Three Reasons Why Reputation Management for Physicians is Important
By definition, reputation management is the attempt to shape public perception about an entity. This is performed through the creation of new information, sharing and management of existing information, both online and offline.
When people consume outside information about a doctor, hospital or medical service, they form biases and perceptions based on that information which plays a large role in the decisions they make for medical care.
Reputation management for physicians is important because the medical industry relies heavily on referrals and public perceptions. When the public feels you have a good image or reputation, more people are inclined to put trust and faith in your services.
If you have not been taking time to manage your physician reputation, here are three reasons why you should:
The Internet Democratizes and Disseminates People’s Opinions
Let’s say a patient comes to your practice and leaves unhappy for one reason or another. Before the Internet, they could only share their bad experience with their friends and family and others they directly knew. That would only have a limited effect on your practice.
Today, the Internet has democratized opinions to the extent that thousands of people, perhaps even millions, can read about your patient’s bad experience. This information would reflect negatively on you and your practice to many more people. Because of this, physicians must actively monitor and manage what people are saying about them.
Negative Reviews Outweigh Positive Reviews
It’s human nature to be silent when all’s going well but to shout from the rooftops when something goes wrong. Online feedback is the same. Patients who have a pleasant experience at your practice will not be inclined to write reviews or feedback about it online. However, those few who have a bad experience tend to be the ones to write reviews. If you don’t manage your reputation by encouraging patients with good reviews to share them, your reputation disproportionality reflect those people sharing negative views.
Reputation management helps balance out bad reviews with positive ones, so people have a more accurate view of your practice.
The Internet Never Forgets
You know that bad review you got six years ago? Guess what? It’s still on the internet and being read by dozens of new people every day.
That old maxim about the internet never forgetting is especially true when it comes to negative publicity or reviews. Another part of reputation management has to do with how you respond to negative reviews. These must be handled delicately and if possible, privately. Other issues must be handled with similar delicacy.
Reputation management is not only an important business practice but also a personal one. As a physician, you are only as good as your reputation. You may have great qualifications, but if your reputation falls short, it will hurt you in the long run.