Tips For Responding to Negative Patient Reviews 

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Online reviews can have a tremendous impact on the success of your hearing practice. Consumers today are using review sites like Google, Yelp, or Facebook to look up ratings and read reviews more than ever before. 

Statistics show that 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check Google reviews before visiting a new business or searching for a service, with Google still holding the spot as the most visited review site. Zero-click searches, which rose to 65% in 2020, mean more users than ever are reading Google reviews directly from search results.1

Consumers today are also more careful and discerning about where to go and what to buy. Online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions.2 A staggering 94% of consumers say a negative review has convinced them to avoid a business.1

Review management should be a priority for every business. Navigating and responding to all the reviews of your business can seem like a daunting task. We have composed a list of tips to follow to help respond to any negative reviews in a way that will keep your business looking professional and can even turn negative reviews into positive outcomes.  

Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews

Leaving a negative review unanswered gives people the impression you don’t care or don’t read/keep track of your reviews. As bad as a negative review can make your businesses seem, not responding to that negative review only makes it look even worse. People want to see that you value your customer’s feedback and stay responsive even after the service is received. 

As tedious as responding to negative reviews can be, it’s important that you tackle them quickly. In fact, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, and 1 in 3 have a shorter time frame of 3 days or less.1

Don’t Respond With Generic Apologies

If you are posting the same generic response to all of your negative reviews, customers are going to notice. A simple one size fits all apology is not the best way to go. People who have left negative reviews who feel like they’re being brushed off have even less of a chance of remaining customers or visiting your business again.  

Avoid Excuses

No one wants to hear that there was nothing you could do about the situation on your end. Giving excuses or deflecting the issues back onto the customer makes you look unprofessional, and people reading your reviews will wonder if they would receive the same type of response if they had any issues of their own.

No matter what the review is, focus on what you can do to make the situation right or avoid anything similar in the future, rather than the ways you can’t help or in which you don’t have a solution.

Never Share Patients Personal Information

This should go without saying, but any response to reviews should not include any personal information or private details about the patient, no matter how relevant they are to making your case.

Avoid Getting Defensive

Arguing or lashing out in response might be the natural reaction to reading reviews that you disagree with, but it’s important to avoid getting defensive and further escalating the situation. Responding by criticizing the patient or their behavior in retaliation will only make you look unprofessional. It’s a much better approach to redirect the conversation.

Statistics show that 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check Google reviews before visiting a new business or searching for a service.

𝐁𝐞 𝐄𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐜
Try to see the other point of view. Being empathetic and having an 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 tone can be all that is needed to salvage a patient relationship after they have left you a negative review. It also shows potential patients’ reading reviews you care about and value your customer’s feedback.
You want your customers to feel heard, understood, and 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐝 after they leave your office, not that they are not powerless and have no control or say in the situation.

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𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐓𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐈𝐭 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲
Put the review in perspective. Sometimes a patient is simply having a bad day or experiencing problems in their personal lives they take out on you. Miscommunications happen, and the best thing that you can do is respond quickly, work to resolve the situation or address the dissatisfaction, and move on.
Interested in learning more about review management services or reviews in general? Request a free consultation with our team of experts today!

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Sources: 1. https://www.reviewtrackers.com/reports/online-reviews-survey/ 2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanerskine/2017/09/19/20-online-reputation-statistics-that-every-business-owner-needs-to-know/?sh=9a15db8cc5c9