Responding to online reviews isn’t easy for a lot of doctors and staff. Unless the review sends up a red flag, most doctors don’t say anything. Ignoring your reviews is not a good practice. In fact, you should embrace the good and bad in your reviews. Here are some of the best practices that can put you at the top of your game.
Do’s for Responding to Online Reviews
One best practice is to respond to all your reviews unless the review site prevents responses. Thank writers of good reviews, and reach out to writers of negative reviews. HIPPA guidelines prohibit sharing specifics online most of the time. But, that doesn’t prevent you from responding. Write a short response emphasizing your history of patient care, high quality treatments, patient satisfaction, etc. Feel free to customize the following examples to your needs.
- Thank you for sharing your experience. Our team here at xxxx Plastic Surgery is thrilled to hear your good feedback because we strive to exceed every patient’s expectations. It was a pleasure to serve you.
- Patient care is always our No. 1 goal. While HIPPA prevents us from discussing patient issues publicly, this comment has been addressed offline.
- Thank you for voicing your concern. We do not have contact information to reach out to you. Please call our office at (phone number) to discuss this concern at your earliest convenience.
- Thank you for taking time to let us know about your concern. We are well known for the high quality of our procedures. Patient satisfaction is paramount with us. Please call our office to at (phone number).
- We are sorry to hear about the scheduling mix-up for your appointment. Thanks to you voicing your concern, we found an infrequent error in our software that has been fixed. Our goal is always to exceed your expectations. We look forward to serving you again.
Don’ts for Responding to Online Reviews
When you are responding to online reviews, there are a few things to avoid. Every response becomes part of your online reputation. So, craft responses carefully because potential patients will see it for years to come. Here are some approaches to avoid.
- While it is great to use the name of the doctor or practice when responding to a glowing tribute, don’t use these when responding to negative reviews. You don’t want to give any extra SEO to negative reviews, especially in conjunction with your name.
- Don’t get into an online dialogue with the reviewer. Respond once. If the reviewer answers your response, cite HIPPA guidelines that prevent you from discussing specifics. Then, invite the reviewer to contact you directly.
- Avoid sounding defensive. Recognize that everyone has different expectations. In addition, you or your staff may have missed the mark. We find that many small plastic surgery practices or medical spas may have a spouse on staff. While this can make it difficult to remain receptive to criticism, you must respond objectively.
If responding to online reviews confuses you, contact our online management specialist at PUMC. It is time to put your best online reputation forward.