People with sleep problems want to have confidence in their provider. Whether you have a clinical practice or sleep-focused niche business, they want to trust you. In today’s world, you must be aware of your online reputation — as “digital” is the new “word of mouth”, and social media is an essential component in building your reputation, and maintaining it.
As with any healthcare business, you need to take proactive steps to instill trust and confidence — and provide an excellent customer experience, compared to your competitors. Your online presence and reputation must be able to attract more patients as well.
Building an attractive online profile and maintaining consistently good reviews are necessary for any sleep-focused business or practice. Indeed, recent industry feedback shows that 70% of patients refer to reviews before choosing their provider.
Your Website is Your Signature
In today’s world, your website creates that all-important first impression. Your passion for the sleep industry, your expertise, experience and dedication to customer service all must shine on your website.
As a sleep-focused practice, the services you offer should be clearly represented and easy to read. If you offer diagnostics and treatments, they must be clearly explained. Patients will quickly dismiss a website that isn’t attractive, professional, readable and easy to navigate. They do not want to waste time and effort, and will move on to a competitor’s website.
Best practices for your website:
- Easy to navigate
- Uses simple, clear language
- Up to date with special offers
How to Build Your Online Profile
Your online profile is essential in building your sleep business’ reputation. You must have consistent information across the different online platforms that customers visit. If a customer sees conflicting information on opening times, contact details and treatments, they will move on to a competitor. In healthcare, patients want certainty and reliable information.
You can optimise your profile and make these sites truly work to your advantage. Take time to personalise your profile on these sites to create an instant connection to your sleep business or practice. Add awards, qualifications, staff bios — as these will reassure patients regarding your professionalism and expertise, and set your business apart from your competitors.
Pay particular attention to your Google business profile. Google is the online heavyweight, with huge influence. Google returns nearly 90% of the market share for online searches, and their business profile tool provides a key online marketing profile.
You can’t afford to ignore Google’s influence. By customising your Google profile with well-crafted details, you take control of how your sleep industry business is represented on prime online sites. Wherever you can, provide a link from online profiles to your business’s website.
Engage With Social Media
Prospective patients are likely to use social media such as Facebook to help form an opinion about a sleep industry business. You can create a favourable opinion by engaging with visitors on the top social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. By uploading interesting posts on a regular basis, you will guide people to more in-depth information about their personal sleep problems and services you provide — continue to build your online reputation.
Industry studies indicate 73% of people weigh a business’ positive reviews in their decisions. Reviews should be encouraged by offering patients an easy feedback form to complete.
Reviews can be used as a marketing tool to build trust with existing and future patients. A site with a significant number of reviews will indicate a busy company/practice with a good existing patient base.
You will establish confidence in your sleep industry business or practice. Consumers generally read around 10 reviews before they start to form an opinion. These will be the most recent reviews, as studies show customers tend to ignore reviews 3 months or older.
Maintaining a 4-star review rating is the goal. This will help keep your practice toward the top end of Google search results when people search for ‘best practice’.
What About Negative Reviews?
Studies show 59% of respondents will only consider a practice with a 4-star rating or higher. However, you should not ignore and dread negative reviews. Every business receives negative reviews at some point; with the right response, you can turn it into a positive.
Always watch your tone when replying to negative feedback; don’t be defensive, respond in a polite and informative manner. Show your concern and your willingness to understand and solve the problem. Offer to take the conversation off-line to resolve the issue. This will give the right impression to other patients — showing that your practice is professional and committed to solving problems. This shows your sleep industry business is committed to providing a good customer experience.
By using all available online tools, you can establish and maintain your digital ‘word of mouth’, driving new clients to your sleep industry business or practice. You’ll also ensure that existing patients still feel they made the right choice all along — the key to building a successful sleep business/practice.