A hospital’s reputation has always been very important.
People go to a reputable and trusted hospital. After all, healthcare is a personal and private experience. People are in their most vulnerable state when they are discussing details and problems about their health.
In addition to that, as out-of-pocket costs are getting higher, people have started to carefully choose their hospital, and online reviews have made it easier for them to do that. So, the go-to place of people seeking for a hospital is the internet.
This means that online reputation is, most of the time, the first thing people will see about your hospital. Therefore, building and maintaining it is a must.
What is Online Reputation for Hospitals?
Online reputation is basically about what people are saying and thinking about your hospital on the internet.
With the rise of social media and review sites, people have found a way to put the power of choice in their hands. It enables them to find the best hospitals based on what people are saying in social media and in review sites. In fact, according to Software Advice, 72% of people are using online reviews as a first step in finding a doctor. To intensify that, a survey by Bright Local revealed that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so we can safely say that online reviews are the new personal recommendations nowadays – it’s the evolution of word of mouth marketing.
Know What People Are Saying About Your Hospital
Online reputation management is important in order to make sure that you maintain a good online image. It starts by knowing what people are saying about your hospital and then responding to them appropriately.
In Social Media
One of the best place online to find out what people are thinking about a particular business, especially hospitals, is through the social media. Monitoring social media platforms is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on what people are talking about.
Creating a social media page for your hospital will allow you to help people find you easier. More and more people are using sites such as Facebook to find businesses near them. In addition to that, you’ll be able to respond to comments and posts quickly and easily, plus, if you have verified your social media account, your responses will carry more weight and you’ll have a stronger presence in social media.
You can also use social media platforms to build trust and authority. By sharing useful information to your audience and by answering their queries and responding to all feedback no matter if it’s positive or negative, you will be able to show them that you are serious about your business. This will evoke trust and confidence in people and they will more likely to consider your hospital as their choice.
In Review Sites and Directory Listings
Online review sites and directory listing are becoming more and more popular than ever. People of all ages are using review sites to determine whether a product or service meets their needs and expectations. Utilizing these websites makes shopping and finding services easier and most people are satisfied with the results they get after considering what reviewers are saying. It’s only natural that hospitals should always monitor these websites.
You might be surprised to find your hospital already appearing in some or all of the popular review sites even if you didn’t opt-in to have it appear on those sites. This is because people can always add a business to a directory listing or review site if it’s not yet listed or added to their database, and this only aggravates the need for you to check if you’re already listed in review sites/directory listings.
Some of the most popular review sites and directory listings for hospitals are:
You can find others by searching for your hospital name in search engines.
Now that you know which websites your hospital appears, it’s time to claim the ownership of your profiles.
Before we continue, if you don’t find your hospital listed or if hospital appears in only a few review sites and directory listings, add or create additional ones, especially in the four websites we listed above.
Claiming a business profile is simple. Most of the time, the review site or directory listing will call the business phone number listed on the profile. It will give a verification code which is used to verify ownership of the business – this is for yelp, others might have a different approach. To be sure, check out the respective website’s steps on how to claim your hospital profile. In fact, you’ll easily find out what needs to be done to claim your profile when you initiate the process. If you really own the hospital (or is a valid representative of it, etc.) you should have no problems in doing this.
Once you have claimed your hospital profiles, be sure to use it to monitor reviews and reply to them appropriately on a frequent, regular basis.
Responding to What People Are Saying About Your Hospital
Once you have the right tools that enable you to know and see what people are saying about your hospital, it’s time to respond to what people are saying about you.
Responding to what people are saying about you in social media and review sites/directory listings will greatly affect your online reputation. People love seeing hospitals responding to their posts and reviews online. Frequently interacting with patients and prospects online is often enough to improve your reputation.
Respond to any comments and reviews, positive or negative. Appreciate the positive reviews and address the negative reviews. For positive reviews, a simple “Thank you! We’re glad to be of help!” is often enough, however, don’t be afraid to personalize your thank you messages.
Negative reviews should be handled with care. These are fragile and one wrong word can demolish your reputation. Maintain a calm and professional tone when replying, carefully analyze the reviewer’s message and see if you find something in it that’s genuinely bad – it’s either your staff’s attitude, your hospital’s environment, your doctor’s services, etc. These can help you improve your hospital. Finally, don’t argue with them online. Reply with as few words as possible, explain why you think their complaint happened and tell them to contact you directly in order to fix the issue.
The Real Hospital Reputation
Managing your online reputation is very important, but if you strive hard to make your hospital an excellent place offering excellent services, you’ll have to worry less about your online reputation. In the end, your reputation is always reflected by how good your hospital is.