North Texas Dentistry Volume 5 Issue 6 - Page 20

practice marketing “You can please most of the people some of the time, some of the people most of the time. but none of the people all of the time.”  – Abraham Lincoln How To Respond to a Negative Patient Review A negative online review would never happen to you, right? You are an amazing doctor, you have a great staff and you take pride in providing the highest level of service to your patients. The truth is that even if you and your staff do everything in your power to please, delight and take great care of your patients, negative online reviews can happen to anyone. The ever-increasing use of review websites and social media now allows dissatisfied patients and even ex-employees to share their frustrations with thousands. If patients feel like they were underserved by you (whether they really were or not), they want to share it with the world. In the past, this meant telling their spouse and a few co-workers, but today, it means taking to Yelp, Angie’s List or any other review website to tell their story. In short, people love to “vent” and they want as many people as possible to validate their feelings. A negative review can do nothing but harm to you and your practice’s hard-earned reputation. How? According to the Opinion Research Corporation, 84% of Americans say online 20 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | by Marc Fowler customer reviews have an influence on their decision to purchase a product or service. Today’s consumer has been conditioned to read reviews prior to making a purchase decision. That means prospective patients will Google you before calling your office and they will be looking for any negative reviews about your practice that show up. So, what do you do if it happens to you? For dentists who have worked hard to build a practice, a negative review can often feel like a personal attack. That is an understandable feeling, but simply ignoring the review and “hoping” it will eventually get lost somewhere in the depths of the Internet isn’t a good strategy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to diffuse a negative review: Turning lemons into lemonade According to a Harris Interactive survey, it is possible to turn unhappy customers into brand advocates. The report found that by proactively addressing negative reviews: 34% 33% removed their original negative review then posted a positive review