Angry ex-employees or customers are often eager to discuss their displeasure online. Too often to count, the team at ReputationAdvocate.com has seen such individuals share their frustrations on social media or write a sharply critical review on one of the popular consumer review sites. And, while many business owners and managers might consider mounting a defense on these public forums, ReputationAdvocate.com says that it is often difficult – even problematic – to overcome the bad publicity.

This problem is exacerbated in the medical community. As our team at ReputationAdvocate.com has found, consumer reviews of physicians are available on hundreds of online sites, including Yelp, Google Plus and other mainstream sites. Other niche-specific sites like Doctors.com and RateMDs.com also house such information. ReputationAdvocate.com also notes that many reviewers remain anonymous or don’t include their full names. When doctors who oppose physician-review commentary have required their patients to sign documents agreeing not to publish comments about their services online, our ReputationAdvocate.com team has also seen this tactic backfire.

ReputationAdvocate.com believes that anonymous online opinions should receive a complete examination from users, and should never be the sole source of details about a current or prospective physician. Many physicians are now subject to crowdsourced reviews, just as practitioners in other industries have been. Every day, the team at ReputationAdvocate.com examines the enormous risk posed by a negative review –  simply because a patient disagrees with the diagnosis or prescription. Physicians’ refusals may sometimes result in a bad review, but ReputationAdvocate.com advises that this commentary could be inaccurate and misleading.

ReputationAdvocate.com has also found that physicians are increasingly becoming the focus of consumer reviews. We are of the mind that physician-review sites need to provide more meaningful details in order to maintain their authority.

On most sites, ReputationAdvocate.com has not seen clearly delineated lists of standards. Some sites will charge a small fee for users to peruse physician reviews. And sites that use checkmarks, letter grades and stars are not always clear about what these values mean. ZocDoc.com, for example, offers more than just user reviews. Patients have the ability to schedule appointments on the site with physicians who pay for listings. Only patients who make appointments with the given physician are allowed to share reviews. ReputationAdvocate.com has also seen where patients are encouraged to consider topics such as waiting times and bedside manner in their analysis.

If you perform a Google search about online reputation management, you’re likely to find an overwhelming amount of advice, leading you in a thousand different directions. The team at ReputationAdvocate.com offers the capability to develop a strategy in terms of online management tailored to your particular business and what it has to offer.

ReputationAdvocate.com is a proponent of the idea that the first results a person sees after a Google search of your business should empower him or her to make a purchasing decision. As a business owner or manager, you have the ability to develop content that is positive and helpful. Since most Google users (99 percent, in fact) only scroll through the first page of search results, this should include an accurate, honest, and transparent reflection of your business products and services.

By monitoring brand mentions on social media profiles and review forums, the team at ReputationAdvocate.com can assist your business in attracting both return customers and new prospects. Learning about this feedback can set the course for future events. Quite simply, ReputationAdvocate.com challenges business owners to consider that while maintaining engagement on all of these digital assets may seem daunting, it’s becoming a necessity for all businesses. The team at ReputationAdvocate.com points out that this holds especially true for businesses in sensitive or controversial industries, and for professionals in the medical and health care fields.

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