Not sure if you need online reputation management? When was the last time you were turned off from a business based on their online reputation?
The menu for that seafood restaurant down the street sounded really good, but they only had 3.4 stars on Google. What about a doctor’s office or mechanic? Same thing.
Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business!
Review sites such as Yelp, Google and even Facebook have given businesses an opportunity to promote their business through someone else’s experience or digital word-of-mouth.
A good online review can bring you new business, but a bad review can turn future customers away.
A business’ online reputation and how they manage it is crucial to gaining new customers or patients in the digital world we live in today.
We’re here to help break down the facts of why you need to make sure your marketing budget allows for reputation management services.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?
Did you know that more than 77 percent of those looking for a new doctor first search/read their online reviews?
Whether or not that patient schedules an appointment is often based on your online reputation. Your online reputation is the first impression you make on many potential patients.
Your online reviews can carry more weight than you think. A recent study shows us that patients place more value on online reviews than actual government ratings.
But it’s not only what people are saying about you online that pulls some weight, but it’s also how you respond.
Seventy percent of survey respondents feel it’s “very” or “moderately important” for providers to respond publicly to online reviews.
“A lot of the time, people who leave an online review just want to be heard. They want to feel like they were able to voice their concerns. Acknowledging them after the fact is very important. Responding to a review allows the publisher to know that not only did you read what they had to say, but you took the time to write back and let them know they’ve been heard.” – Sam Holt, Proclaim Interactive Marketing Analyst
3 Reasons Why You Need Online Reputation Management
Have you taken ownership of and are currently managing the platforms where your reviews can be seen? If you haven’t, here are some reasons why you should:
1. Know what people are saying about you and your business
No one likes criticism, even if it’s constructive. It can be hard to read less-than-polite comments about your business online. But reading what customers have to say can help you improve some areas that you may not have thought needed it, like your bathrooms or takeout containers.
Even good reviews can provide areas you should highlight. Did you know Helen always greets your customers with a smile? Or that she remembers certain things about your clients?
Your online reviews can be seen as an extra set of eyes around your office.
2. So you can respond to reviewers
As Sam said earlier, people leave reviews because they want to be heard. Whether leaving praise or areas you can improve, reviewers just want to know that someone took the time to hear what they had to say.
Acknowledgment of a review can build trust, surprise and even delight your customers or patients if you are a medical practice.
Responding to a review is not only important to the person who left the review, but to others who scroll through your reviews. How you respond has a huge impact on not only your current clients or patients but your prospective ones as well.
3. To ensure the listed information is accurate
When profiles are created for you, there is a good chance that not all the information on your profile is correct. If this information is incorrect, it could have some damaging effects to your business or website.
By claiming your profile, you can control the information that is being used on these sites. Make sure your phone number, address and, if you’re a medical practice or provider, your qualifications are accurate.
How Your Online Reputation Impacts Your Bottom Line
You don’t need us to tell you that bad online reviews can keep customers or patients from coming to your business or practice. In fact, a single negative review can cost a business about 30 customers. But, how does that really affect your bottom line? For example. Let’s break down the lifetime value of a patient for a medical practice.
For each new patient visit, you receive $60. So, if you had 4 new patients, that would be $240. Right?
This was just for one visit. There are some things to consider:
- Most patients see their doctors at least twice a year
- Patients with chronic illnesses see their doctors more often
- Patients will return for accurate treatment for problems such as seasonal allergies, flu, and minor sprains
Let’s start our formula over again.
You earn 4 new patients, with each one seeing a doctor twice a year. That’s eight total visits. Now, let’s assume these patients stay at your practice for 8 years. That’s 64 visits, or $3,840.
That number may not seem that staggering, but you have to take into account that each patient brings in an additional two patients from referrals. That’s another eight patients, seeing you twice a year, over another five years, or $4,800.
Your practice has now lost out on over $8,640 because of your medical practice’s online reputation.
How to Deal with Bad Online Reviews
Lucky for you, a bad online reputation doesn’t HAVE to result in lost customers, and ultimately, dollars for your business. There are several ways you can turn negative reviews into an opportunity to attract more customers. Here’s how.
1. Respond to the review promptly
It is important to deal with a negative review quickly. The longer it sits, the higher the potential for more customers to read it.
2. Be polite and professional in your response
As the responder, you can’t personally react to a negative review. Your response should not create excuses or lay blame on someone else.
3. Take the issue offline
This is a very important point, especially for medical practices. First, you need to acknowledge the problem, then offer to handle the matter off-line by providing a name and phone number so you can discuss the issue out of the public eye.
4. Encourage your customers to leave reviews
Do you have a number of patients or customers who are happy with your services? Encourage them to leave a positive review!
“Oftentimes, a business won’t request reviews from their customers because they’re afraid of receiving a negative review. While this is a natural fear, it’s not an accurate one. An honest review, whether positive or negative, is better than no review. This allows businesses to improve. Data also shows that people are more likely to trust a business with a mix of positive and negative reviews instead of all positive reviews, which comes across as ‘too good to be true.’” – Sam Holt.
What If You Don’t Have Time to Respond to Reviews?
Here’s the bottom line: If you’re not paying attention to your online reviews, someone is. A poor reputation gives your competitors an advantage.
If you are interested in turning your online reputation around, keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight. Changes take careful strategy, constant diligence and most importantly, time. That’s where we can help.
The advantages of working with an online reputation management agency:
- We monitor your reviews and instantly know when you received a new review.
- We claim your profiles on review sites, and update any information that is needed.
- Our marketing experts provide detailed reports that enable you to easily understand where your online reputation stands.
- Finally, we help you increase your rate of positive reviews to enhance your digital reputation.