Lessons Learned: Tips for Managing Online Reputations

August 1, 2013

by Sheryl S. Jackson

Sheryl S. JacksonOnline review sites provide opportunities for providers to respond quickly to individual complaints and com­pliments, as well as to identify overarching customer service issues that need to be addressed throughout the organization. Maintaining an online reputation requires the same thoughtful, strategic approach required for any marketing communications initiative, but the real-time nature of online reviews adds some additional challenges. Hospitals that are navigating the online review site arena offer these suggestions:

1. Develop a consistent approach to responses

“Respond just as quickly to negative comments as you do to positive comments and, once you begin re­sponding, be consistent about the timing and type of response,” suggests Jequeatta Upton Smith of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. For ex­ample, don’t have two months when a staff member responds to every post, then have three months of occasional responses. Be sure employee assignments place a priority on managing online reviews, or else share responsibility with other departments to ensure ongoing engagement.

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