews: medical professionals providing high-quality care can encourage patients to leave positive, specific reviews online. (9 Digital Doc Survey, ZocDoc 3Online Reviews and the Medical Industry)

Imagine if you can manage your online reputation without having to do much different than you already are. Hiring Omni Medical Marketing to monitor your online reputation could re-ignite your practice.

Our Medical Reputation Management and Social Media Marketing packages go hand in hand. Based on your individual situation, we tailor a course of action specific to your needs. Whether that involves repairing your reputation, removing erroneous reviews from the search results, or simply providing ongoing monitoring.

Using the power of the social web, Omni Medical Marketing creates hundreds of social websites for your practice, each with the ability to create new, positive reviews about your practice.

Using a combination of social media profiles, micro-sites, blogs, review sites and press releases, we not only are able to move negative information on websites to the 3rd or 4th page of the major search engines, we are able to help you increase the overall positive exposure for you and your practice.

Contact Omni Medical Marketing to get a customized proposal for medical reputation management for your doctors or your medical practice.

5 Simple Tips for Monitoring Your Medical Practice Reputation Online

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Don’t Ignore Reviews

When patients leave reviews on directory sites be proactive. Read the comments and see what patients are saying. Comments can provide great feedback and by listening to feedback you may get more patients. Reviews do not always tell the whole story, but it can give you a glimpse of someone’s experience. Reading each review posted does take some time. But keep in mind, hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost each day because of false, erroneous or misleading search engine results. Whether the negative listings are from a competitor, a disgruntled former employee, or a former client, the impact can be devastating to your online reputation, costing you potential new clients and referrals.

Listen

After reading a review see if you can get something out of it. Can you change your behavior for the better based on the comment? Listening to constructive criticism can help the practice and benefit your reputation. Not taking the full review as only truth, but listening to what the patient is saying can help your practice in the future.

Encourage Positive Reviews

Once you meet with a patient give them a flyer or review card asking to leave a review. Asking to leave a review shows you value their opinions making them feel like their voices are being heard and are value. When you encourage positive reviews from your patients, you will get more results. Thus, moving any negative reviews further down the page. Also, if you have 3 negative reviews, and 110 positive reviews, the negative reviews become obsolete.

Make Your Website Personal

When patients leave the practice there needs to be a way for them to connect and feel like they have a connection to their doctors. Create a blog featuring patient successes, add pictures to your site, and find ways to make patients feel like the office is a friendly environment that they have a connection to. This will generate positive feelings, therefore positive reviews. Make social media easily accessible for your patients to brag about you.

Never Go Negative

No matter how negative a review may be, do not comment something that can start an argument on a post. Starting an argument on the internet will do harm to your reputation. Respond politely to the review and see what you can do to please the patient. Finding the negative review immediately will help with the relationship between patient and doctor.

Our Medical Reputation Management and Social Media Marketing packages go hand in hand. Based on your individual situation, we tailor a course of action specific to your needs. Whether that involves repairing your reputation, removing erroneous reviews from the search results, or simply providing ongoing monitoring.

Contact Omni Medical Marketing to get a customized proposal for medical reputation management for your doctors or your medical practice.

Benefits of Blogging for Your Medical Practice

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Okay, so a medical practice blog probably won’t compete with the likes of TMZ or Perez Hilton, but a well-written blog can have a large effect on the success of your Medical Marketing plan.  Updating your blog also supplies search engines with fresh content.  A medical blog can increase traffic to your site, create a social buzz around your practice, and attract new patients.  Taking a few moments a week to write an informative blog can go a long way toward achieving success in your medical practice.

“Word of Blog” Advertising

Similar to conventional word of mouth advertising, blogs can become a good way for patients and potential patients to spread the word about your practice.  With social sharing reaching an all new high, informative and even entertaining blogs can be easily shared and distributed among friends.  Obviously, this can have an effect on the visibility of your practice.

Social Media Marketing and Social sharing of medical blogs will grow your online footprint and bring more people to your site.  Search engines will also rank your blogs in search engine result pages.  This gives you another potential landing page for people searching within your medical field.  Having blogs that are popular on your site that generate a good amount of traffic will also improve the ranking of your main site.

Where Do I Even Begin?

Since you’re not writing about the newest Hollywood couple, coming up with content that is interesting to a reader can be difficult.  Keep in mind that people are searching for information related to your field, so small tidbits can be of great interest.  Blogs focused around FAQ’s that your practice has received can often generate more leads as potential patients type the same question into a search engine.  Relating popular topics in pop culture to your medical field can also generate interest in your site.  Always remember that there is never enough information and you should always add more!  The more you add, the more likely your blogs are to be followed, and search engines will recognize your efforts.

Content is King!

Taking all things into consideration, content is the most important part of your blog.  Pictures and videos are great, but new and fresh content will deliver the most traffic and search engine ranking results.  Not only will you be adding content that users will find interesting, you will also be giving search engines more content to read through and index.  Write your content for the user.  Whatever you do, don’t write content for search engines.  “SEO-Friendly Content” is growing in popularity, but it has a negative impact on conversion.  Make sure blogs are interesting and informative to users and the results will translate to Search Engine Results.  Writing content for a robot makes the content difficult to understand and can be frustrating for the average user.

Now, Share Your Blog With the World!

Use a social sharing tool to make sharing your blog simple.  By adding social links that will allow users to share the post with “friends,” social sharing can become a great lead generation tool.  After all, word of mouth and referrals are still the best way to attract new patients.

There is no doubt that writing a blog for your medical practice can become time consuming and seem pointless.  Just know that the benefits of writing a good blog will pay off in the long run.  Helping with SEO and Lead Generation, blogging is a way you can increase the number of initial consultations and appointments for your practice.

If you are looking for professional-grade SEO, medical website design and blog writing services, contact Omni Medical Marketing today. We will provide a free analysis of your website and your SEO, as well as a structured blog writing plan that will deliver results over the short and long term.

Call (800) 549-0170 and speak to Patrick.

Negative Plastic Surgeon Reviews

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After an office visit or time spent reviewing your plastic surgeon website most potential patients seriously considering you as their surgeon begin the process of researching you using search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

We all know there are surgeons out there who deserve bad reviews. Every one of us has witnessed the horrible work of a “surgeon” in some form of the media, local news stations, CNN, the Today show or on one of the many sites dedicated to “helping” people navigate away from such doctors.

Thank God for search engines! How else would so many people protect themselves from such providers? Hopefully these sites and blogs keep giving people access to the information provided intended to keep people safe.

Good Surgeons are Impacted by Negative Reviews

On the other hand within the industry there are many surgeons suffering from the severe financial and reputation loss from hostile former patients whom are 100% happy with the outcome of their procedure, however, they simply want something for nothing. There are also the former clients with ridiculous expectations that are simply now dealing with the resentment of spending thousands of dollars trying to make themselves perfect.

Top surgeons always cover potential issues such as discomfort, pain, contour irregularities, asymmetry, or unfavorable scarring verbally and typically with a written disclosure. However, many patients soon forget all of this like it never happened.

Some Clients Blackmail Surgeons With Bad Reviews

Often, plastic surgeons make every attempt to satisfy their patients by going over and above, including scheduling additional or follow up procedures with no compensation. While speaking with talented surgeons nationwide I have heard horror stories of what I like to call hostage taking.

A client demands a completely different procedure, or worse yet, several additional procedures be performed or they threaten bad reviews. Others will actually post a bad review and then have the nerve to blackmail their surgeon offering to remove the review once they receive a refund or something for “free”.

I have actually read several instances where a Judge in a court of law has ordered a “hostage taker” to remove slanderous reviews, yet they forever remain. Often blogs, photos, emails, posting or just about anything uploaded to the internet will stay there forever, and can often be recycled on other blogs and review sites as as “source of content”. Unfortunately not even our legal system can always protect you after a vicious web smearing.

Creating a Plan to Handle Negative Reviews

  • Include in the job descriptions of your staff a proactive plan to check for bad reviews.
  • Use all major search engines to research the name of your surgeons, practice name and website URL on a weekly basis.
  • If you find a bad review try your best to trace steps based on the review to try to isolate who wrote the review.
  • Respond quickly and professionally to any negative review that is posted. Business Owner’s responses are now posted in Google Places and other local review sites. Showing a timely response will let future customers know you care.
  • Write a personalized email to the suspected hostage taker asking them to contact you when they have time. Do not mention the review to them whatsoever, ask them to complete a brief survey or provide your personal cell phone number. It’s extremely important to let them know how important their satisfaction is to you.
  • If nothing comes from the above attempts carefully review the policy of the site with the questionably review. Follow closely any process they have to resolve such issues.
  • You last step is writing a letter to the webmaster explaining your side of the issue kindly ask them to remove the review. In some cases, Google and other local review sites will remove negative comments if they find they are false or intentionally slanderous.

I tried all of that with no success, what next?

By this point you may have contacted a lawyer and I can’t blame you. However, time is of the essence, and as we all know, every day your negative review is visible you risk losing potential clients and a valuable source of future revenue for your practice.

Since you can’t have the review(s) removed right away, it’s time to take an aggressive strategy of moving your negative reviews down the rankings order of all major search engines. Having a harmful review moved from page one to page three or four of Google lowers the visibility of that review dramatically.

Out of sight out of mind!

Professional Online Reputation Management Can Fix Your Reviews

A top notch SEO company most likely offers a reputation management package as we do. Creating rich content with pertinent information about you then optimizing that content will week after week drowned out the unfair information that’s been destroying everything you have worked for. Make sure to select a company based in the USA. I have seen so many foreign companies adjust the wallets of surgeons with no adjustment in rankings or poor reviews.

Bad reviews no longer need to be the end of the world, there is something you can do. For a no cost, no obligation consultation and action plan contact us today.

 

Patrick Chavoustie

303-588-8187

Email Patrick

Co-founder,CEO