As healthcare marketers evolve their strategies for patient engagement and acquisition, this quote from social media expert Brian Solis really stands out to me: "Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it." In this new era in health care, 77% of people search online before making an appointment, 75% say online ratings and review sites have influenced their physician selection, and 47% of patients are willing to go out-of-network based on reviews. With healthcare consumer expectations rising and competing providers only a click away, how do we manage the reputation of our healthcare brands across the digital landscape?
Create a holistic strategy
Digital has expanded the patient experience beyond just the point of care. Marketing now needs to account for everything from when a patient initially searches for a new provider through post-care feedback. It’s really a journey that they go through – even if each patient’s journey is unique. How impactful is it considering every touchpoint in their journey can shape their patient experience? A recent survey of ours indicates that 30% share their experiences online. You need to manage your website’s physician directory and online reviews to help control your brand. But you also need to manage third-party sources ranging from rating and review sites to social media and Google’s knowledge panel. You’re putting significant dollars into marketing campaigns and activities across the board. Don’t let a fragmented digital experience mar your marketing investments – and your brand.
Patient engagement across the experience will be key to developing the right strategy. Considering the scale of patient feedback you’re receiving from patient surveys and a myriad of online sources, you need to analyze it all to quickly to pinpoint meaningful insights. You’re already analyzing marketing efforts using Google Analytics for your web traffic and CRM for patient marketing initiatives. Patient feedback analytics gives you insights into patient sentiment – and a way to identify patient experience trends affecting your brand as well as positive and negative patient comments. This provides more opportunities for marketing to be a catalyst in managing the brand experience, including quickly activating online service recovery – customer service 2.0 – that helps solve dissatisfied patient issues, to sharing feedback with physicians and staff on areas where patient experience can be improved. And the positive patient reviews you receive and communicate to prospective patients can help you grow your healthcare facility. As we know: patient experience impacts revenue. Managing patient feedback provides another opportunity to demonstrate that marketing can have a significant impact on your facility. So what are you doing to manage your online brand experience? I’d like to hear from you. You can reach out to me on Twitter @_aaronc.