Tuesday, July 10, 2012
One in six medical practices has an online rating. Surprised? A recent study in The Journal of Medical Internet Research – A Changing Landscape of Physician Quality Reporting: Analysis of Patients’ Online Ratings of Their Physicians Over a 5-Year Period – noted that the “number of individual physicians who had at least one online rating grew…from 2,475 physicians in January 2005 to 112,024 by January 2010.” Even though many providers are uncomfortable with this fact (see Growth of Doctor Rating Websites Prompts Worry Among Physicians), the message should be clear. Online provider ratings are rapidly growing in popularity, and like it or not, you’re being rated (and, FYI, this is not just physicians – you can find online ratings for nursing homes, psychiatrists, and a variety of mental health providers on Yelp, to name a few).
Your strategy for addressing those online ratings (often referred to as open source ratings because they are open to all, free, and possibly anonymous) can take two paths. The first – do nothing. Ignore the ratings and take your chances on the consequences. The second – manage those ratings and online comments.
That second approach, managing online ratings and comments, was the focus of a presentation by David Burt, President of Fuuzio Internet Marketing, and OPEN MINDS Chief Executive Officer Monica E. Oss, at the 2012 OPEN MINDS Planning & Innovation Institute – A New Way To Look At Online Marketing: The Strategic Importance Of ‘Open Source’ Relationship Management all members). To manage your online reputation, start by asking yourself these three questions:
How well known are you online? Knowing how many searches have been conducted for either you organization, clinicians at your organization, or the services you provide will give you a snapshot of your current relationship with the market.
How does your brand rank? To rank better (and unless you’re the top spot on the search engine of your choice, you need to rank better) the name of the game is increasing website traffic. How many of the searches I mentioned above click through to your site?
What are your stakeholder conversations? Or more pointedly, what are they saying about you? Even if you have good reviews about your business, there are other online channels that can draw negative reactions. Are your social media acceptable and consumer friendly? Are the reviews mixed? Are you liked as a business, but no one is posting positive comments?
For help assessing your online capabilities, check out my article in the July edition of the OPEN MINDS Management Newsletter, Online Marketing To Health & Human Service Consumers Brings New Challenges – and, if you have specific questions about your online presence and ratings, contact me at email@example.com and facebook.com/openmindscircle. As your target consumers evolve, will you?
Vice President Of Marketing, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: Can Your Customers Find You Online? all members
This is free for the next sixty days to all registered OPEN MINDS Circle members.