Did You Know… Word-of-Mouth is Still a Powerful Tool… ONLINE

You can do all the research you want but you usually end up seeing the doctor that your aunt recommended, the therapist your best friend had such success with, the butcher your neighbors are always ranting about… and you’ll definitely make an effort to stop into that shop your co-workers, mother and kid’s friend’s parent mentioned having a blow-out sale.

Consumers find comfort in hearing about other consumers’ experiences, proving that word-of-mouth is still one of the strongest tools when it comes to gaining, or losing, business. Companies must not forget that consumers talk… and talk, and talk. They must remember that every customer will gladly recommend your product or service if they had a positive experience. And even more importantly, that every customer leaving with a negative experience will be even happier to warn the customer walking in to turn around.

For years there have been online message boards and chat forums for people to list their recommendations or warnings about certain businesses. But social media has taken the lead in directing consumers.

Besides promoting special offers, events, portfolios and success through Facebook and Twitter, businesses should also be embracing the opportunity to generate positive conversation among their online audience about their products or services.

PIP Triad offers consultation and assistance with Social Media Marketing for you and your business. Before asking how we can help, take a minute to read a little more on how businesses have been benefiting from online word-of-mouth…

Consumers Using Online Tools, Word-of-Mouth to Find New Physicians

Kathy Crosett, 1/27/14 – MarketingForecast.com

The federal government, health insurance companies, and exchanges are spending millions to encourage consumers to sign up for coverage under the new Affordable Care Act. However, these aren’t the only organizations targeting consumers with doctornew ad campaigns. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is encouraging physicians to pay attention to the criteria patients use when evaluating them and to advertise accordingly.

AOA research indicates that up to 30% of consumers are changing their primary care physicians in any

5-year period. Consumers end their relationships with their primary health care providers for a variety of reasons. The most frequently cited issues include moving out of the area (34.7%), not feeling a good fit with the physician (33.9%), and changing insurance companies (21%).

In the next year, some consumers will be seeking physicians for the first time ever. This is one of the positive outcomes of the new legislation. Other consumers will be seeking to replace their physicians. In all cases, AOA research shows that consumers  consider the following factors:

  • Acceptance of insurance plan (83.3%)
  • Bedside manner/empathy (60.5%)
  • Proximity of office to home, work or school (57.4%)
  • Convenient office hours (42.9%)
  • Medical specialty (37.5%)

Consumers tap a wide variety of information sources about medical service providers. The relationship between a patient and physician is often sensitive and personal so it’s no surprise that word-of-mouth (65.9%) remains the top influencer when consumers select a new provider. However, more prospective patients are also using online tools to find a doctor. They’re often researching not just for themselves but also for their children and for older family members. Insurance provider directories (51.9%), physician rating websites (22.8%), hospital websites (10.8%) and consumer review sites (10.5%) all play a role in the selection process. As a result,  physicians should be working to enhance their online profiles. They may also want to monitor their ratings on social sites and engage with consumers who leave comments.

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