Your online reputation matters no matter what industry you’re in, but in a field like plastic surgery, it’s even more important.
According to a study published on SoftwareAdvice.com, almost three quarters (72 percent) of patients use online reviews as the very first step to finding a new doctor. That’s a huge percentage of possible new patients that are checking out your reviews before they even make contact.
5 reasons why plastic surgeons need online reviews
Clearly, there are benefits to doctors and, specifically, plastic surgeons, for having online reviews. Here are our top 5.
1. Reviews establish trust
According to the SoftwareAdvice.com study,
Last year, 82 percent of respondents said they consulted reviews websites with some frequency to view or post comments and ratings for health care providers. This year, that number jumped to 94 percent.
So, a huge number of potential patients are looking at your online reviews to decide if they can trust you or not with their medical care. Obviously, a longer list of really positive reviews is going to make a prospective patient much more likely to feel trusting of you, even before meeting you.
Trustworthiness is arguably one of the top most important criteria a patient uses when looking for a plastic surgeon.
2. You’ll get more business through word of mouth & referrals
Word of mouth referrals aren’t just offline anymore. In BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, they found that “91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
While that figure isn’t specifically related to doctors or plastic surgeons, it shows just how much trust people can put into online reviews by people they don’t even know personally. Therefore, word of mouth referrals aren’t just between real-life friends anymore — they’re online on review sites, social media, forums, and more. Having great reviews and mentions of your business means you’ll get more patients.
3. Your public reputation will benefit
Getting more business from positive reviews is great, but as an experienced plastic surgeon, your public reputation matters to you. The internet adds a really big dimension to managing that reputation!
There are a huge number of places people can be talking about you online. However, if you have 5-star reviews on the big ones (Google, Yelp, RealSelf, HealthGrades, etc.), your excellent reputation will be clearly visible on the first page of results when searching for your name.
4. More positive reviews increase your star rating
When you Google search your name, you’re going to see several star ratings in the top results. Before prospective patients even get to read any of your reviews, they see those star ratings. That’s their very first impression of you, so you should do your best to make it a good one!
And how do you make it a good one? Having more positive reviews increases your star ratings.
Plastic surgeon reputation management isn’t a piece of cake. Part of online reputation management for any person or company is responding to the negative online reviews. Because of HIPAA, though, it can be really difficult for plastic surgeons to write responses.
So, pushing bad reviews down with a lot of good reviews is really the best thing you can do for your online reputation.
5. You’ll beat your competition
When you’re choosing a product to buy on, say, Amazon, are you more likely to choose the one with a 5-star rating, or the one with 3 stars? Sure, it depends on several factors, but that rating is definitely going to influence your choice.
It’s the same with any other field, including healthcare. In healthcare reputation management, you’re always trying to increase your rating, making yourself just that much better than the competition. Make yourself the obvious choice!
Plastic surgeons need online reviews to establish their reputations as one of the best in their field. Beyond that, here are the 5 important ways plastic surgeons benefit from having online reviews:.
- Online reviews establish trust.
- Surgeons with more online reviews will get more business from referrals/word of mouth from the internet.
- Your public reputation will benefit from online reviews.
- Getting more positive reviews will increase your star ratings.
- You’ll beat out your competition.