good first impression

How Your Healthcare Organization Can Make A Good First Impression Online

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Introduction

Are you someone who quickly judges something based on its appearance? Whether you’re judging a new book based solely on its cover or the character of a person based on his or her appearance, it seems to be common these days to make judgments based solely on appearances. The same goes for things online – people judge companies or businesses all the time based on the design and layout of their websites. So, here’s what that means for you – if the website of your practice is poorly designed and provides bad user experience, you’re providing a bad first impression of your practice. As a result, your visitors (a.k.a. potential patients) will quickly hit the back button and leave your website! Oh, and the same goes for your social media presence. Let’s dive a little deeper into this topic.

Importance of First Impressions

In the business world, you frequently hear the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. And technically speaking, your medical practice is also a business. Just like restaurants, you can gain loyal customers (for you, patients) if their first experience with your organization is satisfactory. Provide a good patient experience and your patients will keep coming back to you for sure. 

Think of it this way – you wouldn’t want to try out an organization’s product or service if you weren’t impressed with their reviews online or if their reputation in the community is terrible, right? Bad impressions can cost an organization hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Therefore, it is important that the people you engage and interact with receive a good first impression of your practice if you want to succeed and thrive in the industry. 

We may try to deny it, but we all know that first impressions are a big deal. It’s important to remember that first impressions can make or break your medical practice. If you’ve made a positive impression on patients, it can create a long-lasting doctor-patient relationship. If you’ve done the exact opposite, rest assured, they’re not coming back to you. 

How To Make A Killer First Impression

good-first-impression-online

Now, the question here is where do you start? We compiled a few very useful tips just for you to ensure that you’re making a good first impression.

#1 Make sure your website and social media channels are visually appealing

If someone lands on the homepage of your website, what would be their first impression? If your website is cluttered, disorganized and provides bad user experience, it’s time to think about a revamp. By providing a nicely-designed and clutter-free website, you’ll be able to attract more potential patients. I mean, would you want to look at something that was cluttered and that didn’t provide clear branding and messaging? I figured you wouldn’t. So, delete distorted pictures and make sure you provide a clean, clutter-free site.

#2 Stop oversharing and over promoting

I think this point is pretty self-explanatory. Some organizations tend to overshare pictures or posts that sometimes it gets pretty annoying the people following that organization’s accounts. And they also tend to over-promote, both via email and on social media. Let’s put it this way, if you’re on social media and you see a video about cats at least once a day, it’s cute; you get to laugh. But, if you see cat videos 20 times every single day, it gets pretty annoying. The same applies to your subscribers and followers. Oversharing and over promoting can cost. And you wouldn’t want to be “the doctor who is annoying”, right?

#3 Invest in online reviews

Before a new patient chooses a provider, they look up doctors online and they pick the one that they think is the best for them. If you’re in the running, they’ll look at your website, your social media channels, and of course, your online reviews. Yes, your online reviews are as important as word-of-mouth recommendations. 

#4 Be a source of information

Most businesses today (yes, that includes your medical practice), create too much promotional content and create very little informative/educational content. Patients who are looking for doctors online don’t just want to know how good you are as a doctor, they also want to know how you can help them. When you provide informative blogs pertaining to your specialty and treatments, they’ll be more likely to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with you. 

Most patients prefer simplicity. Although flashy images can be eye-catching, what makes a potential patient stay is the content they can get from you. Therefore, make sure to balance your informational and promotional content.

What Happens if There’s a Bad First Impression?

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world for you – not unless you really messed up. But most of the time, you can always redeem yourself. And yes, you can recover from a bad first impression. 

In 2015, Elizabeth Focella, a researcher from the University of Arizona,  reviewed 119 studies and created four steps on how to erase a bad first impression.

  • Evoke humor. It can definitely turn a tense situation into something more relaxed. It’s hard to be funny online because not all people may get your sense of humor. So, you should be careful about how you deliver a joke because some people might take it the wrong way.
  • If you think you’ve given or posted an unsatisfactory answer to a query and you think that the person who asked the question was not satisfied, then you can always go back and explain more to the person. 
  • If you’ve committed an error or mistake, own it and admit your mistake. Then, try to correct it.
  • The last part is the most important, make sure you never repeat what you did wrong. People will often time forgive the first time. However, they won’t be so forgiving the second time. Therefore, make sure that once you’ve been given a second chance at a first impression, make it good and make it last. 

 

Aside From The Tips…

There are actually numerous ways that you can ensure that you make a good first impression. However, the tips listed above are a good starting point. The question here though is if you have the time to manage your online presence as well. With so much on you and your staff’s plate, sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to manage everything. Therefore, outsourcing your digital marketing to an experienced medical marketing organization, like Website4MD, is an idea that you should consider. Website4MD has a team of experienced medical marketers that can help your medical practice or pharmacy to improve your online presence and reputation. Interested in learning more? Give us a call us today