Healthcare is one of the top concerns for many people, especially at a time of a public health crisis. The industry has been at the center of the current situation and is in fact the most important sector in dealing with it.
While its position as an essential sector is non-debatable, it is important to remember that many patients might hesitate to go to healthcare facilities in consideration of their health and safety. Individuals who operate healthcare facilities might want to take some steps to establish their reputation as a safe and trustworthy option.
If you are one of these people, you should take a look at online reputation management. Here’s what you need to know.
Trends in the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare sector across the globe was worth $8.45 trillion back in 2018 and spending is expected to reach more than $10 trillion by 2022. North America is known to rake in the highest revenue at $714.5 billion followed by Europe at $422 billion. The United States is known for being the biggest spender at $10,224 per capita, which is double what other countries spend on healthcare.
Americans increasingly spent billions of dollars over the past decades. In fact, it is expected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2023. In the US, the government paid for $1.9 trillion or 64.3% of the cost, and is projected to jump to 67.3% by 2024.
The thing is, there are 784,626 healthcare companies in the US and 1 in 8 US citizens work in the sector. McKesson is the largest company in the country with $208.3 billion in annual revenues.
If you are interested in competing in such as big industry, you want to make sure that you have the right weapons to do so. Digital marketing techniques such as online reputation management can help.
Why Online Reputation Matters
As an operator of a healthcare facility in a highly competitive and in-demand industry, you are facing different challenges. Your potential clients are likely to look for dependable names. They also have a lot of options to choose from, especially when they use the Internet to look for possible selections. Chances are, they will opt for what they view as a reputable choice.
You do not want to get caught with a bad reputation. This can spell the difference between people choosing your facility or skipping it over one with a better reputation. How will your potential client assess your reputation? Through reviews, feedback, comments, and your engagements.
You want to make sure that when users search the internet for your company or brand name, they will only find positive and factual information. What you should remember is that you always have the possibility of getting a bad review, whether within reason or not. Online reputation management is your best bet when it comes to addressing such situations.
Before talking about how you can improve your online reputation, let us address a question that may be forming in your mind: what is online reputation management and how is it different from public relations?
Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of tracking how a business is viewed by online users. It is also focused on improving the online perception of the brand. Some of the tools involved in ORM include search results, reviews, and blogs, just to name a few. The focus of this practice is the target market and its main goal is to convert them into sales.
Meanwhile, public relations (PR) utilizes traditional marketing tools to create a positive perception of the business and brand in the public eye. Put simply, it is focused on the general public and maintaining a positive view of the business.
For healthcare facilities, maintaining an online reputation is geared toward getting more potential patients to go to them for their health concerns and needs.
7 Ways to Improve Online Reputation
Your online reputation can help you attract patients and seal the deal with a sale. Likely, it can cause them to steer away from your facility. No matter what, you want to take steps to improve your online reputation and maintain a positive one. Here are some of the best and most effective ways to improve online reputation.
Perform a Reputation Audit
The first step toward improving your online reputation is knowing its current status so that you know what aspects you should focus on. First, you should take a look at how current clients perceive your brand. What kinds of comments do they leave on your website or social media posts? Do they have feedback on the quality of service, facilities, and pricing?
Aside from checking comments and reviews, a reputation audit is also composed of monitoring brand mentions across multiple platforms. Remember, customers and even non-customers can express their opinion of your facility outside of your posts and website.
Upon looking at this feedback, you are bound to see a pattern. There are three possibilities. You may find that clients are generally satisfied, generally unsatisfied, and have an even mix of positive and negative reactions. From there, you can take the necessary steps to improve your offerings.
Reputation audit findings can provide valuable information about your target market, sentiments about your brand, most promising platforms for engagement, discussions, advocates, and new target markets.
Get More Reviews
An essential part of online reputation management is reviews. Most of the time, potential clients take a look at what other customers say about you when deciding whether or not to come to you for their healthcare needs. You want to make sure that you have plenty of reviews that can help convince them toward the right direction.
Now, it is important to remember that not every review you will get will be positive. In fact, you should always expect that negative feedback will be thrown in there once in a while. After all, some clients can be hard to please, especially if they are dealing with discomforts.
What you should remember is that increasing the number of reviews is an important matter. These reactions are signs that your clients are engaging with your brand. Plus, it offers an opportunity for you to learn from them and respond to these comments as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Improve Customer Engagement
This is the part where you can address reviews. Say you get a bad review for the quality of service a patient received. This opens up a chance for you to make things right and address their concerns. The right way to go is to acknowledge their reaction, guarantee action, and provide a way to compensate for their trouble.
There are a few things you can do to compensate unsatisfied customers. You can offer discounts or a gift for their next visits. You can also offer to connect them with a representative who can help them better. The important thing is to make them feel heard and offer assurance, and importantly, taking pointers from such feedback.
How about receiving positive feedback? Acknowledge glowing feedback from satisfied clients is always a welcome move.
To encourage patients to leave reviews, incentives can be your best bet. Getting in touch with them after their visit can help remind them to do so. While you’re at it, why not offer a voucher for their next visit after they leave a review? This way, both parties can get something out of it.
Publish Positive Blogs
As mentioned, getting negative reviews is part of the business but you do not have to let it damage your company and brand. Imagine potential clients searching for your brand name only to find content that tarnishes the name of your business. What you should do is to bump such links off from the list and instead put forward content that uplifts you.
You can do this by generating educational, informative, and positive content and publishing them on various platforms such as your website, social media accounts, and even affiliates. Using search engine optimization (SEO), you can increase the likelihood of these platforms and pages appearing in search results instead of undesirable content.
Enhance Patient Experience
Lastly, the best way to improve your brand reputation on the internet is to eliminate reasons to get negative feedback. Enhancing your services and patient experience can increase your chances of getting positive reviews.
Comments from existing clients are the best way to start. These are likely to show the things you are doing right and those that need improvement.
Moreover, you should take a look at what your competitors are doing. As they say, it is also better to know your enemy. This will give you an idea of the aspects of the business that they do better or worse.
Your healthcare facility can have more chances of attracting clients if it has a positive reputation. With these tips, you can elevate your online image and start raking in more sales. Better yet, you should consider working with digital marketing experts to handle your reputation management and the rest of your marketing campaign.