A reputation is something you take your entire career to sculpt, but can be squashed in a minute like a pumpkin on November 1st.
More and more people are not opening their wallet to local service providers before checking 3rd party endorsements, making your online reputation more and more valuable.
However, when it comes to managing and protecting your reputation online, you are a sitting duck vulnerable to haters, competitors, and unrealistic expectations.
You may think it wouldn’t happen to you because you provide an amazing service with a smile on your face, with the most darling team assisting you in running your practice.
… but that doesn’t make you bullet-proof to shady competitors, patients with unrealistic expectations, and human emotion hindering someone’s experience.
Think it won’t happen to you?
Here’s an excellent example of a chiropractor whose Reputation Score has slid from 5 stars down to a 4 on RateMD’s because someone has malicious intent to spam his profile:
Now imagine a prospective new patient who heard about this doctor, odds are high they will Google the practice before making a call. EConsultancy found that 61% of people will search reviews before making a buying decision.
Reading the spammy review above, simple common sense will (should) kick in and tell a prospective patient that it’s not relevant to the quality of their chiropractic searches.
…however, that’s only if they click their profile and read the reviews. Unfortunately, the Reputation Score (now only a 4 Star Reputation) is what is pulled into the Google search results.
Here’s one more example from the same RateMD’s profile:
Let’s look at 3 simple ways to begin mitigating your risks.
#1: Assess The Damage
The first step is to pull up Google and see what’s out there about you.
Go to Google and search “Dr. My Name” + Reviews.
This will pull up all the profiles that people can be leaving public reviews about you.
The typical sites are:
- Google Reviews
- For your business name but sometimes Google creates a Google My Business listing under the doctor’s name which allows people to personally review you without knowing
- other local directories that could be present in your geographical area
Open up every site and see if there are reviews about you.
But what do I do with them?
I recommend you respond to everyone by creating an account and claiming your business profile if you haven’t done so. This gives you the ability to add business information, and manage your reviews.
Responding to reviews is especially important for poor reviews because it gives you a chance to tell your side of the story for those who come across it.
… DON’T go on the defensive, it makes you look worse! Instead, offer them a chance to rectify the situation, making them look like the villain.
If there are reviews that are clearly spam like the screenshots above, there is usually a Flag or Report link that triggers the website admin to look into it and see it’s more defamation than it is constructive, honest feedback.
Now repeat this process by Googling “My Business Name” + Reviews
This might pull reviews that you didn’t find in the first search criteria. It also pulls your business partners reviews if you have a multi-doc practice.
#2: Get The Jump On Future Reviews
Set up an alert so you can get notified when someone leaves a review about you online. This gives you the opportunity to report it before no one else sees it, or respond to the disgruntled patient while the situation is fresh and redeemable.
How to set this up:
- Go to https://www.google.com/alerts
- In the search bar, type something you want to be notified about (let’s take your full name to begin). Put quotations around your name to narrow the results.
- Ex. “Toronto Spine Chiropractic” will pull results for “Toronto”, “Spine”, AND “Chiropractic”. Whereas “Toronto Spine Chiropractic” in quotations will ONLY send you email alerts when it sees those 3 words side by side in websites, reviews, news, articles, videos, etc.
- Before you click the big blue “Create Alert” button, click the Show Options link.
- Set up how often you want to be notified.
- I suggest “At most once per day” and have the alerts go to a business email so your team can monitor this for you.
- Source option: choose “Automatic” so you can ensure you’re getting reviews from all sources
- Language: likely English, but go nuts!
- Region: choose Any Region to ensure you’re covering all potential sources. Who knows when you could get picked up for your good work across the globe!
- How Many: choose ‘All Results’ as opposed to the ‘Only The Best Results’ so you can be the judge of relevant stories.
- Deliver To: this is going to default to the gmail address you’re already signed into.
- If you want to make it so your staff get these updates instead of you personally, use the Talkwalker alerts and customize the email address delivery.
Repeat the process for your business name, your address, your local keywords, and anything else you want to stay on top of (perhaps your staff names to see what they’re getting up to)!
You should already be receiving emails from Google My Business, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc. when you receive a new review, but only if you’ve claimed your profile!
You should be claiming all your profiles for these local directories because it allows you to customize the information, it’s great for local SEO, but also so you can be receiving notifications to act on right away.
#3: Stuff The Search Results With Positive Feedback
People are going to look into you and your business’s reviews. Even with warm referrals, people want to see what they’re getting into first and the easiest way to catch a glimpse of the typical experience you provide is through a quick Google search. Depending on your city there are 10-200 people searching for your service PER MONTH.
You want to make sure when they search for you, the results are in your favour.
Here’s your game plan:
- Ask for happy patients to leave you an online review so you can in turn, help more people understand the value of your services.
- Use your one-on-one time with them to ask about their progress and experience
- Get your staff to listen for positive feedback and case studies
- Have the tools to teach your patients how to leave you a review
- Create postcards with the link to your Google My Business, Yelp, RateMDs, etc.
Note Google just changed how this link is created. Ask us how.
- Create an email template that you can send those who agree to leave a review
- Invest in online software that allows you to request feedback from your patients and display it on your site, automatically.
- We offer reputation software that allows you to automatically request feedback, with the positive reviews leading them toward your public review sites, and the negative feedback leading to an internal feedback form.
- This also allows you to receive notifications when someone leaves you a review.
- This will allow you to load your high visibility search results with positive reviews and drown any negative reviews that were showing.
- This also saves you a lot of time learning and teaching the CA to ask, teach and get the reviews.
- Create video testimonials
- You’re going to have super fans who stick around for life and have nothing but great things to say about you. See if you can get them to leave you a video review! Then publish this to youtube with the title “My Business Name + Reviews + City”.
- Create them yourself! Get someone on Fiverr to take your business information and testimonials from your website and public review sites to make a video of your best reviews. Then publish this to Youtube as well.
- Create a public page about yourself!
- Start an about.me page and use this as a public biography. You have full control over what’s said about you, it will likely display in search results for your name, and it looks awesome!
- Make yourself famous!
- Similar to point #5, make a public wikipedia page about yourself (or better yet, hire it out… it’s a tough process). Wikipedia is open source so anyone can create a page and edit it. It also has very strong pull in Google so it should definitely rank on the first page.
- Then do it again for your business!
- Do good in the community, and get written up about it!
- Does your practice participate in food drives?
Do you encourage your patients to raise money for a local cause?
Do you have a certain day where all the money you earn goes to a local charity?
…these are great ways to stand out in the community and hopefully get written up in the local online newspaper outlets.
- If the local papers don’t cover it, just write a press release yourself and pay PRWeb to release it to the interwebs.
It’s becoming more and more important to have control over what’s being said about you. Luckily, it’s also easier to monitor and control your reputation as well.
Post a comment if you find a spammy comment when searching for your Google results, I want to see if I can top the screenshot above for “most hilariously irrelevant review”.
If you want us to do all the work for you, just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you a demo of what that looks like for your practice!
Cheers to a 5 star reputation.
Written by Rick Tielemans, our marketing director and co-founder of Full Circle’s Marketing arm, Meraki Marketing.