Negative online reviews can build your practice. Negative online reviews can show that you care. While you may believe this to be personally insulting, take the negativity and turn it around to make “lemonade.”
Online reviews will only become more popular. The most objective websites will attract the most loyalty. “Legal” contracts forbidding negative remarks will disappear and so, too, will the “review” sites where only positive reviews will be published.
Here are a few ways to take “lemons” and make lemonade.
You Are Not Perfect, You Are Human
In any business, it is impossible to please every customer, every time. Of course you’ve had an unhappy patient, it happens to everyone…once in a while.
Our patients know we aren’t perfect. Living in a world of only positive reviews is not realistic. Humans make mistakes. So, too, do medical practices.
The occasional negative review shows we are human.
Negative online reviews demonstrate your humanness and that you are willing to admit it
Fix Problems in Your Practice
Negative online reviews that are critical of you and/or your practice can alert you to problem areas in the practice.
In addition, review sites can serve as a “suggestion box” alerting your practice of problems that need fixing. These reviews provide an “outside” opinion of what needs to be fixed in your practice.
Show You Care
Whenever possible and in response to both positive and negative reviews, you should take the opportunity to respond to your reviewer.
Positive reviewers deserve a quick note of “thank you” for taking the time, and effort, to share their experience and opinions.
- wait 24 hours before responding. You want your emotions to calm down, yet you don’t want the “complaint” to go unanswered.
- comply with privacy restrictions
- be positive, professional and constructive. Give it your 5 star hotel approach.
Showing You Engage
Most importantly, you are showing your online world that you are willing to engage them by starting a conversation as you respond to their plaudits or criticisms. Demonstrating the ability adn wilingness to engage by creating a dialogue is fundamental to realizing the fullest power of social media.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization