How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews
Most practices have, at some point, encountered an unsatisfied patient who leaves a nasty review on one of their online rating pages. While some administrators take the negative review personally, engaging in an argument with the patient in the comments, we recommend taking the following steps:
- Take a moment, relax! While on the surface, this situation may seem like something inherently bad, it’s important to remember that you can turn it around to work for you instead of against you. By appropriately handling this situation, you show prospective patients that you care about their wellbeing and experience at your practice.
- Personally type out all of your responses. No one likes to see a template message copied and pasted multiple times. Take a minute and write out a personalized response to each review. Remember, that in order to respond to a online review, you must claim that listing.
- Include an apology in your response. Be sure to acknowledge the bad experience your patient had, even if you don’t believe they are justified in being upset. Try something like “I’m sorry to hear about your experience with us.”
- Be clear that you strive for great service. After all, you do aim to provide your patients the best care possible, so let them know! Something like “Patient experience is our top priority, and we are disappointed to learn that you had anything less than a stellar experience with us.” is a great example.
- Be upbeat and positive. It’s important to adopt a friendly, upbeat attitude. Avoid responding to anger and frustration with aggression. Be likeable and friendly in your approach because others are always watching.
- Address false reviews. Don’t let false reviews tarnish your reputation. Call out fake reviews or ones that are indubitably incorrect. However, do so in a professional manner. Additionally, you can flag the review if it violates the review platforms guidelines. In many instances, you can contact Google My Business who will take the necessary steps to remove the negative online from the internet entirely.
- Take the conversation offline. Give the patient your name and contact information. This not only prevents an argument from taking place in the comments of your reviews, but also adds authenticity to your listing – patients like to see that there’s a real person reading their comments. Try “My name is _______ and I am an administrator at _________. If you’d like to discuss this further, please reach out to me at [phone number / email].”
And if you can’t beat them, outrank them. Have an effective review building strategy in place that allows you to build high volumes of positive online reviews. This will drown out the negativity and improve your overall rating.
Check out more tips and tricks for Google My Business for doctors.
Click here to learn about five critical mistakes that could be damaging your online reputation.