To Compare Healthcare Reputation Management Systems, You Need to Know What to Look For
With all of the software options out there it can be tough to decide which service is best for your business. Even if you’ve found a few choices to consider, it can be difficult to compare healthcare reputation management systems. No two options are the same and you don’t want to end up paying for features that are not useful for your industry. Or worse, signing up for something that doesn’t help you reach your goals or is too difficult to use.
Patient Satisfaction Is At The Core Of Reputation Management
For any healthcare business, patients come first. Patient care and satisfaction are crucial to success. Understanding how your patients felt about their visit to you is the first step in improving or maintaining a positive online reputation. Online reviews are a result of the patient experience. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a healthcare reputation management system that helps you collect feedback about your patients’ opinions of you, while simultaneously encouraging positive online reviews.
Are you focused on improving your patient experience?
No Matter Your Quality Of Care, Bad Reviews Happen
Though an impeccable patient satisfaction record is the pie-in-the-sky goal, there will always be someone who you can not satisfy. Perhaps they had a bad outcome. Perhaps their wait seemed to last an eternity. Perhaps they do not like the way the receptionist greeted them. Even if your care and service can’t be beat, it’s not always possible to please everyone all the time, but that’s okay. No matter what reputation management system you choose, whether it’s Birdeye, myPracticeReputation, or something else entirely, they should offer options to help you overcome unhappy patients and to correct the issues that led up to the negative experience.
Reduce Vulnerability to Negative Reviews
When you compare healthcare reputation management systems, you should look beyond eliminating bad online reviews. Negative reviews every now and again will not hurt your reputation. Contrary to popular belief, bad reviews can be a good thing if you’ve built up enough positive reviews to protect you from being vulnerable to a few bad ones.
Having all five-star reviews looks fishy
Patients, and people, in general, expect a good business to have mostly positive reviews, with a handful of mediocre ones here and there. Companies with nothing but 5-star reviews are actually less trustworthy since it looks like they might be covering something up. Putting up fake reviews, or are taking down bad reviews is not good for business and people see through these strategies.
When you get a bad review, the best thing to do is to reply in a professional manner and to work toward making changes to your business to improve your patient experiences. Reducing the impact of bad reviews, rather than trying to avoid any negative feedback, is the best solution. Get as many positive reviews as possible so that negative bad online reviews are overshadowed by all of your great reviews.
Getting Good Reviews Is the Main Goal of Most Systems
Most reputation management systems companies are really good at building up positive online reviews. And most doctors and healthcare organizations are searching for ways to get more positive patient reviews. If you’re trying to compare healthcare reputation management systems like Birdeye, EMerit, RepuGen, or MedRev, you’re going to get this main feature in some form no matter which company you choose. However, the way the good reviews are generated may differ from one system to the next.
One of the biggest factors to consider when you choose a reputation management system is whether the company you’re considering is truly focused on your specific industry.
There are a lot of systems, such as Birdeye, RepuGen, ReputationLoop and dozens of others that are built to be usable by hundreds of industries. They have tons of users, however, the percentage of users that are in the healthcare industry is relatively low. Because these systems are built to work for all industries, they lack many industry-specific features that many medical practices, outpatient centers, and hospitals are looking for.
Healthcare Specific Systems
Alternatively, there are several reputation management systems that are built specifically for the healthcare industry. Software systems like myPracticeReputation, MedRev, and Medical Practice Builders are built to suit medical businesses. This specialization means that you will likely have options that are built to meet your needs and features that are most meaningful to your goals.
Focus on Reputation
Within the options available specifically for healthcare businesses, there are several companies that are more of a one-stop-shop for multiple aspects of digital marketing. For small teams that don’t have a marketing manager or any digital marketing experience, companies like myPracticeReputation or Medical Practice Builders may be a good option since they offer multiple services.
However, if you already have your social media marketing covered, or you’re not in need of web development, it is best to seek out a company that focuses only on reputation. Systems like MedRev or eMerit focus only on reputation which means they have put all of their efforts into making a system that is optimized for this purpose.
Not sure what’s best for your team?
Sometimes it’s hard to decide if you should use a company with a broad range of services, or a company that focuses on reputation management? Think of the options like this. You can buy a swiss army knife that does it all, but the scissors might be difficult to use, or the knife might not be big enough to cut the things you had in mind. Or you could buy a full sized screwdriver, nail file, etc. Your tools will each stand alone, but they will be more effective than the all-in-one option.
Features to Consider
When it comes to healthcare reputation management, the ability to collect private feedback is one of the most crucial features for several reasons.
- Asking qualifying questions privately allows you to pre-screen patients to request online reviews only from those who had a pleasant experience.
- Sending out a short set of questions also helps you gather data about your patient experience, whether it’s good or bad, so you can assess how you’re doing through the eyes of your patients.
- Asking for feedback privately gives unhappy patients a chance to tell you about their opinion offline, therefore lowering the probability of a negative public review.
- Allowing your patient to leave you private comments about their visit, helps you to correct individual issues by responding directly.
Though they have a lot of features, many systems like Birdeye do not offer private feedback collection. MedRev provides the most robust feedback collection system.
Feedback Collection Format and Customization
Feedback collected through a satisfaction survey can come in a few forms. Formatting questions in such a way that the receiver can answer with a rating from 1 to 5. Feedback data is only useful if it can be qualified. “How would you rate the level of care you received?” is better than “Were you satisfied with the level of care you received?”
Even within the healthcare industry, each business type is unique and each business needs to collect feedback that is most useful to them. Use a system that lets you customize your patient feedback questions whenever you want, so your patients can tell you exactly what you need to know.
There are a few different ways you can ask patients for reviews. This is important when you compare healthcare reputation management systems because the wrong method for your business will yield minimal results. The main options are:
- Text Message
- In-Office tablet
For most doctors and larger practices, text messages are the most effective option since 82% of patients read every text message they get. Email is a good back up option as well. In-office tablets are a popular offering, but it increases the price you pay for the system since you have to cover the cost of the tablet, even if it’s built into the price. Also, most patients don’t tend to want to spend any extra time at a doctor’s office or hospital than they have to. Still, it may be useful if your patient base is of a certain age or if they tend to linger in your office after their visit.
Responding to Patient Feedback and Reviews
In most systems, all reviews are gathered and shown in one place on your dashboard. You can respond to your good and bad online reviews all from the system. This way you do not have to shuffle through many different sites to find the reviews that pertain to your business. This is a standard feature to look for when you compare healthcare reputation management systems and strategies.
A less common feature, but just as important, is to have the option to respond to private feedback your patients submit. It shows patients you are listening, not just when they give you a shout out online, but anytime they have something to share with you. It also gives you the valuable opportunity to correspond directly with unhappy patients so you can resolve issues or misunderstandings one-on-one instead of waiting to take the issue to the internet.
A software company that will integrate with your PMS makes the software effortless. It is much easier than your receptionist manually adding each name, telephone number, and phone number into the system. Manual additions can and are entered into the system by many businesses, but it takes time and persistence to constantly to add this information. That’s simply not realistic for most healthcare businesses. The reason it is often done manually is that to integrate your software can expensive or require a big upfront commitment, and the system must be HIPAA compliant.
If your practice is large, the fee to integrate is worth the cost. Our recommendation is to find a software company that will integrate with your PMS as part of your contract. You will need this service for as long as you are in business so you might as well go ahead and get the integration. Even if you are not garnering reviews, your competitors will be. It will be tough to catch up if you only have 61 reviews with a 2.8-star rating and they have 543 reviews with a 4.6-star rating.
Even better, some systems can integrate with your business intelligence systems so you can use your patient experience data seamlessly with your current data points to see the big picture and the details.
Negative Review Suppression
You may still find a few systems that say they can delete, alter, or suppress negative reviews from getting seen online. As you compare healthcare reputation management systems, this may sound enticing, it is not a feature we recommend seeking out. First off, this is against the terms and conditions of most review platforms like Facebook and Google. Any company that is taking down or altering reviews has found a loophole that won’t last forever.
Suppressing negative patient reviews bring up an ethical dilemma as well. You’re not in business to get one over on someone, doctors are in business to help people. If you’re taking down bad reviews or putting up fake ones, your patients are going to be skeptical of your authenticity and that’s going to do more damage to your reputation than a few bad reviews would have caused in the first place.
Most people don’t think about support until they need it. But when you run into trouble, you’ll be glad to know there’s someone there to help. Steer clear of companies that offer very limited support options. Chat and email support are nice options, but it’s time-consuming to try and explain an issue through text alone. What’s more, many chat and email support teams are based overseas and a communication barrier will add to the frustration. It’s best to use a system that includes video conferencing assistance and a dedicated account manager for you to call anytime you have trouble.
Price is a big factor for most businesses when they want to compare healthcare reputation management software options and strategies. This is a surprisingly big hurdle to overcome since most software companies don’t reveal their pricing online. Instead, they make you set up a demo to have someone walk you through the system before you even see the price tag.
Another consideration when it comes to comparing prices is to note the factors that cause the price to increase. For example, if you have more than one location, many systems make you buy a separate license for each one. Some companies charge more based on the number of users or the number of doctors you have. Many systems require a setup fee as well, which can range from a few hundred to well over a thousand dollars.
Some systems, such as MedRev, charge based on the number of patients you process each month. This is a good option because you don’t have to pay for each location separately if you have a multi-location practice. Furthermore, you can set up groups or departments so you can have specific messaging for each doctor or department.
Overall, consider the price of each system you are comparing. If the service is too inexpensive, you should be wary about the utilities of the software. If it is too expensive you will be paying for features you will never use.
Be Realistic About Your Needs
For most physicians’ offices, and larger healthcare businesses, the determining factors should be features and price. As far as features go, you should consider not what sounds nice, but what you’ll actually use. Features that take extra effort and time from your staff means that you’ll need to make room for those tasks in your workload. This extra time and effort needs to be taken into account when comparing price and needs vs. wants to make sure you’re really getting the most for your money.
Here’s a summary of some of the most common and popular features to consider when you compare different medical reputation management software:
- Personal dashboard
- HIPAA compliant
- Unlimited providers
- Survey and reminder features
- Private feedback
- Low score notifications
- Unlimited locations
- Text and/or e-mail surveys
Let’s Compare Healthcare Reputation Management Systems
Pros: They have thousands of customers in different professions. They monitor over 250 different social media sites and have a lot of options.
Cons: They do not concentrate just on healthcare. They are one of the most expensive and you may pay for features you do not need. They do not collect private feedback.
- Starting at $2,400 for an annual contract.
- $250-$450 per location paid monthly (annual contract still required).
- Additional fee for integrations.
Pros: They concentrate on healthcare. They monitor over 20 different social media sites.
Cons: They do more than just reputation management so you may pay for features you do not need. Training is available only online. Each physician and business considered separate accounts which means a higher bill. Finally, you can not answer reviews from the dashboard.
- Starting at $349 per month.
- Additional fee for more than 100 text messages per month.
- Set up fee of $700.
- Additional fee for integrations.
Pros: They only concentrate on healthcare. They monitor the sites that are important to your practice. Transparent pricing is available on the website without a demo. No annual contract required.
- Starting at $99 for a month to month contract.
- No setup fee.
- Additional fees as patient load increases.
- PMS integration free with annual contract.
When You Compare Healthcare Reputation Management Software, The Right Choice Depends On Your Business Needs
It’s easy to want to jump on board with a new system, especially after talking with a friendly salesperson or seeing a nice demo. But take the time to assess all your options to make sure you’re making the right decision for your practice. Making a change later not only takes more time, but it costs more money and if you’re locked into a contract, your options are quite limited. Doing your research to compare the choices at the start will pay off once you’ve found the system that is the right fit for you!
Looking for a healthcare-focused reputation management system with no strings attached?