Online reviews! Some doctors embrace them. Others ignore them. But, almost all plastic surgeons and medical spas have online reviews. Each patient is unique, so expectations and experiences vary. While most reviews tend to be 3-star or better, it’s common to have some negative reviews mixed in with positive ones. Here are some tips on responding to online reviews.
Thank the Reviewer
Many online review sites offer a response method. Thank reviewers for taking the time to post about their experience. If the response is negative, tell the reviewer you are sorry they had the experience and ask them to contact your office to discuss the issue.
Don’t Blame the Reviewer
Doctors should never respond to an online review by blaming the reviewer, even if you think the patient is at fault. Placing blame on the reviewer publicly, in person or in a private message can come back to haunt you in more negative reviews. Reviews and your responses are available for everyone to see, so it’s important to handle the specifics offline. Never disclose any personal or medical information that violates HIPPA. By simply encouraging the reviewer to contact your office, you show that you are willing to work through the patient’s issue.
Don’t Ignore Your Online Reviews
There are two sides to a story. As online reviews have become more prevalent, most major online review sites have started offering a way to respond publicly. In addition, some offer private messaging. For example, Yelp recently encouraged businesses to respond to reviews politely and diplomatically. Google+ allows verified businesses to respond to their Google reviews. Registered business owners can respond to reviews in Trip Advisor. Healthgrades provides a general response to be displayed on your patient survey page. Acknowledging the review shows you care about your patients, their experiences and feelings.
Online Reviews Provide Insight
Information from online reviews provides free research for your plastic surgery practice or medical spa. You learn what you do well, potential areas of improvement, and identify patient questions for blogs and website content. While you can have a disgruntled previous employee or patient who is a loose cannon, most people post about actual experiences. Separate fact from fiction as you evaluate the insights of your online review sites. Then, implement improvements from the feedback.
Online Reputation Matters
Your online reputation matters! Potential new patients check these before making an appointment. Managing your online reputation should be integrated into your overall marketing plan. Not sure how to manage your online reputation? Confused about online review sites? Contact PUMC to help you understand how to handle your online reviews and manage your online reputation.