In her TED talk, The Currency of the New Economy is Trust, Rachel Botsman asks the audience, “If someone asked you for the three words that would sum up your reputation, what would you say? The answer to this question will become profoundly important in an age where reputation will become your most important asset.”
Pretend you are a prospective patient at your own practice. You research your practice on Google My Business, Yelp and Vitals, and patient reviews begin to paint a clear picture of what your practice is like. In this scenario, what three themes do you see again and again? (Keep in mind that 88% of consumers trust these online reviews as much as personal recommendations.)
If your answer is long wait times, wonderful physicians, and rude office staff, what does this tell you about your practice? Perhaps your scheduling system is the root of your problems. If you have amazing physicians, you likely have a large patient base, which can translate to long wait times and a strained staff. It is this awareness of your own reputation and areas for improvement and willingness to change that translate to successful reputation management.
But, why is it critical to manage your online reputation? Botsman goes on to explain how trust is the “currency of the new economy.”
“In a similar way that companies often use some kind of credit rating to decide whether to give you a mobile plan or the rating of a mortgage, marketplaces that depend on transactions between relative strangers need some kind of device to let you know [who] are good eggs, and that device is reputation. Reputation is the measurement of how much a community trusts you.”
In a digital world, where more people are relying on strangers’ recommendations and your reputation is more and more visible, let this increased transparency work to your advantage. Listen to your patients, improve your practice based on their feedback and leverage this new-found reputation capital to earn the trust of prospective patients and grow your business.