A survey conducted by Software Advice Inc., a subsidiary of Gartner Inc., found that 82% of patients used online reviews before visiting a physician. The survey also found that nearly 72% of patients use these reviews as the first step in finding a new doctor, while 48% preferred an out-of-network physician to an in-network provider if the former had favourable reviews.
With a surge in the number of review sites, it is imperative for you, as a doctor, to maintain a positive reputation in the online world. Even SEO experts believe that patients get their first impressions about a doctor from online reviews.
Impact of negative ratings on a doctor’s practice
A study by Invespro found that a single negative review can cost a doctor about 30 patients. Studies also found that nearly 80% of patients change their mind after going through a bad review.
According to reputation management firms, in extreme cases, a physician might be forced to leave his current area of practice and shift elsewhere.So, how can you manage your online reputation?
Keep a tab on major review platforms
Tracking major review platforms will help you address negative feedback and acknowledge positive ones. The Software Advice Inc. survey found that 65% of patients feel doctors must respond to bad reviews. Understand what led to a negative review and respond assertively.
Seek professional guidance
The demands of your profession might make it difficult for you to monitor your online reputation. Consider outsourcing the tasks to professionals. An online reputation management firm will help you boost your credibility and spread your message. It also helps you keep a close watch on negative reviews. According to a Harvard study, even a one-star increase for your practice’s online rating can boost your revenues by 5 to 9%!
The services of a reputation management company can cost between Rs. 4 and Rs. 13 lakh for a few months or a year. This cost is an operating expense for your practice and can be met with a hassle-free loan for doctors of up to Rs. 55 lakh that is disbursed within 24 hours. The flexi loan facility allows you to withdraw funds from your approved limit, when required, to pay the reputation management company.
Perks of a positive reputation
While negative ratings can have long-term repercussions, a positive online reputation can work wonders for you. Not only does it enhance your position, but it also establishes you as a thought leader and expert practitioner. So, it’s time to start taking your online reputation seriously. Find and weed out negative feedback and build the positive online reputation you truly deserve.
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