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When running a business, particularly a consumer-facing one, your company’s online reputation is everything. In today’s always-on, ever-connected world, this is more true than ever. The proliferation of online services reviewing everything from dog walkers to restaurants to hospitals has made it easier than ever for your customers to let the world know what they think of your medical practice. But what is reputation management for urgent care clinics and how can you make sure you’re doing everything you can to improve it?

Patient experience

It sounds obvious, but a customer’s experience is the single biggest driver of your urgent care center reputation, both online and off. Customers who have a fantastic experience are far more likely to share it with friends and family, and those who are deeply disappointed are even more likely to want to save their loved ones from an unfortunate fate. This is especially in true healthcare where the customer’s experience is highly personal.

But how do you know what your customers are experiencing?

Measure, improve, repeat

Peter Drucker, the well-known author and business management luminary, is often quoted as saying, “What gets measured, gets improved.” In order to improve patient experience, it’s crucial to measure and analyze what’s working and what’s not. Regular customer surveys or interviews, on a daily basis if possible, can help you take the pulse of your patient experience.

But that’s just the start. Systematic review of your survey results (and follow-up when necessary) is just as important ” whether its saving negative experiences via service recovery, or root-cause analysis of commonly occurring themes in survey responses. After all, what’s the use of measuring something if it doesn’t lead to action and improvement?

This process shouldn’t happen quarterly, monthly or even weekly, but continuously. Today’s consumers have an unprecedented luxury of choice, and have extremely high expectations for products and services. Taking your eye off the gauge of patient experience can cost you, and quickly, but a constant customer feedback loop will build trust and loyalty with everyone who comes through your doors.

Engage your teams

Although patient experience drives reputation directly, the single largest factor influencing your customers’ experience is your employees. It is therefore crucial to engage and inform your teams in your effort to improve patient experience.

Survey results and customer insights aren’t just for the C-suite, but everyone on the team. Regular, systematic review of customer feedback with the employees and teams who interact with customers will help them empathize with customers, and understand what you can all be doing better, as a team. Don’t keep all the insights to yourself!

Keep it positive

Not all customer feedback is negative and it’s important not to underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. In fast-paced, high-intensity businesses, it can be tough to find time to celebrate the wins or a job well done. Giving employees access to this positive reinforcement will help them perform better, improve patient experience, and ultimately stay longer at your organization.

Spread the word

So, you’re regularly and systematically measuring your patient experience, and using this data to constantly improve and keep your teams motivated and engaged. It’s working, and your customers are happier than ever!

Now what?

Make sure the world knows you’re doing a great job! Encourage your happiest and most delighted customers to leave reviews online. Google and other online review site searches have never been more important for informing customer choice, and if you really have made a customer’s day, a polite request to share their experience can go a long way. So get to work impressing your customers!

This resource was first published prior to the 2019 merger between DocuTAP and Practice Velocity. The content reflects our legacy brands.

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