How to Handle Negative Reviews About Your Practice Online
The social media landscape now encompasses hundreds of blogs, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and user-generated sites that allow your patients to post reviews and experiences after visiting your practice or office.
While a glowing review of a treatment or procedure can help to bring in more clients, a negative review can damage your reputation.
How can you effectively handle bad reviews and insure yourself against negative comments and feedback from clients?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a single bad review won’t destroy your business or reputation — as long as there are a number of positive reviews posted on the same site. Most patients will take the time to read at least four or five reviews, both positive and negative, before making a decision.
If you think the review is unjustified, or that it is particularly vindictive and not based on an actual patient experience or visit, you may be able to have the comment or post removed by the site administrator. Another option is to post a professional response to the site so that other patients can see that you have acknowledged the post, and have an explanation. The key is to take action as soon as possible, and support any unjust negative reviews with a professional and positive response.
In a situation where you can identify the patient, you may be able to resolve the issue and address the negative feedback offline. Some patients may be willing to remove their review or edit their comment after you have approached them in a professional manner and express concern about their experience. In many cases, the patient simply wants to be heard — you can be the first to listen to their situation and take steps to remedy the situation, if possible. Find a way to e-mail or call the patient directly so that you can address their review or comment privately.
Handling negative reviews about your practice and patient experiences can be challenging, so it’s important that you have a plan in place to acknowledge the review and can take steps to improve the situation.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog post with more tips about monitoring your reputation online.