This article was published along side of our podcast “Negative Online Reviews | Part 1.”
With or without a website or a social media account, you have an online reputation. Your online reputation consists of all the comments made about you and your medical practice.
While greater than 90% of comments are usually positive, here’s a prescription for dealing with negative online comments.
Wait 24 Hours
Negative online comments usually elicit anger.
Give yourself 24 hours to cool down. It’s normal for us to be upset and to take this personally. After 24 hours, construct a “5 star” response. Do not try and rectify the “wrong.”
Just as the concierge of a 5 star hotel would acknowledge your complaint with a smile and an apology…you will do the same. Regardless of how wrong the accusation, you will not engage, but simply construct a response to acknowledge the work of the writer.
If the anger has not subsided in 24 hours, have a colleague or admin do it for you, but you must respond.
The Importance of Responding to a Negative Online Review
Responding to a negative online review shows subsequent readers that;
- You care to engage your patients in a medium they prefer (i.e. digital)
- You are human
- You are transparent
Engaging your patients on their terms is vitally important. Just as a doctor’s office might have evening or weekend hours in response to patient need, so to must doctors respond on the Internet. Patients are yearning to learn everything they can about their health and their doctors online.
Negative reviews also make a statement that you are human. Humans sometimes have a bad day. This actually makes your more credible! Too many negative reviews, however, can have a negative impact, but a random negative review among many more positive reviews can actually be believable.
Operating a transparent business means that you care how your patients are treated and their experiences with your office. By recognizing the existence of a problem (“they run a factory in there, no time to see the doctor”!) you demonstrate openly that patient waiting times are important to you though this patient may have had a bad experience.
Most importantly, responding shows…you care!
Negative Online Reviews Can Be Good
Make lemonade out of lemons. Take the opportunity to show that;
- You care
- You run a transparent business
- You are human
- You respect your reviewers
Remember, negative online reviews can be an opportunity to impress and impact future followers!
Have any comments about negative online reviews? Did I miss anything? Please let me know!
All the best,