As a company, our reputation is everything.
We know that we’re doing great work taking care of patients and saving lives. But prospective patients, referral sources, potential employees, and community partners can only judge us by our reputation. For businesses, reputations are heavily driven by online reviews.
The fact is that online reviews are a key decision-making driver for consumers, including consumers of healthcare. Research shows that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as word of mouth, and 61% of patients use online reviews to find a doctor.
Online reviews have enormous implications for our business. Review volume, ratings, and responsiveness impacts our online authority and affects how we’re ranked in keyword searches and even in how our centers show up in location queries. This is why reputation management is such an essential aspect of marketing.
CleanSlate’s Tewksbury location, for example, has a 5-star rating that automatically displays when a user searches for the location, which is great. But this rating is based on one review. Just a few negative reviews (fair or not) would make this rating plummet and potentially cause a patient to think twice before choosing this center.
And here’s an uncomfortable truth: leaving a review takes effort. More people summon that effort if they’re irritated about a negative experience as opposed to pleased with a positive one. It’s up to us to encourage all of our patients (especially the ones we think are satisfied) to post an online review where other potential patients can benefit from their validation of CleanSlate. Otherwise, the negative reviews will tend to outnumber the positive ones.
We know from our call center data that the biggest drivers of patients takes place online. But up until now, we haven’t been putting effort into managing our online reputation. Our credibility and trustworthiness will shine through and increase patient volume if we encourage current patients to post reviews on third-party sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, and if we’re responding immediately to negative reviews.
Because reputation management is so important, we have engaged with a reputation management platform called Reputation.com. Every CleanSlate center has been added to this platform and we will work with each center to automate the process of reaching out to patients for review requests, which will be managed by our marketing department. All reviews tied to each center will be tracked through this online platform so that we can assess each center’s review volume and ratings. Corporate marketing will help track reviews to monitor when a negative review needs to be responded to, and then work with Center Managers to craft tailored responses when appropriate.
If you’d like to understand a little more about the importance of reputation management, scroll down to see why this effort is critical to our success.
We’ll be following up with more information about this process shortly so that everyone can help support and inform our reputation management efforts across the national and local level. When we launch these efforts in July, we’ll start running contests and awarding prizes to the centers with the most review volume and highest ratings. Stay tuned!