How can you maintain a personal touch on reputation management sites?

As more patients shift to voicing their opinions online, medical practices are faced with claiming, updating, monitoring and responding to feedback across more sites than we care to count.

As these sites (,,, continue to gain traffic and clout, they are showing up on the front page of search results for your physicians and your practice.

In this electronic age, how can you show that your office cares about patients and is different than competitors on reputation management sites?

Respond Quickly to Reviews

The easiest way to maintain a personal touch on reputation management sites is, well, to have a personal response when something occurs – positive or negative.

Unfortunately, a lot of reviews found on physician rating sites are negative. Unwarranted or not, to help maintain a positive public “face” for your medical practice, you must respond to these reviews – and you must respond quickly.

Patient Reviews_Insight Marketing Group_Marketing for Medical Practices

This response was posted within 24 hours of the patient posting their complaint.

The response is just as much about helping the angered patient as it is showing potential patients that have stumbled upon the review in their searches that your office cares and wants to solve a problem the patient is having. This goodwill cannot be replicated in any other public-facing medium like this, and that’s why it’s imperative to respond in a timely manner.

Here are some tips for maintaining a personal touch with review responses:

  • Offer a direct line to someone important on your admin staff. Don’t just give the generic phone number – partly because the front desk will not know what’s going on and it also seems disingenuine from the patient perspective
  • Express that you want to hear the full story from the patient themselves
  • Explain that you want to discuss what happened to make future improvements. This is important for the potential patients to see, especially as the reviews age and more positive reviews are seen on top of this due to the fact they’re more recent. It gives the illusion that the changes have occurred and patients are happier now than they were when the original negative review was posted

By following these tips, you will show that your practice and, by default, your physician(s), care about patients and want to actively help them have the best experience possible.

Encourage Patients to Share Their Stories Online

One of the best ways to maintain a personal touch in the electronic age on reputation management sites it to have your patients do the heavy lifting for you. Encourage your patients to share their experience online and you will be amazed at the results.

By empowering patients to share your story, you’ll start to earn positive reviews effortlessly. Best of all, patients will share thoughts about the office, the doctor’s bedside manner and just about anything you can think of (some of them have no filter, as you’re well aware!).

Positive Patient Feedback_Insight Marketing Group_Marketing for Medical Practices

If you’re unsure of how to encourage patients to share their story online, here’s a few tips:

  • Provide them a “Review Us!” card as they leave the office (example below)
  • Offer them a review link in a follow-up message on your patient portal
  • Send an email newsletter with instructions on how to leave a review
  • During their exam, have the physician mention he/she would really appreciate a review at a particular website where he is not rated well

A lof of the time, patients will jump at the chance to help their favorite doctor or office.

Patient Experience_Insight Marketing Group_Marketing for Medical PracticesMake Sure Your Information is Current

Nothing says you don’t care than bad reviews and outdated information. As part of the process for claiming your reviews, you’ll also want to update your information and make sure all addresses, specialties, phone numbers, headshots and education information are current.

Sometimes, this information can reset, so it’s important to set aside time to do periodic checks across the reputation management sites.

Take Photos

Some sites, like Yelp, will also allow you to add descriptions about your office and even photos. We suggest taking advantage of this opportunity and giving patients a photo-based “tour” of the office.

Office Review_Insight Marketing Group_Marketing for Medical Practices

Don’t want to take photos? Again, this is another spot where you can encourage patients to submit photos and be a part of creating your practice’s online brand, or voice.

Now what?

Now it’s time to get out there (virtually) and begin to claim, update, monitor and respond to feedback across the various online reputation management sites. We suggest choosing one per month and “owning” that space to get your feet wet.

Then, once you have everything somewhat under control, consider setting time (or designating someone) to run through the sites and do quick checks each week.

Is it a pain? Maybe. But with today’s patients turning online before anything else, it’s imperative to maintain a personal touch on reputation management sites.