Yelp, Zocdoc, and Klara, working together, will help you reach your medical practice dreams by helping you attract, acquire and retain your patients.You didn't go to medical school to deal with marketing, sales and operations, but the realistic side of managing a medical practice comes with this operational overhead. You want to grow your practice, create patient loyalty and make a name for yourself and your business.
By now, almost everyone has heard of Yelp, the popular consumer reviews website. But did you know that Yelp was actually created when co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman needed to find a healthcare provider.
Use Yelp for Medical Practice
His struggle to find online reviews and recommendations on local healthcare providers back in 2004 sparked the idea for Yelp, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Today, the site has over 100 million monthly visitors and 36 million reviews on local businesses, including hospitals.
Yelp is used more often than Healthgrades, RateMDs, Vitals and ZocDoc to find a doctor: Yelp is the #1 Review Site for finding doctors.
Some Tips from MD Connect:
Point satisfied customers to your Yelp profile
In order to encourage patients to leave reviews about their experience, they need to know you are present on Yelp. Here’s the thing: it is against Yelp guidelines to solicit positive reviews for your Yelp profile according to Entrepreneur. The best way to avoid violation of this guideline is to focus on letting satisfied customers know about your Yelp page. This can be done through word of mouth, posting a Yelp QR code, or signage in your practice.
Remove reviews that violate Yelp guidelines
Yelp carefully outlines their guidelines for posting both negative and positive reviews. According to their website, reviews left by customers must be accurate, they must reflect an actual experience instead of what has been heard thru word-of-mouth, and any review updates should include new information instead of repeating or rehashing something already posted. If you feel a patient review violates any of these guidelines, Entrepreneur suggests your report it and have it reviewed.
Use feedback to improve your physician practice
Improving your reputation online is important to your practice. However, the main purpose of feedback is to improve your medical practice and your customers experience. Pay attention to negative reviews, and carefully evaluate if patient complaints indicate an area for improvement. Additionally, use positive comments as an indicator of what you are doing right, and what you should keep doing to maintain a positive patient experience.
Zocdoc is the story of a small company with the mission to make healthcare scheduling easier for patients. From a physician side, Zocdoc operates similar to that of a Yelp—except exclusively for doctors. Listing your practice on Zocdoc puts your practice where patients can find you.
More than 2.5 million patients use ZocDoc to find doctors every month.
The site lists dozens of specialties and shows doctor listings on an interactive map, as well as photographs, insurances accepted, credentials, and professional statements.
One of the biggest benefits of listing your business on Zocdoc is the ability for new patients to schedule an appointment instantly online.
According to Zocdoc:
Klara, HIPAA-compliant communication tool, will help physicians and healthcare professionals boost patient retention rates. While Yelp and Zocdoc help get new patients in the door, Klara helps you keep them coming back (when they need to, of course). Not only does Klara boost patient satisfaction and increase patient engagement, Klara also reduces phone volume for office staff and increases operational efficiency.
Problems that Klara can solve for you:
Klara works as a messaging app where you can host and triage conversations with patients, internal staff and external providers. Think of it as a WhatsApp for healthcare professionals.
With the options technology brings us, you don't need an MBA to be a master at marketing to grow your practice efficiently. Using these three tools will bring you the funnel you need to attract, acquire and retain new patients.