“YELP!” or “YIKES!” to Bad Reviews
By: Jaycee Brown, Digital Marketing Manager
It was the wrong day and the wrong patient. Two wrongs never make a right and now you are suffering with a less than favorable online review of your customer service. Respond kindly and promptly like a concerned healthcare provider should. Always encourage the reviewer to contact the practice for resolution. Dentists know the word “prevention” especially when it comes to dental care. Prevention also applies to eliminating complaints and to creating an opportunity for patients to communicate and resolve their issues without a public rant. The following is a list of ideas to implement in your practice to proactively mitigate the possibility of a bad online review:
- Consistently provide the best customer service from the first phone call to the post treatment phone call. Train the team to treat people on the phone like they are standing in front of them by giving them undivided focus and attention.
- Let patients know how to contact you for complaint resolve. If you have an office email on the website for this purpose, make sure you monitor it daily and respond immediately. On your website under “contact us” have a section for compliments, comments, concerns and complaints. List phone numbers and email addresses that may be different than the office email or phone number to address complaints.
- Build a positive reputation in your community by becoming involved in community events and sponsoring events that improve the living quality of those you serve. If there are enough people who know you and are happy with your care it is less likely they will believe bad reviews.
- Contact your patients for feedback after their first visit and after every visit when treatment when anesthetic is used. A qualified team member can be just as effective as the doctor when showing a caring practice. The team member might say “Doctor M. asked me to call you to see how you are doing after your visit with us today.”
- Develop an online presence that shows that you are accessible and listening. Check for reviews online at different sites as part of your quality control program. Immediately respond to negative reviews and work toward the resolve and removal.
- Don’t post fake reviews with fake accounts to falsely improve your ratings. If you are ever exposed it can be very embarrassing and certainly hurts your credibility.
- Address the concerns with a listening, information gathering manner and do not get defensive or blaming in any way.
- Become part of the conversation by offering to make it right to the parties involved. Addressing the complaint in the same thread in a manner that shows you care will give credence to the issue.
- Do not offer to pay anyone to remove their negative posts.
- Analyze the circumstances that led to the negative review and make corrections.
Taking the right preventive measures is always easier than trying to mediate the response of an angry patient.
eAssist Helpful News and Billing Tips; Edition #116