Thanks to the power of the Internet and Social Media, your potential patients are researching and educating themselves on your medical practice before they even step foot through your door. For healthcare providers, medical reputation means trust; and trust means everything when it comes to patients and physicians. Making a good first impression with potential patients starts with a good online reputation.
So – you received a bad review. What do you now?
Here are some reputation management tips on how to deal with a bad physician or medical practice review and protect your online reputation.
Medical Reputation Management Tips
Claim your profile: If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve claimed your doctor profile on the medical review site where the negative review was posted so that you can respond to the negative review.
Assess the situation: Some questions you should be asking yourself: Is this is a former patient? If so, when did they last come in? Is their review accurate or false? For example, did they even have the treatment they are discussing?
Understand the website rules: Make sure you understand the rules on each review site you’re active on. If a bad review slips through and violates the website rules, chances are you can have the review removed.
Report fake reviews: False reviews are not permitted on many review sites. A false review is a post that’s misleading to the reader. It could be a defamatory post meant to damage reputation. While not all review sites will remove fake reviews, it doesn’t hurt to flag a fake a review to a website administrator.
Report racist/sexist/vulgar use: Review posts that are threatening to people, use foul language or make discriminatory generalizations. These usually fall under grounds for removal.
Doctor Review Site Administrators Won’t Remove Your Negative Review. Now What?
Don’t argue online: Whatever you plan to do, DO NOT argue with a disgruntled reviewer on a public review site for the entire world to see. The Internet is a place where news spreads fast. Online arguments can back fire and it could result in even more permanent reputation damage.
Respond to the bad review publicly: You could try a public response to a bad review, this shows transparency within your medical practice. The important thing to remember is to be diplomatic with your response, be mindful of their feelings, try to understand their issues and come up with a resolution that fits both sides. This requires effort from both parties however, sometimes one side isn’t looking for a solution.
Contact the reviewer: If a public response isn’t the way you want to go, you could try and contact the reviewer directly to do some damage control. Once again though, a disgruntled user isn’t going to take down a bad review just because you asked so, you’ll have to try and reach an understanding with them.
Negative Reviewer Refuses to Take Down the Bad Review? What’s Next?
Unfortunately, you can’t satisfy everyone. You can however learn how to mitigate damage done by bad reviews. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Generate good reviews to bump old bad reviews: Got a bad review on the front page of your favorite review site? Get more reviews! The more recent reviews will bump your older bad review out of sight for users.
Ask your satisfied patients to rate your medical practice online: Do you think one of your patient’s had a great experience at the office? Ask them to rate your practice online! You can never have too much of a good thing.
Stay active on your social properties: Active social properties rank high in Google searches of your medical practice. Be sure to stay on top of them and produce quality content. This will push review sites lower on the Google search rankings, so your patient’s first impressions won’t be affected by reading a initial bad review right off the bat.
Medical Reputation Management: Summary
When it comes to maintaining a good reputation online, the best defense is a good offense. Be proactive about giving patients quality service, understand how to take feedback to improve your medical practice, and be vigilant on monitoring your online reputation.