For nearly twenty years, the experienced marketing professionals at McCauley Marketing Services have helped clients in the health care industry and beyond to construct, implement, and maintain customized marketing plans and in that time we have come to truly appreciate the importance of reputation management. No matter what business you may be in, or what product or service you may provide, sooner or later you will most likely have to deal with an unhappy customer. Ideally, we would all like to be able to resolve things before they reach a point where a customer believes they can only get satisfaction through a public forum, and online marketing experts have spent a great deal of time providing advice on how to manage online ratings. However, effective reputation management involves much more than just responding to online reviews; it hinges on a proactive approach both internally and externally that sets the proper tone and gets your message out in front of your customers. Here are the essential strategies that we can use to optimize your reputation management.
Establish and Maintain Customer Service Protocols
The reputation of any business or health care provider ultimately hinges on how they treat their customers or patients, so effective reputation management begins internally, with good customer service. We have found that the majority of on-line complaints in health care tend to stem from long wait times, misunderstandings with insurance carriers, or negative interactions with staff. Taking a proactive approach means not only training office personnel to keep the day to day operations running smoothly, but also to maintain an open line of communication through appointment reminders, surveys, and follow-up calls. If you can keep your customers happy, reputation management will almost take care of itself.
Create a Broad and Far-Reaching On-Line Presence
No doubt you already maintain Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts for your business, but that should only be the tip of the iceberg. Depending on your business, you may also need to stay active on additional, specialized social media and industry-specific review sites like Healthgrades and Vitals as well. If you have a business that is highly visual, try to post regularly on sites like Pinterest or Instagram, and take advantage of the benefits that video posting on sites like YouTube and Vimeo can provide. Finally, don’t forget to post your own positive testimonials on your web site and share them on social media.
Invest the Time and Energy to Do It Right
When a new business is just starting out, there can be a temptation to simply play defense and only respond to problems when they arise. This is a serious mistake. Without a well-established customer relations plan, conflicts will arise, and without a positive on-line presence, a single bad review can be enough to completely destroy your reputation. Take the initiative and be proactive by shaping your brand image on a daily basis. A half-hearted effort can often do more harm than good, so if you don’t have the time or experience to keep up with regular customer reputation management, hiring someone to do it for you might be the best decision you’ll ever make.
Lastly, remember that reputation management is still only one aspect of a successful marketing campaign, which is why our team at McCauley Marketing Services develops comprehensive marketing plans and internal customer relations plans that are designed to benefit your business both now and in many years to come. If you would like to explore how we can help you, schedule a marketing meeting today. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to share your tips and recommendations.