A TED talk from Simon Sinek, author of the book, Start with Why, posed the question “why” as it relates to business.

Rather than defining a business through its offerings or how the work gets done, Sinek proposed making a connection with customers through the reason for the creation of a business.

As a business owner, there’s a good chance that a particular belief, or “why,” instigated the desire to start a business. Although beliefs play a foundational role, unless they are regularly communicated and acted upon, patients won’t know what makes your practice unique. If it’d difficult to see or understand the core beliefs of the business, it becomes challenging to differentiate a business from its competitors. This includes showing why the company chooses to emphasize particular aspects, and how these actions are beneficial to patients.

Who Do You Want to Do Business With?

A big aspect of building a practice on personal beliefs is finding patients who support similar ideals. Doing business with someone who is already on the same page is a lot easier than trying to bring someone around to your beliefs. In turn, those who are clear about why they are in business should find it easier to act on relatable business initiatives. The more a business shares about how their beliefs relate to the practice, the easier it is for a customer to see what drives the business to offer quality products and services.

Online Guideposts

Sticking to personal beliefs may not always be easy, and at times compromises might occur. If you are a practice owner who has made it a point to share the beliefs behind the products and services, there’s a good chance a customer will bring you to task if any of those initiatives miss the mark. While few will confront the issue face-to-face, there’s a good chance they will take the issue to the electronic masses in an online review.

Options for Online Reviews

Angie’s List – a subscription service that does not allow anonymous reviews. Businesses can monitor and investigate reviews and respond.

Better Business Bureau – nonprofit group with its own review standards. Business scores also consider customer reviews.

City Search – a city-based guide with information on entertainment, dining, travel, retail, and professional services

Yelp – San Francisco-based online review site that set the standard for restaurant and business reviews

Vitals.com – offers the ability to “shop” for the best healthcare using cost transparency, and offers profiles on provider choices

ZocDoc – one of the most established sites for scheduling doctor appointments, and includes a background section for doctors

Healthgrades.com – offers a way to “choose based on knowledge” with search tools for hospitals and doctors, and info on how to get the most out of an appointment

Google Reviews – attached to Google Maps, it’s a very visible way to make reviews front and center

Benefits of Reading and Responding to Online Reviews

These quick snippets can be a great way to see if the business is on track and in congruence with the standards of creation. If not, you can be sure that your current customers will let you know. In addition to providing timely feedback, online reviews can help make a business and its products more noticeable to others. Because there are many possible places for an online review to appear, it can be smart to set up a Google alert to let you know of any mentions of the name of your practice. This can be an easier way to stay on top of the sheer number of possible review sites, and it allows a practice to respond to positive or negative reviews in a timely manner.