Every eyecare practice is bound to have an unhappy patient or customer online every now and again, no matter how efficient the workflow or supportive your staff. So how do you address them when it happens?
These days, it's not just Yelp where you have to manage your online reputation. Your patients can offer up reviews on your practice on Google and Facebook, too. For any business, negative attention online is difficult to reverse and upsetting. But with these eyecare practice resources, you can develop a strategy to help you manage your online reviews, both good and bad.
Dealing with the bad reviews is one of the more tricky topics that a lot of businesses come across. In many cases it can be hard to prove who is in the right and it's easy to get defensive or protective of your practice and staff. Below are a few steps worth taking when it comes to responding to bad online reviews.
1. Read Carefully. Don't get so mad right away that you disregard important details that might give you more insight into the situation. When did the incident happen? Who was involved? What is the tone?
2. Research the Writer. Has the reviewer written other bad reviews? If they are a consistent complainer online it might affect how you approach a resolution.
3. Be Timely. You don't want to wait too long before you respond to a negative comment. A timely response shows that you care and are doing what you can to resolve the problem at hand quickly.
4. Start with an Apology. Regardless of whether you are in the wrong, start with an apology. It's important to be empathetic to the situation and not deny that there is a problem. Even if the apology is as simple as, "I'm sorry you feel that way."
5. Explain the Situation and Offer a Solution. It's important to offer a solution to the problem. The solution can even be asking the reviewer to get in contact offline so that you can fully understand their feelings and come up with a solution together.
6. Monitor as Needed. Keep an eye on the review and make sure that additional comments aren't made that you need to take further action on.
A really important take away from a poor review is to turn it into a learning experience for you and your staff. There is a chance that your practice was in the wrong in some way, and you might be able to improve a process or a staff member behavior by having a conversation about what went wrong and how you can avoid it in the future. Find the good in a bad situation and come up with a resolution that allows everyone to move on.
While it's a bummer to get stuck with bad reviews, one way to make them less noticeable is to ask your most loyal patients for reviews of your practice. The more positive reviews for your practice and higher your average rating, the less meaningful the negative reviews.
Make reviewing as easy as possible for your patients. You can add a call to action on your website asking for reviews, or make a call out on your receipts and invoices reminding patients that they can support your practice through online reviews.