Online reputation management can make or break your healthcare practice. According to a recent survey, 62.7% of patients consider online reviews as “critical” or “very critical” when selecting a healthcare provider. The number of people who find their healthcare providers from online reviews is continuing to grow, so it’s essential that doctors focus on responding to negative feedback to maximize the advantages of good reviews and reduce the damage from negative ones.
It’s inevitable, no matter how wonderful your bedside manner, your business will encounter good, bad, and unpleasant reviews. Unfortunately, if your business has two or three recent bad reviews, you can lose 67% of potential patients who read that negative feedback. And, if customers aren’t satisfied with your services, they’ll have no second thoughts about posting their unpleasant experience.
While it’s true that you can’t control what patients write in their reviews, responding to negative feedback tactfully can make them feel heard and may even prompt them to change their sentiment.
Here are 8 great examples of healthcare providers responding to negative feedback by patients:
#1 Patient vs Dr. David K. (Plastic Surgeon)
The Genuine Response
The patient accuses Dr. K. of gathering paid reviews and attempting multiple surgeries on patients to mint money, and even intentionally failing the first one. Dr. K.’s knack for responding to negative feedback like this one is worth appreciation. It couldn’t have been easy to handle such accusations with composure. See for yourself.
#2 Patient vs. Dr. William K. (Dermatologist)
A Candid Response
After a 2-star rating, the patient lashes out at Dr. K. for enticing his patients with his spaceship-like clinic, sporting a luxurious look and delivering over-priced services. Take a look at the clinic office manager’s response to see how calmly she handled the criticism, avoiding a direct rebuttal. You’ll have a lot to take from here for the next time you are responding to negative feedback by your patients.
And guess what? This is how other patients are rating his response!
If you take the defensive path and let your temper do the talking, you’ll appear irrational and legitimize whatever claim is being made in the review.
#3 Patient vs Dr. Gray (Plastic Surgeon)
A Humble Response
The patient is infuriated with Dr. Gray for disrespecting her time and arriving late for every appointment. Read Dr. Gray’s measured response with a short and sweet apology.
Obviously, you need to be cautious about posting an apology, especially as it applies to patient care. But in this situation, it’s perfect.
While responding to negative feedback, address any situation that comes your way and learn from it. Keep asking for more positive reviews from your patients to keep a check on your online reputation.
#4 Patient vs. Dr. Bigles (Ophthalmologist)
A Professional Response
A 1-Star rating is followed by a harshly negative review. Dr. Bigles’ response is concise and professional, and while it expresses concern, it does not acknowledge any wrongdoing.
Read also: How to address negative customer feedback
#5 Patient vs. Dr. Sherry S. (Dentist)
A Subtle Response
This review’s not outright negative. However, it’s a delight to see how Dr. S. responds in a concise manner, keeping her tone neutral and getting across her point to the patient. She’s objectively looked at the criticism from the patient’s point of view.
#6 Patient vs. Dr. Lloyd Becker (Dentist)
An Honest Response
The patient has gone all out and called Dr. Becker’s treatment “a scam.” She’s condemning him for overcharging and calling him dishonest. Dr. Becker graciously thanks the patient for writing a review, acknowledges her frustration and at the same time avoids admitting fault.
#7 Patient vs. Dr. Julie Tran (Dentist)
A Free-Spoken Response
This is a hurtful review for an accomplished doctor. In her response, Dr. Tran expresses her despair on the patient’s harsh comments regarding their practices. Seeing the reviewer is extremely upset, she asks her to come to her office to address her concerns. This is an excellent way of assuring the patient that you genuinely want to fix their concerns.
#8 Patient vs Dr. Shu Ping
A Sincere Response
This review is not about the doctor or the services provided by the clinic. The patient is unhappy with the front desk’s behavior and inability to offer her a resolution for her queries. Dr. Ping takes the initiative to respond to the review and promises to fix the issue, without defending her staff. With doctors, a lot of bad reviews (and good feedback!) will be about your staff or members of your team. If you often hear that your staff is rude, inattentive, or dismissive, it’s a good idea to take a hard look at your customer service and make some changes. While responding to negative feedback, use this opportunity to improve your patient experience.
In the end, it comes down to responding in a professional manner to reviews — whether they are negative or positive. With hundreds of review sites easily accessible to patients, your healthcare practice will get negative online reviews. The ultimate goal is to start a dialogue that will help you not only to respond to negative reviews but also improve patient relationships.
Read also: The Ultimate Guide to Online Reviews
60% of patients state that it’s critical for doctors to respond to reviews. If making that part of your practice without having to dedicate staff time to monitoring multiple sites is a goal, BirdEye can send you real-time alerts when you receive new reviews and makes it simple respond directly from one place to resolve patient issues. With BirdEye, you can monitor your reviews and respond to them, and the best part is that all this can be done from a single location.
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