I think most of us try to keep our noses clean, do the right thing, and show up every day. There was a time when this would secure your reputation. Kind of like the Old West where good guys didn’t lie, steal, or cheat anyone. Today, a good reputation is a little harder to come by. We are judged, not by our actions, but the perceptions of our patients. You could do a good job with what you had, at a fair price for your area, and still be thought of as having a poor reputation. I am constantly asked: “How can my practice can get more new patients?” A better question is: “How do I improve my reputation?” In a five star rating system, if you are a three, you are never going to have many new patients.
The scary part is that when I have the occasion to speak with a doctor about his or her practice, they are always surprised that I would take the time to look at all of their reviews (they apparently never do). They are even more surprised when they ask how they can get more new patients and I answer, you can’t. Once they see the scathing reviews on Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, Dr.Oogle, etc., they are flabbergasted that they had no idea what others were saying about them. Ignorance may be bliss, but not knowing at what level the public rates your practice can spell out a poor future for you and your office.
The shame here is that you can control this with a little vigilance and persistence to guarantee that when the public checks you out on social media and review sites they will find a glowing endorsement from most of your patients. Reviews of 4’s and 5’s secure your new patient future. Fall short of that and you can count on them voting you off the island as they pass your front office door and head for the competition.
Your ACT for today is to go to the Internet and type in “reviews for Dr. (your name) in (your city)” and read everything you find. They are what they are. If you come up a little short then invite your staff, their spouses, and any close friends to post a review on that site. Spread it out a bit but get them out there so that you can mitigate the damage, while pushing the lower rankings off of the front page of a review site. Secondly, set a goal to ask every patient to post a review for you. You will need a hundred reviews on multiple sites to really have an overwhelming effect on new patient attraction. Keep in mind that non-organic reviews like Demandforce, Lighthouse 360, or Solutionreach don’t really have the impact of an impartial site. Do it and don’t delay. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS