lekar-patientLast weekend, I was out with friends and we were looking for a restaurant to try.

We walked by one restaurant where the menu looked sumptuous but when we looked in the window, we only saw 3 customers in the place. So we kept walking and ended up in a restaurant that was packed with patrons.

Have you ever done the same thing? Made an assumption about a restaurant based on the reviews posted in the window or the number of patrons inside?

We do it all the time. We “judge a book by its cover” without really knowing much about it. The same is true when people are looking for a new audiologist, orthodontist, podiatrist, or medical provider of any kind.

When potential patients search on Google and see a practice with no reviews or only a handful of reviews, they keep looking. They’re hoping to find a practice with a lot of positive patient reviews and a 4 or 5 star rating.

I know it’s not totally logical for prospective patients to ignore your practice and not even bother calling to ask questions based on the absence of reviews, or a small number of positive reviews, but it happens every day.

How can you improve your online reputation?

  1. Discover the size of your practice’s reputation gap. Use this free Review Scan tool at http://www.medpb.com/reputation-report/If your score is less than 80, has less than a 4 star rating, or has less than 30 reviews, then you need to take action.
  2. Ask for reviews. It sounds obvious but most practices don’t do it, either because they are uncomfortable asking patients for a favor or they don’t want to get negative feedback.
  3. Use an automated system to prompt patients to leave reviews. Use one that not only encourages reviews but allows you to manage them. Positive reviews can go right onto the review sites; negative reviews can go to you first so you can respond to the unhappy patient. Here’s the review builder system we recommend: http://www.medpb.com/onlinereviewbuilder/

You work hard to provide superior patient care and you want prospective patients to know about it.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to have your happy patients say a few words about the great experience they had, by leaving a review online. With the right review building system, you could quickly close the reputation gap and have your online reputation match the quality of services you provide.

Start improving your online reputation today. You can attract more patients right away — patients who’ve picked up the phone and scheduled an appointment because they read your great reviews online.