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How Does a Negative Review Cost Your Practice?

How Does a Negative Review Cost Your Practice?

Online reputation matters. The trust and support of your patients can have a direct and significant effect on your bottom line. In the last decade or so, the importance of managing online reputation has become increasingly apparent. Before the internet, medical practices relied on word-of-mouth publicity in order to establish their online reputation and attract new patients. While word-of-mouth is still the primary source for drawing new patients, online ratings and reviews play an integral role in the growth of a practice.

If a practice has a solid reputation in the local community, patients will have a preference for that brand even if other practices are offering similar services for lower prices. The practice's reputation can help it differentiate its services in a highly competitive market and have premium pricing. However, in this age of digital communication, physicians have to be careful and responsive to any situation that may adversely impact their online reputation.

According to a study conducted by Software Advice, patients regularly check online reviews of physicians. Nearly 84 percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate medical practitioners, and almost 80 percent of patients conduct extensive online research before booking appointments. Patients put so much value in reviews that negative online reviews about their existing healthcare provider can make them choose an out-of-network provider. According to the same study, 47 percent of patients would go out-of-network for a physician who has more positive reviews.

Bad reviews can cost you money

In the past, sharing feedback was a private affair between the patient and the healthcare provider. However, in today's digital-savvy world, even a single negative review of your practice can go viral within hours. Negative online reviews translate directly into loss of business and brand damage. Moreover, a handful of negative online reviews can have detrimental effects on your reputation and revenue. A tarnished brand image will mean patients may not want to be connected with your staff or practice.

Angry patients tend to post negative feedback and spread bad comments on third-party review sites and online forums. A large number of potential patients who might have read negative reviews of your practice may lose trust in your staff and services.


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