Developing a positive online reputation is becoming increasingly necessary for optical practices of all sizes. This is due to the growing popularity of digital platforms such as social media and third-party review websites. Bloggers and vloggers also have a significant influence on the general perception of a particular product or service, so understanding how to cultivate a popular online reputation is imperative for the modern practice model.
While many practices recognise the importance of online reputation management and are allocating resources towards making and maintaining a positive impression online, it is also important to understand the best strategies to achieve just that.
By engaging with your customers in a meaningful way, you can harness their voices as powerful marketing tools. Social media is particularly useful as it provides companies with the opportunity to respond and converse directly with their customers regarding their experience visiting your practice.
This is important as the comments people post online are out of the practice control, so being an active part of conversations about their products and services is the only way a practice can influence them positively.
By using social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (to name just two of the most platforms), an optical practice can react quickly to any comments made by customers. If the comment is positive, then any interaction with that customer will only make that commendation more visible. Any complaints can of course be dealt with in a positive way, ensuring that even a negative online comment can be turned into a positive experience.
Another benefit of having a communicative social media presence is the ability to respond to questions and inquiries of potential patients. While one person may be motivated to directly ask a question, there may be many more who are browsing the conversation but who do have the time or inclination to post online messages themselves. By responding to one potential customer’s question, you are actually responding to many potential customers who had the same or similar question.
A lot of new patient leads can be secured through having a good reputation on third-party review websites. Monitoring the feedback on these sites is also a great way of monitoring the online standing of your practice.
Simply having the transparency that affords your patients a voice is a good look for any modern practice wanting to enhance their online reputation. It is difficult to avoid bad reviews entirely these days even for the most efficient and customer-focused optical practice, but it is possible to work on pushing down the more negative reviews and up voting the positive ones to give a much more encouraging overview of your practice.