Implementing Your Online Reputation Strategy

Implementing your online reputation strategy

In the first part of this series, Getting Started: Taking Control of your Online Reputation, we kick off where to begin when building and monitoring your online presence. Now that you have your reputation marketing plan mapped out, here are some tools to help you implement your strategy.

1. Claim your business listings and social pages

Customers are searching you online for two reasons: to get your contact information, and to see what other people are saying.

There are some top sites for business listings depending on your industry. Review the ones that show up on the first page of your search and make sure your contact information is correct. If there are other important sites you know as a professional that your business should be listed on – add it! No stone should go unturned.

When it comes to what people are saying about their experience with you, managing your reputation is huge. First, claim your business on Yelp and Google.

If your business doesn’t show up – create your profile! Add your logo and put up some pictures of the inside and outside of your business. It wouldn’t hurt to have a picture of the team either. Customers like to see what they are walking into – it gives them a sense of familiarity.

2. Listen to what your customers are saying

After you’ve claimed your online presence, read any existing customer reviews. Were the reviews accurate to your product or customer service? Are they pointing out areas that you need to improve? It may be hard to read opinions or experiences that aren’t sugar coated, but use it as helpful feedback. It could be really beneficial to your business, and could start bringing in more 4 or 5 star reviews instead of 3 or less.

If there are a couple of unhappy customers that you feel you can help, respond to the reviews and offer them a solution. Thank the customer for their feedback, explain your process and why that may have happened, and possibly offer a solution. But it’s important to know that once you start review management you have to commit to it. Customers will begin to expect a response from you – even the happy ones!

Do online reviews still make you a little nervous? Here is the secret to online reviews.

3. Create targeted messaging for happy customers

Happy customers can be gold for your online reputation. There are a lot of different ways to encourage customers to leave you reviews. Your front desk employees can encourage it verbally at the end of a service, or you can have them send automated texts or emails if you use a marketing software. These messages are normally triggered after an appointment, and if you use a reputation management software, the reviews will be sent straight to Google. And all your staff had to do was click a button!

 

 

 

 

Getting Started: Take Control of your Online Reputation

Getting started with online reputation strategy

What exactly does online reputation mean to your small business?

Think about when you first put up your ‘Open’ sign. Potential patients or clients drove by and considered stopping in, and friends and family showed their support by bringing you business to start you off. Your business’ presence in the community was building – but when attracted customers wanted to learn more, they searched the internet and found an old business listed under your address. Or worse – they found one negative review and nothing else. Now your online reputation is working against you and your new presence in the community.

Taking control of your online reputation may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips on where you should get started.

1.  Run a search on Google and Bing

The best place to start is running a simple search on the main search engines. Search your business name alone, and with other important terms like ‘reviews,’ ‘pricing,’ and ‘customer service.’

Right off the bat you’ll get a pulse for what customers are – or are not – saying about your business. You’ll also be able to see where your company website lands in the search engine results. Hopefully it’s the first!

2.  Is the look of your brand consistent?

Your brand’s color palette helps people know they are in the right place. Just like when you order a soda and you are handed a red cup with white lettering – you know right away you’re drinking a Coca-Cola. Make sure you’re seeing consistent colors and logos on your website, social media channels, and business listings. Your brand is a huge support to your online presence, and really acts as the face of your company.

3.  Set reputation goals you want to accomplish

A great way to not be overwhelmed with managing your online reputation is by setting some attainable goals. This will also help you measure your success. Maybe you want to increase the amount of positive reviews you get online to three a month. Pick a review site and detail a plan on how you want to accomplish that. Our Choice Plus package is a great tool to help you set goals. The online reputation dashboard gives you a view into your competitors online presence, your business listings on top sites, and all of your customer reviews in one place.

Be sure to include your employees in these goals so everyone knows what the company is trying to achieve, and consider rewarding them when the goal is met. Taking control of your online reputation should be an enlightening and rewarding experience for the whole team!

Stay tuned for part two of this blog for a roadmap on how to implement your online reputation goals.

Your cheat sheet to sending better emails

Email marketing continues to be an important aspect of patient communications, especially in regards to patient recall and retention. In a recent survey, 77% of respondents said they prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. Further, all age groups named email as their preferred source for communication. If you’re a dental or medical practice that wants to improve the way you communicate with your patients, read this cheat sheet to sending better emails.

Spend time on strategy

Top performing emails – ones that get opened and drive visits – are ones that have had some strategy applied to them. Out of all the steps that go into creating, developing, and sending an email (this includes: the creative, segmentation & targeting, strategy, email layout and processing, and reporting), strategy has the greatest effect on whether your email is ultimately successful. So even if you’re sending automated emails for things like appointment reminders and birthdays, put some thought into creating your next promotion or recall campaign.

Test and track results

Unless you’re incredibly lucky or a natural marketing genius, the first email you send won’t be the best one you could send. With each communication you send to patients, you can learn valuable insights about what your patients want, and how you can tailor your practice and communications to better engage with them. So what should you test in your emails?

  • The subject line
  • The message
  • The layout and images
  • The CTA (Call-to-Action)
  • The day you send
  • The time of day you send
  • The landing page
  • Your audience
  • The sender
  • Mobile layout and images

Design for mobile

In the modern, digital age, the last bullet is quite possibly one of the most important, so we wanted to split it into its own section. One of the keys to sending better emails is to design for mobile. Whatever email platform or system you choose, make sure they have considered how to optimize their emails for mobile viewing. Did you know that 75% of smartphone owners say they are highly likely to delete emails that they can’t read on their phones?

Mobile viewing isn’t a rising trend; it’s the new normal. By the end of 2013, the number of commercial emails opened on mobile devices had already surpassed the number opened on desktops. Yet there are still practices out there who aren’t using mobile-friendly layouts. Stand out from the crowd by designing and considering where and how your patients will read your emails. You can even go further with a marketing platform like Demandforce, and offer text reminders and two-way text to your patients as well, making it even easier for them to confirm and communicate with your practice.

For more information on all this and more, visit demandforce.com, or call us at (888) 272-7821.

Managing client expectations with improved client communications

In any small business or practice, managing expectations is crucial to building and maintaining a successful relationship with your clients. However, if you don’t manage client expectations early, you could find yourself in some tense situations later on down the road, or experiencing low retention of your clientele.

One way to manage client expectations is to communicate early on how you’ll send out notifications, updates, or important information that your clients might need/want to know.

Send a Welcome Email

For example, if you are a salon who has recently seen several new clients, we recommend sending out a targeted Welcome email, thanking them for their first visit, and providing more detailed information on your services and history.

If you use a marketing and communications platform like Demandforce to send these messages, you can track open rates and specify specific people to receive the email, all based on data synched directly from your salon management system. And Welcome messages sent via Demandforce have an average open rate of 50 percent! (Based on 2016 Demandforce data).

Find Out Your Client’s Preferred Method of Communication

Another way to manage client expectations is to take time to chat with your client during their first visit, and ask them for their preferred method of communication. You can even ask for their consent to send text message updates, or special offers you might be running, and you can confirm that the data you have in your system is up-to-date and complete. This allows you to make sure that when you send a message, via email, voice call, or text, it’s not unwelcome, and your client knows that you might be contacting them.

Continue to Reach Out

One common mistake businesses make that can affect client expectations is to stop communicating with them after the first few months. If your salon or small business emphasizes a personal touch, and friendly family atmosphere, you need to make good on your promise. Set up custom email campaigns to send automatically to specific clients, promoting specials, loyalty rewards, or discounts. Celebrate important milestones with them by sending birthday and anniversary greetings. And make sure that your clients never miss an upcoming appointment by setting up automatic appointment reminders and recall campaigns to send out based on data collected in your management system.

If you continue to nurture the relationship you have with your client past the first visit and beyond, you’ll turn a new client into a loyal client—and you’ll always exceed your clients’ expectations.

For more information on how you can use the marketing tools and communications solutions provided by Demandforce to manage your client expectations, visit demandforce.com/salon-and-spa.

[Infographic] 5 best ways to increase survey response rates

When was the last time your business sent out a survey to your current database of patients, clients, or customers? Surveys are important for your business for the following reasons:

  • You keep up-to-date on what your patients/clients actually want from your services
  • You increase patient/client satisfaction by showing that you value feedback
  • You get a more accurate view of your current brand / business reputation and perception
  • You can use the results to identify and improve services, products, or strategy

However, before you shoot off a long survey to your email database, you might want to consider a few things that will drive up response and make sure you’re not being a nuisance. Check out the infographic below for 5 Ways to Increase Survey Response Rates, and then when you’re ready to send your first (or next!) survey, send it through Demandforce! Demandforce offers customers the ability to send patient/client surveys directly from our easy-to-use online platform. To see a demo of Demandforce, call us at (888) 272-7821 or visit demandforce.com.

5-Ways-to-Increase-Survey-Response-Rates

Establish an effective patient recall strategy at your dental practice

In order to grow your dental practice, you need to focus not only on new patient acquisition, but also patient recall. What is recall? It’s your ability to keep your patients coming back after their first office visit. In order to maintain a healthy dental practice—regardless of location, size, or specialty—you need to have an effective recall system in place for your patients.

Why patient recall is so important to dentists

It can take time to establish a relationship with a patient, and build upon that trust. However, helping your patients understand the value of regular dental cleanings and encouraging them to return to you can be rewarding not only for your patients’ overall oral health, but for your practice as well.

Once a patient has been entered once into your system, you want to make sure that their information doesn’t get lost in the general communications chain. If you start seeing declines in your hygiene department, soon you might see declines in the operative and restorative side of your practice as well.

So how can you take action to prevent such a decline?

How Demandforce helps you get more from your practice management system

Ask yourself this: how does your current recall system operate? Are you sending one notice and then waiting for patients to call you? According to one study from Dental Economics, only 20% of patients call the practice after they receive a notice. And even if you have your staff call patients, this system is not that much more effective, and also takes 20-40 hours a month to do for many dental practices.

If you’re looking for a more effective, efficient way to recall patients to your practice, consider Demandforce. Demandforce is a patient communications and marketing platform that reconnects with and reactivates lost patients by leveraging the data in your current PMS.

77% of Demandforce dental practices actively use the recall reminder feature – and it works!

For patients who booked appointments after receiving a reminder, 80% scheduled their appointment after only one reminder was sent (Demandforce survey, 2015).

Demandforce not only provides workflow automation tools that can have an immediate effect on the number of patients who rebook appointments with you, it also offers a high level of customization and targeting so that you make sure you’re sending the right message to the right patient, at the right time.

Demandforce’s custom recall reminders can be adjusted based on how busy your practice is, and how far out your schedule is booked. You can also rewrite any emails before you send, to create specific offers relevant to your patients.

Here are a few other features of Demandforce that help you reconnect with patients and bring them back in to your practice:

  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Patient surveys
  • Ready-made newsletters
  • Custom recall messages sent via email, text, or voice call
  • Personalized emails celebrating life milestones like: birthdays, we miss you campaigns, and special offer emails

To find out more about Demandforce’s patient communications solutions, visit demandforce.com or call (888) 272-7821.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Sending Your First Email Campaign

One of the most powerful features of Demandforce (and one our customers like the most) is our ability to create custom emails for your customers.

Did you know?

Demandforce customers who use custom email campaigns see a 30% open rate* on their emails.

*Based on a subset of 2016 Demandforce data.

78% of Demandforce dental practices** send email campaigns to their patients.

70% of Demandforce auto shops** send email campaigns to their customers.

*Based on 2016 Demandforce data.

Why email campaigns are important

Emails can be used to build loyalty and trust around your business, and has one of the highest ROI’s of any marketing you’ll send. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you get $38 in return!

With a platform like Demandforce, you can easily send and customize one-click email campaigns to your customers. Demandforce offers a variety of ready-made templates to help you connect and communicate with your current base.

Here are just a few of the emails you can send:

  • Promotions and special offers
  • Industry-specific ready-made newsletters
  • Holiday and birthday greetings
  • Referral campaigns
  • Special event invitations and business milestones
  • Customer appreciation
  • Recommended services and recall reminders

A step-by-step guide to sending your first email campaign

If you’re ready to create your first email promotion and you’re a Demandforce customer, you should definitely check out this article to get detailed instructions on how to set up your promotion or newsletter. Here we’ll cover a broader outline of the steps.

  • Pick your promotion – think about what you want to gain from sending this promotion. What is your goal? Are you trying to attract more customers? Are you celebrating a specific upcoming event, holiday, or milestone? Are you launching a referral or customer appreciation campaign?

HINT: if you’re searching for ideas, check out the CAMPAIGNS tab in Demandforce, for suggestions and examples of our ready-made templates.

  • Customize the content – In order to foster a strong relationship with your customers, you need to make sure you’re sending them the right message, at the right time. Don’t send out a generic or sloppy-looking email. Not only will you see low conversions, but you also risk spurring opt-outs and losing repeat business.
  • Select your audience – Now that you’ve created copy that speaks to a certain audience, make sure you’re sending your promotion to that audience. If you’re using Demandforce, you can do this easily. You can even choose to CREATE YOUR OWN CRITERIA and define your audience using customer data pulled directly from your CMS. Once you’ve defined your list, you can review it and even remove individual customers from the send, if you so choose.
  • Schedule delivery – Pick the time and date to send your promotion. You can choose to send it immediately, or schedule it for the future. Demandforce customers can even set recurring campaigns.
  • Track your results – It’s not enough to just send your email, you need to track your results so you can learn from what you send out! If you’ve sent a campaign out through Demandforce, you can view data such as: the total sent, the total opened, and the clicks. This is all easily accessed within the Demandforce dashboard.

Have more questions about how to send your first email campaign? If you’re a Demandforce customer, visit our Help Center for dozens of helpful articles. If you’re new to Demandforce and want to learn how you can save time and attract new customers with custom, targeted email campaigns, visit www.demandforce.com or call us at (800) 220-1136.

Why You Should Consider Customizing All Your Client Communications

If you’re a current Demandforce customer, or a small business owner who is looking to improve your current client communications, sending email campaigns is always a good choice. The world has changed; and nowadays, consumers make purchasing decisions based more on the relationship they have with a company or brand than any other factor (sometimes even more than the product/service itself!).

That’s why establishing and nurturing current client relationships is so important, and can lead to increased revenue, a stronger online reputation, and more referrals. Additionally, according to a 2015 Marketing Metrics survey of businesses, the probability of engaging with an existing client via email marketing is 60-70%, whereas the probability of engaging a new prospect is 5-20%.

So let’s say you’ve decided to send email marketing to your current client database. If you’re a Demandforce customer, this process is incredibly simple. You can, through our easy-to-use online platform that syncs with your current client management system, set up messages to automatically send to certain segmented groups of clients, based on a variety of factors. Here are some examples of the email campaigns you can send through Demandforce:

  • Special promotions for products or deals
  • Newsletters
  • Appointment reminders and confirmations
  • Recommended services
  • Referral campaigns
  • Review requests
  • Social media connection requests
  • Thank you emails and client surveys

If you’re planning on sending out email campaigns, we recommend customizing them to better fit your business, and personalizing them for your clients.

Demandforce Training has the below great short video for current Demandforce customers that takes you on a visual step-by-step to this process. Or for a detailed article on the subject, head to the Demandforce Help Center here.

Customize Email Communications from Demandforce Training on Vimeo.

For more information on Demandforce, visit our website at www.demandforce.com, or call us today at (800) 220-1136 for a free, short demo.