Chiropractors and other healthcare providers need to manage their online reputations just like any other business. Here's how to do it without breaking your back.
When the bar trivia theme is "the human skeleton," you're the expert everyone turns to. But when it comes to online reputation management, no one expects a chiropractor to have all the answers.
It's time to prove them all wrong. Mastering these business-building skills is shockingly easy when you use the right tools.
And considering that your reputation has the power to make or break your practice, you can't afford to ignore it.
Reviews: The Backbone of Your Reputation
Every elementary school class had that one kid who just loved to rebel. When the teacher said sit, he would stand. When she said stand, he sat. He probably took a lot of pleasure in exerting his own free will. (That kid is now either a billionaire CEO or in jail.)
Your patients are like that kid. They may be subject to your rules while they're in your office, but outside of it they'll do what they want.
And some of them want to write critical reviews that detail your long wait times, high prices and inability to magically heal them in 30 minutes or less.
Now, that's just some of them. Most of your patients are probably like the rest of the kids in that elementary school classroom: they keep their heads down and do what's asked of them. They're probably very satisfied by your services. But unless you ask them to write reviews, they probably won't.
Changing that dynamic is the single simplest thing you can do to improve your online reputation.
Because while those satisfied patients leave your office and move on with their day, those critical reviews stay at the top of your Yelp and Healthgrades page. That's all that prospective patients see when they go looking for a new chiropractor.
Shouldering the Reputation Burden
Maybe you have the uncanny ability to enter a new town and immediately spot the best pizza place or urgent care clinic. It's not the most useful superpower, but hey, it's yours.
For most people, though, reading online reviews is how they make decisions about where to eat, whom to hire and what medical practitioner to see.
And when we say "most," what we really mean is "nearly all"...at least according to a recent survey.
The survey's findings include:
- 97% of American consumers read online reviews at least occasionally.
- The medical field is one of the industries about which people are most likely to read reviews.
- 85% of people surveyed trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- The average consumer wants a business to have 34 ratings before they'll trust its star rating on sites like Yelp and Facebook.
- 77% of people surveyed think that only reviews from the past 3 months are relevant.
- Nearly half of consumers will only use a business if its star rating is at least a four (out of five).
Here's what that means for you.
- Most of your current and prospective patients read online reviews when choosing a medical provider, and those reviews are one of the biggest factors in determining what providers they'll call.
- They want to use providers who have a lot of recent reviews.
- Those reviews don't have to all be perfect, but they should be mostly good.
So there you have it. Your online reviews determine your online reputation, and because everything that happens online bleeds into the real world these days, your online reputation determines whether people continue to use your chiropractic services.
By the way, online reviews have greater reach than you might realize. When your reviewers share their posts with friends, your name recognition grows. If those reviews are positive, great! If they're negative, potentially thousands of people will read them.
Getting lots of online buzz also helps you rank highly in search engine results, so people looking for a chiropractor in your area will see your name near the top of the list if you have lots of reviews.
Sticking Your Neck Out for Reviews
Those spines aren't going to align themselves. Which is lucky because otherwise you'd be out of business, but it also means that you're busy focusing on patient care all day. Calling or emailing every patient to ask them to write a review just won't fit into your schedule, and it also feels really awkward - especially in the medical field.
So don't do it. Instead, put your time and energy into giving your patients the best possible care so they'll be inclined to write you those positive reviews you need.
Then it comes to actually getting those reviews posted to influential sites like Yelp, Facebook and Healthgrades, let an automated system like ReputationStacker do the heavy lifting for you.
All you have to do is enter your patients' email addresses or phone numbers into ReputationStacker's completely private and secure system. It contacts your patients for you, identifying the satisfied patients with a one-question survey and directing them to the review site of your choice. ReputationStacker's Premium plan even includes HIPAA-compliant security to ensure your patients' complete privacy and protection.
One Last Crack
Whether you like it or not, your online reviews translate into very real results. They determine your online reputation, which determines whether or not patients keep coming through your doors.
Focus on giving patients your best service, and let ReputationStacker take care of the rest.
The system identifies your satisfied patients and makes it easy for them to review you online, attracting more patients to your practice. Now that's a reason to stand up straight.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.