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Sticks and Stones … In This Case, Words Can Hurt

Today, it’s rare for consumers to make buying decisions without first consulting the internet. Almost every e-commerce site out there allows the purchaser to log in and submit a review of the product; in fact, retailers have made it standard practice to actively solicit these consumer reviews. From shoes to furniture and tools to cosmetics, you can read about other people’s experiences with the product under consideration before pulling the trigger. These reviews and commentary strongly influence buying decisions and can make the difference between flip or flop.

Healthcare is among the most important decisions that a consumer will make. What’s more significant than our health, and that of our children and loved ones? I’m sure we can all agree that shoes are not. A study done by Software Advice has shown that the general population also agrees.

Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents indicated that consulting online reviews is the first step in their process of selecting a physician. Furthermore, close to half of the respondents would go out-of-network for a doctor with more positive reviews than a similarly qualified doctor who’s in-network but does not have as good of a reputation.

Today, in order to maintain and grow a medical practice, it is imperative that reputation management is part of the overall strategy. There are a number of websites that are dedicated specifically to the evaluation of doctors. With the majority of patients looking online for recommendations, the absence of reviews on these sites can be equally as damaging as unfavorable reviews. Just like retailers have done, physicians must take an active role in soliciting and managing these evaluations. If patients are happy with the care they received, why not ask them to return the favor?

There are so many factors that influence a patient’s perspective. Remember, the doctor is not the only piece to the puzzle; there are so many positions within a practice that can make or break a reputation. The service received at every stage is subject to evaluation – reception, patient care, insurance coordination, nursing and billing are just a few.

At Points Group, we have perfected several methods for helping doctors and practices to obtain positive reviews. From customer service consulting to reputation management, we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients’ online reviews reflect the type of service provided and will lead to practice growth. Contact us to find out how we can help you to establish and maintain the reputation that you deserve.