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December 12, 2018

How to Optimize Your Digital Patient Experience

By: Kayla Zamary

Webinar December 13 – How to Optimize Your Digital Patient Experience Most of us do not need to be told that a good digital experience is key to providing patient-centered care. But how do you even decide where to begin, let alone design, test, deliver, and refine a patient experience that makes the crucial difference?…

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Webinar December 13 – How to Optimize Your Digital Patient Experience

Most of us do not need to be told that a good digital experience is key to providing patient-centered care. But how do you even decide where to begin, let alone design, test, deliver, and refine a patient experience that makes the crucial difference?

If you want expert advice on what to do, and in what order, join us Thursday, December 13 for our webinar entitled How to Optimize Your Digital Patient Experience.

In a discussion that is sure to inform, educate, and stimulate, you will learn practical approaches for unifying your organization, implementing a patient-first vision, and creating the change you want to see.

This practical and very timely session is hosted by SHSMD U Webcasts, a service of the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development.

The presenters are Joseph Jacobellis, Director of Experience & Innovation, HCA Healthcare, Jackie Martin, Principal, Branch Strategy and Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing, Binary Fountain.

These experts will help you understand – and unite your organization around – an important truth: today, improving the digital patient experience is a business challenge, not just a digital marketing challenge. They will also help you with advice on first steps, teaching you how to plan, design and execute a program that deliveres a patient-inspired digital experience.

Register NOW, and join us Thursday, December 13 from 12 pm – 1 pm EST.

How to Optimize Your Digital Patient Experience

Hosted by SHSMD U Webcasts
Thursday, December 13
12 pm –1 pm EST

Panelists

Joseph Jacobellis, Director of Experience & Innovation, HCA Healthcare
Jackie Martin, Principal, Branch Strategy
Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing, Binary Fountain 

RSVP NOW

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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December 07, 2018

Impact of Social Media on Businesses

By: Kayla Zamary

What impact has social media had on businesses over the last few years? Think about it like this: millions of people use social media platforms each day, and with the invention of smartphones, people have almost 24/7 access to social media. The good news is, most of these people are using social to engage with…

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What impact has social media had on businesses over the last few years? Think about it like this: millions of people use social media platforms each day, and with the invention of smartphones, people have almost 24/7 access to social media.

The good news is, most of these people are using social to engage with brands just like yours.

In fact, HootSuite found that 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on the platform.

The impact of social media on businesses is almost immeasurable. Social media is a fast, inexpensive way for you to reach your potential customers. Having the right social media strategies can help you grow your business and your online reputation.

Humanize Your Brand

The biggest benefit of using social media is that it humanizes your brand and shows people what you do is more than a company logo. Using different platforms to create real human connection is the most important benefit your business can gain from using social media.

Social media gives you the ability to showcase how your product or services have already improved the lives of your current customers while also encouraging others to improve their lives in the same way. That can have a huge impact on your business.

Not sure where to start?

Start by posting a video on your social accounts of current customers talking about how you helped them solve a problem, and position them the hero of the story and your brand as the guide. By showing others how you impacted someone else, you can be sure you will attract more business.

A word of advice: not everyone can post catchy, 15-minute chef videos. You need to build your presence on social media so you’re established as a subject matter expert in your field.

It’s also important to think about user intent. Social media users are looking for engaging content that doesn’t go too deep into detail, but provides emotional value. This is a completely different mindset than people who are searching online for details about a product or service. Keep that in mind before posting.

The Impact of Building a Social Community

Social media platforms give your business the power to reach potential customers every time they check their profile, meaning you have almost limitless opportunities to connect with fans. According to some studies, people check Facebook alone almost 14 times a day.

We know users are plugged into what happens on social media, but that doesn’t mean they want or are excited to see your content. It does mean, however, they are interested in what their friends and family are doing.

Customers are using social media like they would word-of-mouth referrals to choose businesses. When you are able to get people to interact with your product or service on social media, you increase the likelihood that other users will see it, too. Thus you build a connection you wouldn’t have had before.

Additionally, there are probably people in private groups and messages asking for recommendations for products or services like yours. Having a good profile on social media and a well laid out website will help you put your best foot forward.

Posting regularly and keeping your posts entertaining will help you develop the kind of following you want to grow your brand—and a community to support it.

Paid Advertisement: Boost Your Social Media Impact

If you watched Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before congress, you know Facebook makes their money by selling advertisements, not from selling user data.

If you’ve ever paid for advertisements on Facebook, you know that would be true based on your bill.

The reality is, paying for advertisement space on social media networks is a great way to impact your business, especially if you are interested in boosting your brand awareness.

It can be hard selling executives on paid advertising because “social media is free.” If you are struggling with this conversation, try framing it like you are putting money into a vending machine, but instead of getting your favorite guilty pleasure snack, you get your money back plus additional money.

Basically, it’s the old adage of you have to spend money to make money. Unlike billboards and other conventional marketing, however, paid social media is easy to track in dashboards.

Paying for social advertisement also allows you to be more focused in your marketing efforts, allowing you to reach new audiences by finding people with similar interests as your current customers and placing your business in front of them. Using retargeting and custom lists, you are able to continue the conversation with customers based on their individual behavior to show them the right product or service at the right time.

Monitor What Your Current Customers Are Saying

Perhaps the most valuable part of social media isn’t what you say to your audience, but rather what your audience says about you. Nothing can be more valuable to your business than real time feedback from customers who are already invested in your business.

Comments, messages, and engagement rates all can help inform how a product, business, or idea is being received by the audience.

Here’s the truth: your customers are already talking about you online. By engaging your audience when they have concerns or complaints, you are showing other people you are willing to take action to please customers. That goes a long way.

Similarly, if someone is saying good things about your business, you can reaffirm that sentiment by thanking the person that left the comment/review to highlight how much you appreciate your customers.

Simply put, social media is a chance for you to highlight the positives of your brand and quickly react to negative feedback given to your business.

Remember, if someone says something negative about your business, respond politely and professionally. Do not engage in a flame war.

Need Help With Reputation Management?

Do you need help managing your reviews on social media? The reputation management experts at Binary Fountain are here to help you make a positive impact on social media for your business.

Thanks to our advanced software, we are able to monitor your reviews on social media websites and on review sites like Yelp to give you a holistic view of what customers are saying about your business. This means your team will have more time to act on the insights you get to improve your business and can spend less time collecting data.

We have e-books and other resources available for business owners and marketing professionals who want to do a better job managing their online reputation. Get started today!

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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December 03, 2018

How to Increase Online Reviews

By: Kayla Zamary

Why Your Practice Needs More Reviews It might seem obvious to say it is important to have more reviews, so here are some statistics that demonstrate why it is so important. Consumers Share Experience and Trust Reviews From our 2nd annual Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement survey: 51% of respondents share personal healthcare experiences…

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Why Your Practice Needs More Reviews

It might seem obvious to say it is important to have more reviews, so here are some statistics that demonstrate why it is so important.

Consumers Share Experience and Trust Reviews

From our 2nd annual Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement survey:

  • 51% of respondents share personal healthcare experiences online.
  • 100% of younger millennials and 95% of overall respondents regard online ratings as “somewhat” to “very” reliable.

Good Reviews are Crucial for Practice Growth

A 2015 study by HCA Physicians Group shows the effect of good reviews on average monthly new patient volume growth:

  • 90–100% Positive Reviews +17%
  • 80–90% Positive Reviews +13%
  • Below 80% Positive Reviews + 2%

How to Get Started

To get started on the job of increasing online reviews, you must assess your current status. Do a “find a doctor near me” search on Google, to see how your practice shows up and how it compares to others. Then set benchmarks based on:

  • The volume of ratings for your practice.
  • Your average scores.
  • The sources of ratings.
  • How you compare to your competition.

You’ll use this to choose which review sites to try and build up.

Understand the Policies

Make sure you understand the rules on soliciting reviews – Google My Business, for example, has strict policies against some review solicitation tactics. For example, Google’s policy states businesses should not discourage or prohibit negative reviews, or selectively solicit positive reviews.

It’s a good idea to use signage and make personal requests of all patients in the office as they arrive for or leave their appointment, with a promise to send a reminder.

Send the Patient a Reminder

  • Timeliness matters – send reminders the day of a patient’s visit.
  • Be mindful of the time of day – late afternoon and early evening are best.

Consider Sending Reminders via Text or SMS Message

There are many good reasons for sending your follow-ups via text. Here are a few:

  • 95% of people own a cell phone, and between 77 and 81% have a smartphone.
  • 46% of seniors over 65 own a smartphone.
  • People check their phones some 80 times a day.
  • People receive an average of 32 text messages a day.
  • 95% of people read incoming messages within 5 minutes.

Are you eager to learn more?

Binary Fountain’s product management directors hosted a webinar recently that offers detailed advice on all these points, and a lot more.

Are you ready to get expert advice on increasing reviews and ratings?

Log in here to listen to their presentation on Increasing Online Reviews the Right Way in Healthcare.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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November 27, 2018

How to Manage Online Review Sites

By: Brian Williams

Managing Online Review Sites Everyone knows that healthcare consumers rely on online reviews and ratings when researching and choosing providers and facilities. These findings from Binary Fountain’s second annual Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey really drive home the close relationship between reputation as represented in reviews, and the way they influence consumer choices:…

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Managing Online Review Sites

Everyone knows that healthcare consumers rely on online reviews and ratings when researching and choosing providers and facilities. These findings from Binary Fountain’s second annual Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey really drive home the close relationship between reputation as represented in reviews, and the way they influence consumer choices:

  • 95% of respondents find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
  • Of that group, 100% between the ages of 18-24 find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
  • 97% of respondents between the ages of 25-34 report the same sentiment: “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
  • 70% say online ratings and review sites have influenced their decision when selecting a physician.
  • When referred by another doctor, 41% of consumers still check online ratings and reviews of doctors/specialists.

Join the Conversation

Effective reputation management requires that you monitor − and participate in − online conversations about your healthcare organization on the most popular rating and review sites.

The first principle, according to many experts, is that every review merits a response. Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, observes that most businesses answer some complaints, on some channels, some of the time. His research on the science of complaints shows consistency is vital. “Answering a customer complaint increases customer advocacy, always,” he says. “And not answering a customer complaint decreases customer advocacy, always.”

Step one is to get familiar with and get control of your listings on the most popular review sites.

Learn how to create and update listings, and how to claim listings that may already exist. And, learn the rules for posting responses to reviews.

Good, Bad and Neutral – How to Respond to Reviews

It’s important to respond with the right tone to reviews, whether they’re positive, negative or in between.

  • Positive – Thank the reviewer for their kind words and their visit; be specific, without revealing personal details or private health information. Invite the patient to tell others about their experience, and for SEO’s sake, mention your business name and location.
  • Negative – Even if the comments are unfounded, keep your response brief, non-confrontational and sympathetic. Apologize for the upset caused, and offer to make things right. Invite the reviewer to contact a staffer by name, to take the matter offline. This is a place to leave out your business name and location.
  • Neutral – Lukewarm reviews should get a warm response, so treat a “meh” review as a one-star complaint. A detailed and sympathetic response shows you appreciate this patient, and everyone who might be reading reviews as part of their decision to call your facility.

What about false, inaccurate or inappropriate reviews?

Learn the ins and outs of review site guidelines, or you could find yourself at a disadvantage. For example, do you know the policies of important review sites on disputing or removing a review?

Facebook, for example, offers these criteria as violations of its community standards:

  • hate speech
  • graphic violence
  • nudity or sexual activity
  • cruel or insensitive language
  • spam
  • false advertising or fraud
  • bullying or harassment
  • privacy violations
  • misrepresentation
  • false news

There’s lots more, of course, because each site that accepts reviews has slightly different standards and practices for responding, disputing or removal. If your responsibilities include reputation management, it’s best to gather all the different details in on spot, so you can set and act on policy, instead of wasting time on repetitive research.

Download our E-book

Binary Fountain offers lots more detailed advice and how-to instruction for managing review sites, and we’re eager to share it all with you. We have created an e-book entitled The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Managing Online Review Platforms that offers detailed instructions for all of the most popular review and rating sites:

  • Google My Business
  • Facebook
  • HealthGrades
  • Vitals
  • RateMDs
  • ZocDoc
  • CareDash

Download the Binary Fountain e-book here: The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Managing Online Review Platforms

About the Author

Brian Williams
Sales Executive

Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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November 27, 2018

Binary Fountain honored in NVTC Tech 100 List

By: Mike Belvedere

NVTC, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, has announced its inaugural Tech 100 List, and we are pleased to announce that Binary Fountain made the list of businesses recognized as leading technology companies in the region. According to the Council, the Tech 100 List highlights companies and individuals that drive tech innovation, implementing new solutions for…

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NVTC, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, has announced its inaugural Tech 100 List, and we are pleased to announce that Binary Fountain made the list of businesses recognized as leading technology companies in the region.

According to the Council, the Tech 100 List highlights companies and individuals that drive tech innovation, implementing new solutions for their customers and leading growth in Greater Washington. The honorees were chosen from a list of nominations, by a judging committee of tech industry leaders.

Honored to be Included

Aaron Clifford, Binary Fountain’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, says, “Binary Fountain is honored to be included in this year’s inaugural NVTC Tech 100 List. Our inclusion in this distinguished group is a tribute to the expertise and dedication of our team, and a reflection of our company’s culture of innovation in the workplace, and in the marketplace. “

It is the skill and commitment of our associates that has enabled Binary Fountain to earn the loyalty and trust of its customers. This helps make Binary Fountain the leading online reputation management platform, serving businesses in a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality, multifamily housing, retail, and financial services.

About NVTC

The largest technology council in the nation, NVTC is the regional voice of technology, serving some 1,000 companies and organizations. The Council membership roster includes businesses from all sectors of the technology industry, as well as service providers, universities, foreign embassies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

The NVTC Tech 100 List honorees will be recognized at an awards party at the Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, on December 3.

Learn more about Northern Virginia Technology Council.

Connect with Binary Fountain to learn our story and schedule a demo.

About the Author

Mike Belvedere

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November 26, 2018

Reputation Management for Mental Health Facilities

By: Kayla Zamary

Mental health facilities face unique challenges compared to other healthcare facilities. Many times, counseling services are paid for out of pocket by patients or families, making consumers even more engaged in ensuring the highest level of care is delivered. With 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal referral, mental health facilities…

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Mental health facilities face unique challenges compared to other healthcare facilities. Many times, counseling services are paid for out of pocket by patients or families, making consumers even more engaged in ensuring the highest level of care is delivered.

With 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal referral, mental health facilities need to effectively manage their online reputation if they want to stay competitive in their market.

Thousands of potential patients are using platforms like Google reviews, and Facebook to help them make informed decisions about the products they purchase, the businesses they patronize and the service providers they hire.

If you haven’t taken online reputation management seriously for your mental health facility, now is the time.

Why Does Reputation Management Matter for Mental Health Facilities?

Don’t believe us?

According to BrightLocal, 49% of consumers require a four-star rating before they choose to use a business. That means even one negative review can potentially cause immense damage to a provider’s online reputation.

For an industry like mental health services, having positive reviews is even more important.

Prospective patients and their families want trustworthy information about providers and services so they can make more informed decisions about their care.

Additionally, with mental healthcare insurance coverage not always readily available for consumers, they want to make sure they are getting quality care for their financial investment.

Angela Kimball, director of advocacy and public policy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, summed up the situation for NPR, “One of the most common reasons people give for not getting mental health treatment is the cost. The other is not being able to find care. It is hurting people in every corner of this nation.”

By having an effective reputation management strategy, you not only increase your odds of growing your practice, but you also help people who need these essential services to empower them and change their lives.

Who is Leaving Reviews for Mental Health?

This is a complicated question.

Unlike most healthcare consumers, most mental health patients have their family very involved with their level of care. This means online reviews could be coming from a patient or from a family member.

This poses a unique challenge for healthcare providers and marketers who want to improve their ratings online. More than any other healthcare industry, you have to pay attention to your reviews and have a clear understanding of who is leaving them and why.

Imagine you are a family member doing research on mental health services. You search “best mental health services near me” and you see three different results. Two of them are three-star ratings with a dozen reviews. The other has a four and a half star rating with 20 ratings.

Which would you choose for a loved one?

How to Improve Your Online Reputation: The Patient Experience

The good news is, you can take control of your online reputation and improve your visibility online.

It all starts with improving the patient experience and having clear communication with your patients.

Because mental health is such a complicated field, it’s imperative mental health providers provide clear communication to patents and their families. From initial online research to service delivery, patients need to feel confident in their level of care and expectations of costs.

Some things mental health facilities can do to improve their patient experience include:

  • Provide clear information online and in the office about pricing and billing.
  • Build a quality website with relevant information.
  • Create a culture of improvement at your practice.
  • Pay attention to what people are saying online.
  • Address issues raised in negative reviews.

Measuring Results and Acting on Insights

Actively monitoring and engaging with reviews left by patients or their family members is an important practice for any mental health facility. Listening to what your patients and their families are saying allows you to better understand how to improve your patient experience.

It is a pretty simple equation: a better user experience = more positive reviews.

Once you start paying attention to reviews, it’s important to measure the results of your efforts and ultimately act on insights to continue to make your facility stand out compared to competitors.

Improve Your Mental Health Facility’s Reputation Today

Are you ready to help more people?

Engaging with online reviews can help maximize your online presence, increase patient acquisition and loyalty, and improve your chances of showing up in search results online.

We’ve developed a to mental health reputation management for providers, practice managers and marketers just like you.

This comprehensive guide will help you:

  • Understand how people are searching for your practice.
  • Show you how to respond to positive and negative reviews.
  • Increase your visibility online.
  • Improve your patient experience.
  • Understand what financial hurdles customers must overcome.

It has never been more crucial for mental health service providers to take control of the online conversation surrounding their brand. Take your first steps today.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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November 13, 2018

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

By: Kayla Zamary

What Is Your Google My Business Strategy? Search Means Google – and Mobile When searching for services or for products, people overwhelmingly turn to Google. The volume is staggering with 40,000 searches per second and 3.5 Billion searches per day. And, local search has gone mobile. In 2014, mobile and desktop search were about equal…

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What Is Your Google My Business Strategy?

Search Means Google – and Mobile

When searching for services or for products, people overwhelmingly turn to Google. The volume is staggering with 40,000 searches per second and 3.5 Billion searches per day.

And, local search has gone mobile. In 2014, mobile and desktop search were about equal in annual volume at about 66 billion searches. This year, mobile search volume is projected to hit 127.5 billion, as desktop drops slightly to 62.7 billion.

Local as Anything

Some 33% of all searches are related to location, and 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. In October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that local mobile searches are growing even faster than mobile searches in general; these and have increased by almost 50% in the last year. This means your Google My Business (GMB) presence should be one of the most important weapons in your marketing arsenal.

GMB Strategy Webinar

Recently, we hosted a webinar with GMB experts from Rio SEO. Below are key takeaways from the webinar.

Have You Updated Your NAPUCHD Recently?

It is time to claim (if you have not already), update and groom your listing. First off, you may be wondering what NAPUCHD is. It is an acronym (hat tip to Krystal Taing of Rio SEO for coming up with this) for the most basic and important components of your Google My Business listing. 

  • Name – Be sure your business name is correct, accurate and complete. Resist the urge to add keywords to rank for other terms.
  • Address – Accuracy is vital, of course. If you have multiple locations, or several service areas, Google My Business allows you add this information to rank for other service areas.
  • Phone – Make sure the phone number connects precisely with the location.
  • URL – Use a location specific url. For restaurants, Google now allows you add urls for menus or delivery options.
  • Categories – Show what your business does, rather than what your business offers. For example, if you are a hotel you should not add gym as a category. This will confuse the search engine and prospective visitors.
  • Hours – Especially around the holidays, show extra hours, as well as days you will be closed.
  • Description – This field has recently been made owner-editable. It is a space to offer detail, preferably local-focused. Leave URLs out of this section, though.

Photo and Video are Vital

  • An exterior photo is important, both for “curb appeal” – presenting an attractive first impression – and for guiding first-time visitors to your location.
  • Interior photos help the prospective visitor see what they will encounter on their visit, so add images that are welcoming, evocative and accurate.
  • Videos up to 30 seconds long are allowed for the first time. This presents another opportunity to tell your story, and show off your wares, your service or your interior and staff.

Consumers Can Post Images of Business

Consumers may also post photos of your location as long as they are deemed useful and not offensive. Google’s photo ranking algorithm delivers what it calculates to be the most relevant images. If you see something that is really wrong, communicate with Google to report the image, especially if it violates their terms. You may be able to have it removed or suppressed. Tip: This can take some time, so be patient, and make sure you and your staff DO NOT click on the image in the meanwhile, thus unintentionally making it seem more relevant to Google.

Ready For More Advice on Google My Business?

Listen to our Google My Business Strategy webinar with Rio SEO. You will gain actionable insights on topics from initial setup to optimizing your GMB listing, and learn how to

  • Avoid common pitfalls that hurt businesses’ presence on Google My Business.
  • Improve your online review scores and spruce up your Google My Business page.
  • Optimize your presence using time-saving local listing and content tips.
  • Get practical advice for engaging potential new customers, whether you are one location or an enterprise organization.

Our webinar features a panel of top experts:

  • Krystal Taing, Listings Management Product Specialist at Rio SEO
  • Brian Smith, Director of Local Strategy & Data Partnerships at Rio SEO
  • Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing at Binary Fountain

Sign up here to listen to the webinar.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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November 07, 2018

How to Build Your Property’s Digital Curb Appeal

By: Chris Huang

What is Digital Curb Appeal? The concept of “curb appeal” has been a fundamental part of real estate marketing for decades. Curb appeal is simply a way of judging how attractive a home or apartment property looks to the prospective resident driving by. The “digital” part is because most consumers looking for an apartment –…

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What is Digital Curb Appeal?

The concept of “curb appeal” has been a fundamental part of real estate marketing for decades. Curb appeal is simply a way of judging how attractive a home or apartment property looks to the prospective resident driving by.

The “digital” part is because most consumers looking for an apartment – 72% according to research by Rentec – begin their search online.

How Do I Improve My Property’s Digital Curb Appeal?

Real estate professionals know that appealing images and descriptions are important for your property’s website, and for your Facebook, Instagram and other social media pages. Online ratings and reviews of your company and its properties are tremendously important too.

How Do Online Reviews Impact Curb Appeal?

Turner Research reports that 75% of consumers look at reviews and ratings multiple times in their apartment search, and 70% choose to visit a property with a better online reputation. Research by BrightLocal says that 68% of consumers feel positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, and 40% say reading negative reviews makes them not want to use a local business.

Five Tips for Improving Your Property’s Online Reputation

Understand where people search, and where they post reviews. Binary Fountain’s survey of more than 41,000 reviews reveals that in the past year, Google is the top review site for multifamily residential properties, with 50% of all reviews. The top five sites also include Apartment Ratings (18.4%), Facebook (13.4%), Yelp (13.3%) and Apartments.com (3.2%). One feature that makes Google valuable to prospective residents is that they can filter the star ratings to show them the highest-rated results.

Here are five things you can do to make sure that reputation is helping to boost your digital curb appeal:

  • Google your property – try an “apartments for rent near me” search, and see how your property compares with others for star ranking, accurate information, images, and so on. Do the same thing with the other rating and review sites that your search returns, to figure out where to concentrate your efforts.
  • Monitor your ratings and reviews as they’re posted. Reputation management solutions can make this much simpler, with alerts on review postings, sorting and filtering options, and a dashboard that makes it simple to keep track and respond to reviews without spending time you don’t have. Of course, we recommend Binary Fountain’s Social Compass solution, which adds efficiency, and a wide array of tools for keeping track of reviews, responding in a timely manner, and tracking the results of your reputation management program. Even before you begin responding to them, share reviews with staff and management. Celebrate the positive reviews, and commit to improving areas that negative reviews indicate are in need of attention.
  • Devise a consistent voice, and a rapid response program for responding to every review, positive or negative. Remember to thank everyone, positive or negative, for taking the time to post their thoughts. Your reputation improves when online visitors understand that you are paying attention to reviews, and working to improve resident service.
  • Ask residents to post their reviews right after interactions that please them: After they renew their lease; when a maintenance request is handled promptly; when they refer a friend to the property; or when they stop by the office to pick up a package. Our experience shows that sending a text or email asking for a review, with a link, is a way to increase the number of posted reviews, and the percentage of positive ones.
  • Monitor and communicate your performance with regular progress reports and staff communications.

Learn More About Building Digital Curb Appeal

Here are two resources to help you improve your property’s digital curb appeal:

Listen to our webinar How to Build Your Property’s Digital Curb Appeal, moderated by Paul Rosta, Executive Editor at Multi-Housing News, with expert panelists Emma Cook, Senior Digital Media Specialist at Gene B. Glick Company, and our own Senior Sales Director, George LaDue.

Download our case study showing how Gene B. Glick Company increased reviews, improved overall experience scores and boosted response rates.

About the Author

Chris Huang

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November 05, 2018

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

By: George LaDue

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Negative reviews. You never want to see them on your site or on a third-party review site like Google. While no one wants to see harmful reviews about their business, the question isn’t will it happen – but when. What’s worse, negative reviews could hurt your websites rankings with…

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How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews. You never want to see them on your site or on a third-party review site like Google. While no one wants to see harmful reviews about their business, the question isn’t will it happen – but when.

What’s worse, negative reviews could hurt your websites rankings with Google’s search algorithm. That means one disgruntled customer could greatly impact your ability to show up when potential customers are searching for your services online.

We’ll walk through how to respond to negative reviews and some steps you can take to turn those negative reviews into a positive outcome for your business.

7 Steps for Responding to Negative Reviews

  1. Keep calm
  2. Evaluate the review
  3. Address the reviewer’s complaint
  4. Remove/Flag any inappropriate reviews
  5. Make improvements
  6. Monitor new reviews
  7. Continue to improve

Should I Respond to Bad Reviews?

Before we cover how to respond to bad reviews, you probably want to know why you should.

Ignoring a less than favorable review is not an option and in fact, could make the situation worse.

Think of it this way: If you had a customer complain to you in person, you would do anything you could to smooth over the situation. You should treat feedback online with the same level of concern.

Plus, replying to bad reviews shows potential new customers who are looking at your profile that you are willing to accept feedback and are taking steps to ensure the problem won’t happen again. 

Keep Calm Before Replying

By far the most important step on the list is to keep calm before replying. No matter how bad the content is in a review, you must remain calm and not respond in an aggressive or hostile way. Coming across as unreceptive to feedback will only damage your online presence.

While negative reviews aren’t good, they also aren’t the end of the world.

Before responding to a review, make sure you are in a calm, rational place and not lashing out.

If the negative review is about a specific staff member, don’t immediately accuse them of any wrongdoing, especially if this is their first time receiving criticism on their customer service.

Evaluate the Review

When you get a negative review, it should be taken seriously and treated as genuine and not brushed off as made up. When evaluating a review, make notes of:

  • When they visited your business
  • If they mention a specific staff member
  • What kind of product/service they experienced or purchased
  • Has this complaint been made before
  • Check your records to make sure the person did visit your business

If most of these check out, talk with your staff. Chances are they will remember the interaction they had with the reviewer. If the complaint is about a specific employee, get their side of the story before judging too harshly.

Remember, a negative review isn’t just an opportunity to find a squeaky wheel in your business, it’s an opportunity to improve your customer experience.

Rants vs. Constructive Criticism

Often times, it’s better to respond directly, but sometimes no response is the correct response.

Most reviews are going to be level-headed and factual, but sometimes you may get a review that feels like an angry rant with very little information or substance. You’ll have to use your best judgment when replying to harsh reviews.

Sometimes saying nothing is better than saying the wrong things, especially in these types of situations.

How You Should Handle Fake Reviews

Luckily, fake reviews are few and far between. Most consumer feedback is genuine and should be taken seriously. If you have fears about potential fake reviews, check out our article about how to respond to fake reviews.

Address The Reviewer’s Complaint

If your organization doesn’t have a response plan, you should start by developing a process to address negative reviews.

When responding to an online review:

  • Keep your response brief
  • Respond quickly
  • Provide contact information if they want to follow up about their experience
  • Remain neutral
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Thank the reviewer for bringing up their problem
  • Promise to resolve the issue
  • Apologize, even if you don’t think your business was in the wrong
  • If there was a reason why their service wasn’t satisfactory (accidents or situations happen) be honest and promise it won’t happen again in the future

Remember, a good reply should thank the reviewer for providing feedback, address any specific concerns and promise to resolve the issue in the future. When you respond to a review, you are talking to everyone that reads the review, not just the original reviewer, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

The best possible outcome you could hope for is that an unhappy customer revises their review after seeing your response or is willing to try your product or service again. You can turn a negative review into a positive asset for your online reputation.

Remove/Flag Inappropriate Reviews

Negative reviews are bound to happen, and having an action plan that covers how to respond will prevent you from further damaging your online reputation.

Sometimes, however, reviewers can cross the line from a helpful suggestion to something potentially insulting to outright slanderous. These situations are rare, but when they do happen you do have some recourse when reviews violate the platform guidelines.

When it comes to online reviews, Google and Facebook are two of the main places where customers can leave reviews. Each of these feedback platforms have their own set of guidelines and procedures for handling negative reviews, so understanding the rules on each is vital to your ability to protect your online reputation.

Here’s a look at how both of these review platforms handle negative reviews and what you can do to improve your online reputation.

How to Remove Negative Reviews on Google

Google reviews are highly visible and can even impact your ability to show up in local search results, making them extremely valuable to any business. Out of all the review platforms, Google does the best job in allowing businesses to take action to combat inappropriate reviews.

A negative review isn’t the worst thing in the world. The best thing you can do is follow the steps we detailed above. If you feel like the review is overly aggressive, you can try to flag it.

Before you try to flag a review, Google has guidelines that have to be broken in order to invalidate a review.

Prohibited and Restricted Reviews on Google Include:

  • Reviews that are written by a competitor or people with a conflict of interest
  • Irrelevant or off-topic reviews
  • Use of offensive language and/or personal attacks
  • Sexually explicit or illegal content
  • Any impersonation or false representation

Even if you flag a review, it doesn’t guarantee Google will take the review down. Even if you strongly disagree with a review, Google is not in the business of mitigating disagreement between a business owner and a dissatisfied customer.

How to flag a review on Google

To report an inappropriate review on Google,

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click “Reviews” from the main menu.
  3. Find the review you’d like to flag, click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the review, then click “Flag as inappropriate.”

If you want Google to take your concerns seriously, don’t treat Google like the judge of a conflict, but rather as a search engine meant to help people find useful reviews (both good and bad).

For more information, view Google’s guidelines.

Google’s flagging process can take some time. You can add a brief response that you are looking into the problem while you wait for Google to respond. You can always expand the reply later if Google refuses to remove the review.

Get More Positive Reviews on Google 

While you may be able to resolve some negative reviews, the majority will remain on your Google listing. Following the guidelines for responding to negative reviews outlined above, you should be able to turn some of those negative reviews into positive ones.

Of course, getting more positive reviews can’t hurt either!

Unlike other review sites, Google doesn’t prohibit business owners and marketers from asking for reviews. As long as you follow Google’s rules and don’t filter user feedback, you should be able to ask customers for reviews.

Getting more positive reviews will not only bury a negative review, but it will also help your business appear at the top of local search results.

How to Remove Negative Reviews on Facebook

Unlike Google, Facebook is a huge social media platform, meaning users are more engaged and more likely to share their feedback not only on your page, but also with their friends.

Facebook users also have the potential of being more aggressive in their feedback than Google users, making it even more important for you to actively respond to negative reviews and try to smooth things over with upset customers.

Here are the crucial steps you need to take to respond to or remove negative comments on Facebook.

How to Respond to Negative reviews on Facebook

As previously mentioned, Facebook users tend to be more active (and have the potential to be more upset) than their Google counterparts. Therefore, it is important to make sure they feel like you have taken the time to read and reply completely and take their suggestions seriously.

5 steps for replying to Facebook reviews:

  1. Start with their name
  2. Thank them for the feedback
  3. Apologize
  4. Assure them that you are taking steps to correct the problem
  5. Encourage them to come back.

By following this formula, you are showing them that you value their opinion and that customer happiness is your top priority. You may just win a lifelong customer.

How to Report a Review on Facebook  

Like Google, Facebook also has community standards reviewers are required to follow.

These standards include:

  • Any comment threatening violence or another user’s safety
  • Hate speech
  • Nudity/sexual content
  • Spam
  • Misrepresentation
  • Violates Intellectual Property

If you believe that a review has violated any of Facebook’s standards:

  1. Go to the review and click the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the post
  2. Click “Report post”
  3. You’ll be prompted to select an option that best addresses your concern with the post. Pick the one that best fits your situation

After completing the prompt, your report goes to Facebook for review. They will remove the review if they agree the disputed post doesn’t follow their guidelines.

Disabling Reviews on Facebook

Though highly not recommended, you can disable user feedback on Facebook using the reviews tab. If you choose to do so, you are eliminating the chance for people to leave glowing reviews about your business and getting critical feedback to make business decisions in the future.

You are always better off following our steps for responding to negative reviews than you are removing the function entirely.

Make Improvements

Now that you have gotten all the feedback you could possibly ask for, it’s time to put it to good use for your business. The best outcome for your business after you receive a bad review is to act strategically, not brush it under the rug or overreact.

This can be as simple as reviewing cleaning habits to making difficult staffing choices.

Again, make sure you are making thoughtful decisions based on consistent feedback before making any huge changes.

Monitor New Reviews

Once you’ve made your improvements, it’s time to monitor the results of your hard work.

Pay careful attention to new reviews. Are people still raising concerns about the same problem? Are they commenting on how that problem has gone away?

Chances are, if you’ve taken the appropriate steps, reviewers won’t make negative comments about the issue again. In fact, they may even praise that one area that was once a weakness as a strength for your business.

Go back and look at those old negative reviews. Engage with the reviewer and let them know you have taken the steps you promised them and invite them back. They may just take you up on the offer.

Continue to Improve

Don’t stop there! Continually monitoring and working on your online reputation can have a massive impact on your bottom line.

Negative reviews are never part of your business plan, but they don’t have to derail it. With these steps, you can fix your customer service and have positive reviews drown out the bad.

Binary Fountain Can Help Improve Your Online Reviews

Dealing with negative reviews can be time-consuming and Binary Fountain is here to help. We help healthcare organizations and multi-family facilities effectively and efficiently manage their online reputation with our integrated review platform.

Sign up for a webinar today!

About the Author

George LaDue
Sales Director

George helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

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November 01, 2018

How to Use Google My Business

By: Kayla Zamary

How to Use Google My Business When was the last time you Googled something? Google processes about 40,000 searches every second1, so chances are pretty good you’ve googled at least one thing today. From the phone number for the nearest physical therapist to reviews for the newest restaurant in town, chances are good that your…

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Google My BusinessHow to Use Google My Business

When was the last time you Googled something? Google processes about 40,000 searches every second1, so chances are pretty good you’ve googled at least one thing today. From the phone number for the nearest physical therapist to reviews for the newest restaurant in town, chances are good that your customers are using Google too. So why not leverage Google as a tool to improve your online reputation?

To make sure your customers can quickly and easily find accurate contact information, hours, and reviews it’s important to take advantage of Google My Business. In just a few steps, you can get started and take advantage of this easy-to-use tool, which makes responding to online reviews easy.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool that allows business owners to manage their presence across Google domains, from Search to Maps. It helps your customers easily find your phone number, directions to your location, business hours, website, and more. Google My Business also gives customers the opportunity to leave reviews, and businesses with verified accounts and respond to those customer reviews.

How to Create a Google My Business Listing

You can create a Google My Business listing in four easy steps:

  1. If you don’t have a Google Account for your business, create one.
  2. Login with your Google Account, then visit google.com/business. Click “start now.”
  3. Answer some simple questions:
    • What’s the name of your business?
    • Where are you located?
    • What is your business category?
    • What is your business phone number?
    • What is your business website?
  4. Choose a method to verify your Google My Business listing. You can choose to verify your account by postcard, phone, email, instant verification (available if you have already verified your business via Google Search Console), or bulk verification (if you have 10+ locations).

It is important to verify your Google My Business listing because it proves that you own your business website, and give you access to private search data, as well as affect how high you rank in organic search. It can take several days for Google to review and verify your business.

You also have the ability to let several people at your business share responsibility of managing your Google My Business account. Google will let you have three different types of users:

  1. Owners, who have the most privileges and access, including the ability to add additional owners or managers.
  2. Managers, who can edit business information, Google Hangouts, and view insights.
  3. Communication managers, who can interact with customers by posting photos and responding to reviews.

How to Optimize Your Business on Google

It is easy to customize the information your customers can find on your Google My Business listing. By adding details such as photos, hours of operation, you can help your customers choose your business.

While logged into your Google My Business dashboard, select “info” on your listing, and add additional information, such as whether or not you offer free wi-fi, the year your business was established, and more.

The easiest way to optimize your listing is to add photos. According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location, as well as 35% more clicks through to your website.  At minimum, add a profile and cover photo of at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall in either JPG or PNG format. Google also recommends optimizing your profile with interior, exterior, product, and team photos.

Google My Business also allows your customers to leave reviews, which can serve as an online version of word-of-mouth marketing, helping new customers find you. When you post replies to these reviews publicly as your business, it helps build trust with new customers by showing that you value your existing customers. Your business needs to be verified to be able to respond to customer reviews.

You can also let customers message you. This allows you to quickly and easily answer your customers’ questions they may have about your business. If you turn this feature on, it is important to remember to be responsive (as customers can see your average response time) and to avoid sharing sensitive information via messages with your customers, such as their payment or billing information.

It is important to keep your business information up to date, so that your customers have the correct website or phone number when people find it on Google.

How Does Google My Business Affect My Online Reputation?

A verified, optimized Google My Business listing can affect your organic search ranking. By having clear, easy-to-find information in Google Search, more customers will be able to find your business. However, it is still important to monitor your Google My Business dashboard from time to time, as anyone can “suggest an edit” to your business’s information, giving the possibility that someone could add incorrect information.

If you have optimized your Google My Business listing by responding to your customer’s online reviews, it can serve as a basic version of online reputation management, allowing new customers to see the customer service offered by your business.

Managing your online reputation doesn’t have to be complicated. Take your online reputation management to the next level with Binary Fountain’s single integrated platform that makes it easy to manage your online reputation.

For more information, register for our webinar with Rio SEO on Google My Business strategy.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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