By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
Someone who knows that I work in marketing passed along this little idea. As it happens, it comes from a retail small business, but with minor modification, it would play well in healthcare. Let’s call it: A Poor Man’s Reputation Management Idea. And, large office or small, it’s an effective idea that you’re welcome to adapt—with a few improvements—for your own use.
The core concept that propels this tactic is, simply, that you have to ask patients for referrals, reviews and testimonial comments. Many providers are reluctant to ask, or they’re busy, or…whatever. But what they don’t appreciate is that most patients are glad to be asked—flattered perhaps. They are quite willing to accommodate a request or casual reminder.
Simple reputation management sign…
This is the simple sign that happened to pop up in a retail shop. It’s not big (maybe 4” x 8”), but facing the waiting area chairs, it’s easily seen. It was stuck to the side of a vending machine with a magnetic backing. Here’s a picture of the original:
While your [sic] sitting there with your phone in your hand anyway… review us on Google.
A small-town shop owner likely fabricated the sign by hand; complete with a common spelling error and uneven trim edges. But, they score points for making the sign and prominently posting the friendly request for an online review.
The example pictured is genuinely rough. But a more professional execution of the same idea would make it suitable for a business office reception area.
- First, have it professionally prepared. Staples and similar stores provide elementary graphic services and, if needed, magnetic-backed material printing.
- Ask for the referral or review – but give them the link or specific direction.
- Proofread before printing. Good work can be eroded by a typo or other error.
- Make several. A few identical signs–say, three up–can be produced in the printing of one 8.5”x11” sheet.
But the very best way…
A simple sign is a “poor man’s reputation management” tactic. It’s simple and straightforward way to encourage patients about online reviews and comments. But keep in mind that it is only a reminder.
The most effective path is for the physician to do the asking and talk directly with the patient. A sign or two in the office can provide a useful assist. But there is no “higher authority” and patients are willing and responsive when they are asked. Positive reviews, comments and online referrals enhance visibility and professional reputation. But you’ve gotta ask.
A little sign like this is a clever, but small, idea. So please let us know how we can help you with the full-course of reputation management and internet marketing or see how we transform doctor marketing by generating exposure and increasing qualified leads.