As a business owner you can do everything in your power to ensure that your patients have a great experience but sooner or later it will happen… you WILL eventually receive a negative review posted online about your practice. So when thinking about handling negative reviews of your business the question you have to answer is not “What if I get a bad review?”, it is “How do I handle things WHEN I get a bad review?”
What are you going to do when you get that first 1-star review? Negative reviews don’t only hurt emotionally. They have a direct impact on the trust consumers have in your business and it is essential that you have a system in place to handle negative patient reviews in a professional manner. Even one bad review on a popular review site can have a negative effect on your practice, but an appropriate and timely response can lead to positive results.
Creating a Process for Handling Negative Reviews
One of our partners, Reputation Loop, recently published four steps to creating a process for handling negative reviews. The four steps are:
Step 1: Designate a person responsible for monitoring and responding to negative reviews
It needs to be someone’s responsibility to monitor reviews and when (again, not IF, but when) one shows up, respond appropriately. This leads us to the next step…
Step 2: Know the rules for responding to negative reviews for the review sites that matter most
Every site has different processes and rules for responding to negative reviews and it’s critical that you know these rules. Whoever you’ve designated to be responsible, should also be the one that knows the differences between review sites. This responsibility should also include the ability to respond to negative reviews, thus acting as the voice for the practice. Again, this leads us to the NEXT step…
Step 3: Compose a standard response that can be filled in to customize for handling negative reviews
Having a standard response that is respectful and courteous makes replying much, much easier AND something that any capable person could do. While the bulk of the reply could be standardized, they customize the standard template to address the specific concerns raised in the review.
Step 4: Respond promptly to negative reviews and watch for reviews referring to the specific post
This might be one of the most important steps you can take. Responding PROMPTLY to negative reviews shows the rest of the world that you do pay attention to what people say and if your response is handled correctly, it also lets them know you’re serious about providing excellent customer service.
For more specific information about each of these steps, check out the article on Reputation Loops Blog.