Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Manage a Negative Online Review

Step 1: Relax - A negative review is not the end of the world or the end of your practice. In fact, you can actually turn a negative review into a positive for your practice if you handle it correctly!

Step 2: Respond - After you have taken some time to consider the feedback and do some of your own research, respond to the review on the 3rd party website where it was posted.

Step 3: Thank Them for Their Feedback - First step in your response is a sincere thank-you for them taking the time to provide feedback.

Step 4: Don't Argue - Don't ever argue, make excuses, or blame someone else. Even if they are wrong or their complaints aren't fair, your response to a negative review will say more about your practice than what the negative review says. Other who read the negative review, will also be reading your response. They want to see that you are respectful, understanding and willing to do what's best for the patient.

Step 5: Remember HIPPA - Remember that patients can talk about your practice, but you can't share patient information online. But that doesn't matter because you are not going to argue with the patient but to show the patient and the world you are listening and they are your priority. You may need explain that you will need to discuss their concerns in private, but you can assure them that you will help them resolve their concern.

Step 6: Do The Right Thing - This might be apologize for falling short on customer service, give a refund, offer to re-evaluate a situation or simply express empathy. Only you can decide what the right thing to do is, but remember, this decision will speak volumes about your practice.

Use your response to educate patients about your values. Tell the world what your values/standards are and what you are striving for your practice. If you fell short of your regular standards, own it. People will respect that. Turn the response to a negative review into a promotion for your practice.

Step 7: Ask For A Revision - If you have properly taken care of your patient's concerns, it would be totally appropriate to ask if they would be willing to revise their review. If they don't, can't or won't revise the review, go back to Step 1: Relax.

You have shown the world you are listening to your patients, are responsive to their feedback and are trying to do the right thing. That is how you turn a negative review into a positive for your practice!

PS. There are those who say that if you don't have any negative reviews, then you look like a "fake". Patients who are reading reviews are smart. They can spot a reviewer who is unreasonable just like they can spot a practice who does the right thing for its patients.