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6 Steps to Responding to Negative Reviews

One star rating with a young women

Receiving a negative review of your products or services can be the worst feeling ever. Even though you might feel the urge to ignore the review, responding to negative reviews is the best way to showcase your professionalism, customer care, and understanding. Here’s a 6-step guide on responding to negative reviews:

  1. Don’t Panic
    When you see a negative review, the first thing you may feel is fear, anger, defensive, and even retaliation. Take a step back and remind yourself that bad reviews are a part of life; they aren’t the end of this world, instead, negative reviews are an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and improve your operations.
  2. Find the Positive
    Once you are calm, the next step when responding to negative reviews is to re-read the feedback several times to find the hidden positivity. In order to do this, ask yourself the following questions:
    • What went wrong?
    • Did the customer have a bad experience with a specific individual?
    • Where did you fail the customer expectations?
    The answers to these questions will help you identify the main problem and understand the customer’s experience.
  3. Address the Customer
    Call the patient first and foremost to see if there is more you can or wish to do to resolve the case. Remember, not all patients must be approached. Some patients who come in the office may need to be vetted. You may not want the patient to come back. After a call is made and when planning your reply to the negative review, remember you are addressing a human being. Refer to the words and experiences the patient described in their feedback. If the patient includes their treatment details within their review – that’s their choice to share. However, to remain HIPAA compliant, avoid including anything about their treatment in your response and simply address the concern without including any treatments that were done.
    • *note, not all reivews are from a real human being or a real patient of yours. In these circumstances, it may be advised to ignore the review to avoid retaliation. Even if the patient was "real," avoiding a conflict may be in your best interest if the conflict has already escalated. In such cases, simply obtain more positve reviews to drown out the negaive ones.
  4. Sympathize with Their Problem
    Sympathizing with your patients is one of the most essential pointers for responding to negative reviews. However, it doesn’t mean you have to agree with whatever they say. Instead, make them feel like you understand their frustration and will offer to fix the issue or that changes will be made to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
  5. Respond to the Negative Review
    When responding to negative reviews, be upfront and ensure that your reply to the feedback is honest. You can start by greeting the customer, then moving on to their complaint and countering it without making them feel undermined. Keep it simple and short. There is no need to script out your entire point of view.
  6. Thank Them for Their Feedback
    At the end of the day, remember that responding to negative reviews is an opportunity to show your consumers that their opinion matters. Therefore, always thank the customer for their feedback.
  7. Fake Reviews
    Sometimes a negative review will come in that is not applicable to your or your office. If you feel a troll has targeted you, you may opt to ignore the review and drown out the negative review with positive feedback. Often trolls will look for a fight – so don’t give them one, but record and save all data about the false review for any future altercations. Then ‘flag’ or report the review on the platform.

    In some cases, you may have turned the patient away and received negative feedback or negative feedback from a partner or spouse that was not seen. The same recommendations apply, but you may include the fact that they were not seen and offer an alternative solution by seeing someone else in the area.

Medical Marketing Agency

Responding to reviews can be a positive experience that future patients read and analyze. Responding to reviews, especially negative reviews, is recommended with some exceptions. By taking steps to show your practice cares about each patient builds trust, rapport, and utmost professionalism. To learn more or to increase reviews, contact Medical Marketing Guru today. We provide essential marketing services for doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals in the USA.

Medical Marketing Guru is the leading healthcare marketing agency in the USA. Click here to book a consultation session today!

Posted on May 23, 2022
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File ID 127248639 | © Melpomenem |


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