Preparation is key
While a practice may strive for 100% patient satisfaction, occasional misunderstandings arise and mistakes are made. A disgruntled patient may choose to voice a complaint online, and if a practice mishandles the response, that negative review can wreak havoc on the practice’s reputation.
Creating a strategic, proactive plan to manage your practice’s online reputation can ensure that one voiced grievance does not cause lasting damage.
While a negative review’s source can vary from a dishonest competitor to an aggravated patient, thorough preparation for these situations gives practicing physicians the ability to use the bad review as a platform to publicly display professionalism, attention to detail, and quality of care.
Effective strategy against negative reviews
As soon as a bad review comes in, it is essential to be prompt with a response. Tracking negative reviews can be difficult. That’s why a Reputation Management platform like Telio can help. Do not give negativity a chance to dwell on your reputation. If the complaint is legitimate, a patient’s main concern is to be respectfully heard and to see an honest attempt to righting the wrong. This opens the door for a practice to publicly display fast-acting problem solving and an earnest enthusiasm for patient satisfaction.
The word choice and language in the response says a lot about the quality of a practice. When a practice responds to negative criticism with clear and sympathetic communication, it display an attentiveness that reflects its medical care. If the problem is small and addressable in the brevity of a social media comment, an attempt to immediately present a rational solution shows a direct concern with their grievance. If the review covers more complex issues or sensitive health information, it’s better to apologize for the trouble and give the commenter a way to contact someone who will continue to address the problem privately.
Obviously a practitioner can not control many of the factors that may contribute to a displeased patient, but attempting to improve what can be fixed goes a long way. Even small accommodations and a positive, respectful attitude work to create a healthier relationship between patient and doctor.
How to handle a bad review
The old service industry adage ‘the customer’s always right’ applies when dealing with negative criticism online. Engaging in an argument with a patient or publicly contradicting and interacting defensively with them reflects poorly on a medical practice. For a practice to come across as approachable, it’s important to maintain a tone of professional sympathy and communicate with a clear desire to do good by the patient.
Sometimes negative reviews turn out to be fake, most likely posted by trolls or competitors in order to spread misinformation about a practice. There are a few simple ways to tell if the review is legitimate, such as vague details and the posting account lacking any personal detail.
However, even if there is solid reason to believe a review is fake, a practice should treat it as if it were real, while privately reporting the account and comment. It is important to still respond with the same level of professionalism as with real reviews, because people respond more favorably to positivity. Being argumentative, contradictory, or defensive reads poorly to other potential patients witnessing how a practice handles criticism.
Try Telio Review Management
Not every patient exits the doctor’s office pleased with their visit, but when they voice dissatisfaction online, the practitioner needs to be fully prepared. With online reviews having a major influence on the average consumer’s spending patterns, an unsatisfied patient sharing their negative experiences online has the potential to steer valuable business away. Eliminate that potential by investing in your practice’s online reputation.
If you’d like to learn more about cultivating positivity out of negative reviews, or to find out if Telio is right for you, visit reviews.telio.co.