The abundance of information provided by the Internet is often viewed as a net positive for society, as it should be. One unintended consequence of the explosion of information and the ease with which it can be accessed is the extra work created for business owners in managing their virtual presence. Online reputation management is an entire industry now with private firms specializing in the craft. Making sure that review websites such as Yelp! and others present a positive image is of the utmost importance to small and medium sized businesses.
Writing for Psychiatric Times, Manish Kumar Chauhan outlines several steps that can be used by healthcare providers to manage their online reputation. The article points out some surprising statistics, such as the 65 websites devoted to online medical reviews. If you are a healthcare provider this can represent a significant risk. You must be constantly engaged in online presence management. Some of the tips provided in the article include monitoring conversations, such as those that happen on review sites but also on Facebook pages or Twitter. It is also suggested that you engage with patients online, so if you do no currently have a strong social media presence now may be the time to consider building one. The tried and true principles of business stay true even in digitized marketplaces- good customer service and accurate records are going to ensure that people view you positively and your online reputation will reflect that.
In the article Chauhan writes that “Online reviews should not be dreaded or feared.” This is true. If you provide great service and build strong relationships with your customers that will reflect in your web presence. However, there are now extra components to building relationships and providing service, and online reputation management addresses those components.