It’s no secret that more people are using online reviews to help them choose new businesses and services. So it makes sense that a negative review could have an affect on your chiropractic marketing. A new study published by Cone proves the point.

Data culled from the responses of over 1000 participants suggests that over 80% of buyers will rethink their purchase or involvement with a company when exposed to a negative review. This is a dramatic spike over previous years. This sharp statistical increase is in part the result of smart phones and mobile technology. Now, 59% of consumers say they are more likely to research services and products online because they can easily access the data through their cell phones

Managing your online reputation in 15 minutes a week

If you want to maximize your chiropractic marketing you must monitor your online reputation. Monitoring your reputation doesn’t have to take an immense amount of time. You can quickly establish a simple weekly routine that should take no more than 15 or 20 minutes. Begin with the following steps:

  • Check your Google places listing. Google will often add reviews to your places listing. Keep an eye on reviews so if there is a problem you’ll be aware of it.
  • Look for online mentions about your chiropractic practice – One easy way to do this is by setting up a Google alert. Go to www.google.com/alerts. Here you can specify the keywords and the frequency of the updates. You may wish to set up separate alerts for your name as well as that of your practice.
  • Visit your Facebook page – Ideally this should be done daily. Being involved in your patients’ conversations will do more than manage your reputation it can be a very effective chiropractic marketing strategy. Recently we gained a new patient simply by responding to a question posted by a Facebook follower.
  • Keep an eye on your Twitter account. Check out what patients and other followers are saying about you. There are a number of tools, like Tweet Deck, that make this easier.

So what do you do if you’re slapped with a thumbs down by a disgruntled chiropractic patient?

First off, don’t panic. One negative review won’t derail all your chiropractic marketing. Many online review sites allow businesses to post responses to the comments or complaints. If you’re faced with this challenge, take a deep breath, then calmly and clearly outline your answer. You may not be able to salvage the relationship with the complainant, but you could positively impress future readers that also have an interest in your chiropractic clinic.

Realistically, it appears there needs to be about ten favorable reviews to offset the effect of a negative one. Does this mean you should quickly sign up your family members to beginning flooding review sites with positive reviews? Definitely not.

Some companies are in the process of developing software that can spot fake reviews. But even if the software never comes to fruition, we must consider the ethical implications of loading sites with our own trumped up reviews. That doesn’t prevent you from mentioning to your patients that if they are happy with the success of treatments that you would welcome a favorable review.

Also consider that the complaint will have less impact if you already have a strong online reputation. There are several ways to establish online authority. You may want to begin a chiropractic blog, submit educational articles to sites like Wikipedia and ehow and become active in health forums.

Fortunately, there are many indications that consumers are now doing more than searching online reviews when considering a new health care provider. They are also researching related topics on the internet and looking for informational blogs.

Take the above actions and you’ll be well equipped to deal with any negative review, should it come along.

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