Every business relies on reputation to retain and increase their client base, and dental practice is no exception. Social media is a brilliant opportunity for your dental practice to market itself to potential patients.
The trouble is, one negative comment could potentially undo years of hard work on building a good reputation. The crucial thing is taking a proactive stance towards your practice’s reputation and how it is viewed by the public. This is where reputation management comes in.
Reputation is irreplaceable
Reputation’ refers to the views and opinions that others have about someone or something. An entity with a poor reputation will land less business than one with a solid reputation.
In a dental practice, every single interaction between a member of the practice team can be viewed as an opportunity for managing the practice’s reputation. This is reputation management that is offline, rather than online. But the Internet information explosion now necessitates reputation management at a far higher level.
With the advent of social media, anybody can air their experiences and opinions on public forums. If, for example, someone has a great experience at your dental practice, they might say so on social media. If, on the other hand, their experience is unpleasant, they’re even more likely to express their displeasure for all the world to see.
So, what does a dental practice do to keep its reputation positive? Nowadays, your online reputation is governed far less by face-to-face experience, but by artificial intelligence systems that might not portray you or your practice the way you’d like. That’s why proactive online reputation management is crucial.
Why the need for reputation management?
Reputation management is a way of exercising some degree of control over an entity’s reputation. It’s a way of influencing what people think of your dental practice and its personnel. The aim is to shape public perception about your practice, but it’s not as easy as it might sound.
Most reputation management takes place online and should be considered a core component of your marketing strategy. Even a dental practice needs a marketing plan.
Increasing competition and downward pressure on what practices can charge their clients necessitate utilizing the tools of public relations and marketing to retain old clients and attract new ones.
A growing industry
Research shows that online reputation is a powerful driver of behavior to the extent that most people will avoid a brand or service if they read a negative comment about it online. That’s why businesses are paying vast sums to preserve or improve their reputations.
The difficulty is with how little of your online reputation you can control. With almost 200,000 dentists working in dentistry in the US, you need more than simple and plain branding of your clinic.
Negative comments could well keep people from your practice, so an effective reputation management strategy is vital in modern business. Your practice might lack the necessary skill-set for effective reputation management so you might want to hire a professional.
What can a reputation manager do for your dental practice?
A professional reputation manager can utilize techniques from various sources, including search engine optimization, human-computer interaction, user behavior theories and even cognitive psychology to restore balance to search results and other sources of information accessible to the public.
Although we have a limited ability to change or control what people think, we can control what people see online, at least to some degree. With the way that search results can stick around for years, it’s worth being proactive about the reputation of your practice. It will help you preserve your practice’s positive reputation and potentially attract new clients.