How to Respond to Negative Reviews

The Doctors Guide to Responding to Reviews

Here's how to respond appropriately to keep your reputation spotless.

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Your potential new patients are already reading reviews online to decide whether to schedule their first appointment. Your online reputation is everything, and negative reviews can give new patients the wrong impression of your practice. DLM offers reputation management for medical practices so you can show the public that you provide excellent care and your current patients would recommend you.

You can’t delete negative reviews online; only the reviewer can choose to remove their comment. So, how should you respond to a negative review? Here are a few of our best tips.

Contact Negative Reviewers Directly

When you receive a negative review, it’s best to contact the patient directly if possible. Call the patient or send them an email so you can get a clear understanding of their experience, show that you value the feedback, and try to make things right. A private conversation makes it easier to resolve the situation.

If possible, it can be helpful to offer some type of compensation or incentive to the reviewer. A modest discount on their services or an offer for priority scheduling can be beneficial in these cases. This shows that you do not want to lose them as a patient and want to ensure they have a better experience in their second visit. You can also consider offering discounts as an incentive to remove their negative review.

Respond Quickly to Stop Additional Negative Reviews

Responding to a negative review as soon as possible is important. If a patient or customer believes their concerns are going unheard and unaddressed, they are more likely to continue leaving negative reviews on additional platforms. Responding quickly helps reduce the overall number of negative reviews.

Protect Your Patients’ Private Information

One of the most important considerations for a medical practice is to protect your patients’ protected health information (PHI) when responding to reviews. For example, it is best to avoid mentioning the procedures they underwent. Instead, keep your response short and simple, using terms that aren’t specific to their medical care. Make sure that your staff understands the importance of not mentioning any PHI when responding to reviews.

Offer a Sincere Apology

Your first priority when writing your response to a negative review should be offering a sincere apology. The reviewer and potential new clients or patients will see that you care about providing positive experiences and the best possible outcomes. Your response to a negative review should always begin with a sincere apology that the client or patient had a negative experience, communicating that this was not up to your standard.

It is also important to acknowledge what went wrong. This shows the reviewer that you understand their concerns and are transparent with customers or patients. If necessary or possible, you should also provide explanations for the mishap. A statement as simple as “mistakes sometimes happen, despite our team’s experience and certifications” can show that you acknowledge the misstep and that this is not the norm for your practice.

Turn Negatives to Positives by Reviewing What Went Wrong

Negative reviews are an excellent opportunity for your team to check in on their processes. Feedback is valuable! By reviewing what went wrong, you can improve on the services you provide to ensure that current and future patients and clients have better experiences. For example, if your reviewer was upset that their appointment was late, you may adjust the process for scheduling appointments to avoid running behind. If they were upset by side effects they were not expecting, you can implement new ways to make sure that patients are educated and informed before a procedure. Encourage an open and honest discussion with your staff to solve the problems that the reviewer may have encountered.

Use DLM Review to Generate New Reviews

Once you have responded to the negative review, you should focus on generating new, positive reviews. One negative review stands out when there are fewer positive reviews brings down your average rating. Having plenty of positive reviews shows new clients and patients that this negative review does not represent the typical experience with your practice.

Read Your Reviews from Across the Web

Digital Limelight Media uses DLM Review as a reputation management tool for our clients. DLM Review collects reviews from over 80 websites so you and your account manager can stay on top of your reviews easily. DLM Review will pull your reviews from sites like Google, Yelp, RealSelf, Zocdoc, and more, then display them together on your DLM Insight account.

Analyze Your Reviews on Different Websites

DLM Review makes it simple to see your overall reputation across the web as well as your score according to each individual site. Once you know which websites have lower scores, it’s clear where to focus when it comes to collecting new positive reviews. 

Get Notified of New Reviews

Each time a new review is added anywhere online, you will receive a notification from DLM Review. This makes it easy to respond quickly both privately and online.

Automate Requests for New Reviews

EMR Integration allows you to automatically send requests for new reviews to patients after they visit your practice. Patients will receive an email or text message asking whether they had a good experience or bad experience. Those who select “good experience” will be redirected to the site you are targeting for more positive reviews, while those who select “bad experience” will be redirected to send you a private message. Any messages regarding bad experiences can be followed up with a phone call or email from your staff to resolve the issue, with no negative reviews added publicly.

Learn More About DLM Review

If you have questions about how DLM Review and our reputation management services can benefit your practice, feel free to contact us. Send us a message online or call (616) 222-3735.