Hospitals can choose NOT to be involved in the social space. They can choose not to have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or even a YouTube channel. What they can not avoid is consumers sharing their opinion.
I spent some time reading though, Scoring healthcare: Navigating customer experience ratings by PwC Health Research Institute, and I feel it really illustrates what the current landscape looks like for hospital marketers. The biggest issue as a consumer is there is no default review site – No, Trip Advisor for example. What we are left with is a smattering of review metrics and sites. Below is an example of many that exist as shown in the PwC report:
The interesting part of this is – not only do you have to know what all these mean, you have to know who they mean what to. For example what group/demographic prefers Yelp? Healthgrades? What about Consumer Reports?
Based on the report from PwC here is the breakdown on who prefers what platform:
Based on these insights here are 3 things hospitals have to account for:
- A social media response strategy is a must – With younger generations engaging on social media sites, hospitals have to make a point to implement a response strategy for those who rate, review, comment, or even complain online.
- Be transparent with quality metrics – Be in front of what is publicly reported. Consumers will come to expect your organization to be upfront with quality scores. With so many review sites hospitals have an opportunity to become a resource. Help consumers understand what they are reading.
- Impact will change over time – Looking at the chart above it doesn’t take long to realize that generations will change how we communicate. Be ready and learn who expects to hear from you and in what way.
I would encourage you to download and read this report. How are you addressing ratings & reviews as an organization?