Online Reviews and Ratings 101: A 5-Step Guide to Improve Your Healthcare Organization’s Online Reputation

Reputation Staff Writer


When it Comes to Brand Perception, You’re No Longer in Control

The balance of power has shifted from healthcare organizations defining their brand to healthcare consumers creating it. What patients say about you online can either derail your business or accelerate its success.

As consumers face higher premiums and deductibles and gain access to more information online, they are more involved than ever in making decisions about their healthcare.

This guide will help you understand the role of online reviews in overall brand health, and the tactics to maximize your online reputation.

Online Reviews Have a Direct Impact on Business Performance

Reviews and ratings have a dramatic impact on your providers’ ability to be found and selected by prospective patients. Here’s why:

Technology Enables Online Review Management at Scale

Large healthcare organizations must monitor and respond to reviews for all doctors and all locations. Doing this manually in a timely manner across many review sites and social networks is simply not scalable.

Technology is necessary to manage online reputation at scale, coupled with a structured process.

What’s in this Guide?

You’ll learn about a proven approach to successful Online Reputation Management (ORM) that includes the following steps:

  1. Systematically monitor and respond to reviews
  2. Increase review volume to reflect true patient sentiment
  3. Elevate star ratings and rankings to attract patients to your doctors and locations
  4. Showcase good reviews and ratings on your website and in marketing materials
  5. Use insights gleaned from surveys and reviews to optimize the patient experience

1. Systematically Monitor and Respond to Reviews


Online reviews provide a wealth of patient experience data and can help you quickly uncover issues that have a negative impact on your brand — provided you have a systematic method in place to track and listen to that feedback. Monitoring what patients say about your providers, clinics and other facilities is the mission-critical first step to creating a virtuous cycle that delivers more positive reviews, higher overall ratings and rankings and, ultimately, more business.


Responding to patient reviews — especially the negative ones — is an essential step in building trust in your brand. PeopleClaim found that 95 percent of unhappy people will return to a business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.


2. Increase Review Volume to Capture True Patient Sentiment

There’s Power in Numbers

Having lots of reviews improves trust in your brand. And if a few reviews are negative, don’t despair! People are more likely to trust your reviews if you include both the good and the bad. It shows you’re willing to be transparent about customer service issues and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to patient experience by openly addressing and working to resolve those issues.


3. Elevate Star Ratings and Rankings to Attract Patients to Your Doctors and Locations

You Can’t Attract Patients if They Can’t Find You Online

Eighty percent of searches happen on map apps and search engines, and Google is the most popular in both categories. If you’re not in Google’s local 3-pack — the top three results and the only ones displayed on the map — patients could pass you by.

How do you make it to the top spots? A high volume of recent, high-quality reviews will bump you up. Google’s ranking algorithms take these factors into consideration, along with your locations’ average star ratings.


4. Showcase Good Reviews and High Ratings on Your Website and in Marketing Materials

User-generated Content (UGC) is Powerful

According to Adweek, 93 percent of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision. And online reviews are 100-percent UGC.

UGC on your website is even more valuable. It keeps site visitors engaged for longer and provides a natural transition to product information or promotions, leading to higher conversion rates.



93 percent of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision.

5. Use Insights Gleaned from Surveys and Reviews to Optimize the Patient Experience

Focus on the Patient

The value — and challenge — of free-form reviews is that they can cover a breadth of topics relating to patient experience, from quality of care to wait times to staff friendliness. This information can help you quickly identify recurring issues and standardize best practices across your organization, and down at the location level — leading to a better overall experience for your patients.



Your Online Reputation Defines Your Brand

You simply cannot afford to ignore it. These five steps provide a framework for building trust, loyalty and advocacy among your patients, attracting new business and driving revenue growth.

Learn More

Check out our Online Reputation Management Starter Series:

  1. Part 1: Getting Started with Online Reputation Management
  2. Part 2: Which Online Review Sites Should I Monitor?
  3. Part 3: Taking Action on Customer Feedback can help you apply these steps with our comprehensive ORM platform, beginning with sound strategies for managing online reviews.

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