1) Respond to the comment if possible.

Most sites permit responses to comments made. Address the problem in a professional way that reflects your office and that the complaint is not common as well as that you are taking the necessary steps to rectify the problem  This eases patient’s minds and shows that you have flexibility as well as validating your patient’s views.

Don’t respond in a defensive manner as this will challenge the reviewer to banter back and forth with you. (and you will NOT win in the perception game)

***It is crucial that you don’t respond (especially  in the heat of anger) in a way that demeans the patient like “this patient is crazy or has mental problems”.  A comment like this violates a patient’s privacy and may land you in court, or worse yet in the Office of Professional Misconduct.

2) Patient Privacy

Take care not to post any protected health information when responding to a review.  Additionally, do not confirm or deny that the reviewer is your patient to begin with.  A statement like this works well-

“If you are a patient, we apologize for any misunderstandings or lack of communication”.

3) Flood the site

Rather than making a negative comment stand out, why not have it buried.  The easiest way to do this is by having a huge number of positive reviews entered onto the site.  Enlist the aid of satisfied patients and encourage them to give their positive feedback and testimonials.  When one negative view is among fifty positive ones, the poor review holds much less weight.

4) Amend wrong information

If there is inaccurate information about your practice, correct this so that future assumptions cannot swirl around the wrong information.

5) Offer a solution to the complaint

Offering a solution to the problem a patient is facing does a great deal toward defusing the problem  For example, if the patient is experiencing a billing issue, supply the reviewer with contact information to the billing department so that the problem can be resolved.  Let the reviewer know that you are working to address the problem and that you take reviews very seriously.

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See you at the next post!