In today’s digital world, where posting a review is as easy as sending an email, negative feedback is a given. Regardless of the service you provide, the quality of your products or the care of your staff, some customers are just looking for something to go wrong – and when it does, they’re happy to post about, share it with others and tarnish your online reputation in the process.
Fortunately, most of today’s consumers are fairly savvy when it comes to online reviews. They know that most of them should be taken with a grain of salt and, ultimately, the way a doctor, medical facility or even just restaurant responds to a review is the true picture of their character.
So step back and think about it: how are you responding to negative feedback? Are you responding properly? Are you responding at all? How can you turn those poor reviews into a positive marketing tool for your practice?
Here’s How Your Plastic Surgery Practice Can Handle Negative Feedback:
- Be proactive and try to spot them early. Use social media to monitor mentions of your brand, doctors and practice, and try to head off any dissatisfied customers early, before they’re able to post a public review. You should also go ahead and claim your business listings on major directory sites, as well as Google, Bing and Yahoo, so you get an alert any time a review is posted. This will allow you to respond as quickly as possible – before a review gains too much traction.
- Always respond – and do it publicly and quickly. Don’t ignore reviews – especially bad ones. Potential customers who see that feedback need to know you value customer satisfaction and that you take client concerns to heart. If possible, respond to the poor review publicly and quickly, letting the customer know you are doing all you can to remedy the situation and ensure their satisfaction.
- Stay polite and take the high road. It can be easy to get angry and flustered – particularly if you know the customer isn’t telling the entire story. But low-blows and being rude will only tarnish your reputation further, so take the high road and keep it polite, direct and helpful through and through. Apologize for their experience, and don’t re-hash the details of it. Keep it focused on fixing the situation and making the customer happy.
- Let your staff handle it. Assign a marketing or PR team member to respond to feedback, rather than having your doctors and nurses do it themselves. When your name or work is mentioned directly in a review, it can be hard not to take it personally – so you’ll want a third-party who wasn’t directly involved in the customer’s experience to take the reins.
- Reach out privately, too. Call the customer directly after you’ve responded publicly. Apologize for their poor experience, get more details on why they’re dissatisfied and see what you can do to remedy the situation. Sometimes, just talking through the issues and letting them know your practice cares and is ready to make it right is enough to turn a bad experience into a good one.
- Make an effort to remedy the situation. Finally, offer remedy. This can be a discount on future services, a refund on their procedure or a second procedure to achieve the results they’re looking for. Try to get them back in your doors so you can give them the five-star experience you set out to deliver the first time.
- Offer the customer a second chance – and a second review. Once you’ve offered some sort of remedy, send an email to the customer with a link to your review site, and ask them to consider posting a follow-up review. This is a great way to show potential customers that you monitor your feedback and follow through on your customer service. Plus, it basically negates the bad review and makes you look even better in the process.
Other Ways to Combat Bad Feedback
The best way to combat bad feedback is to prevent it in the first place by providing quality service and 100-percent customer satisfaction. Work with your front-office team to implement quality control processes that ensure customers are served in a friendly and timely manner and make sure to hire only the most qualified medical staff and assistants.
You should also create an automated email campaign that lets you request reviews from every patient you see. The more good reviews you have, the more those negative ones won’t seem so. You can even consider incentivizing your customers to post a review with a free product or discount on future services.
Finally, invest in SEO. Search engine optimization can ensure your website, business listings and other sites you control are ranked at the top of Google – instead of someone else’s bad review or unhappy rant. With the right keywords and optimization strategies, you can push that negative feedback off of page 1 where it’s less likely to hurt your reputation and slow your sales.
Negative Feedback Happens: How Will You Respond?
In this day and age, negative feedback just comes with the territory. The true mark of your quality as a business and as a medical practice lies in how you respond to it – how you work to improve based on that feedback and how you follow up and ensure each customer is satisfied no matter what.
Do you want help handling your negative feedback and managing your practice’s online reputation? Then contact Outlet Creative Group today. With the right digital marketing and SEO strategies, we can help.