Internet impressions count

Internet impressions count

Have you ever Googled your practice? If you haven’t, you should. The Dieringer Research Group released a study that revealed 40 percent of Internet users in the US changed their opinions of brands due to information they gathered online.

Knowing this statistic, it’s time to take action. First, if you have a practice Web site, make sure it’s sending the practice’s message. If a current patient or prospective patient visits your Web site, you want to make a valuable first impression. Include your mission statement and biographies of the doctors. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and looks professional. Second, research your practice online to find out what patients are saying about your practice. You can do this by using search engines, searching on blogs, or going specifically to sites that allows people to review practices.

Yelp is a known site that allows users to write reviews. I decided to go on Yelp to do some research. It is incredibly easy to navigate. All you have to do is find your city and type in doctors; and then a list will appear – reviews and all. Here is a link to Chicago doctors on Yelp. The list includes all sorts of medical doctors, optometrists, medical centers etc. And they all have reviews.

If you find your practice has reviews, read them! If you find a negative review, do not take it personally. Instead, remember the old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Or, in other words, turn the negative reviews into constructive criticism. Did a patient complain because they had to wait an hour before they saw a doctor? Re-evaluate your scheduling process and ask, Why do my patients have to wait? And, then, come up with a plan to fix it.

Finally, research your practice regularly on the Internet. It’s an open forum the whole world is adding to daily. After all, you don’t want your practice to become the statistic.