Every physician or medical practice owner has to deal with a large number of online reviews. Most are encouraging comments, but the comfort of anonymity can make some patients more inclined to be vindictive and post scathing reviews of your service and staff.
Displeased patients tend to be more expressive than satisfied patients because they want tell others about their experience with your service or staff. They also might try to post negatives reviews on as many online platforms as possible.
Every time a patient writes negative about your staff or services, the whole world can read it. Your existing and potential patients may start to judge you based on what is posted about your practice on various review sites, how quickly you responded to those comments, what your reaction was, and how you resolved the matter.
However, it can become difficult to read these reviews if you start to take patient feedback personally without considering patients may be dissatisfied with their own understanding of your service or have confused one treatment for another.
Make sure someone from your practice is responsible for handling online reviews, someone who knows how to deal with negative reviews in an effective manner. Here are five smart ways to achieve a more balanced view of online patient reviews, the way they affect your medical practice, and your reputation.
1. Stay calm
It may be instinctive to press the panic button the moment you see a scathing review. However, you must accept that you cannot please every patient, and not every patient is going to like every aspect of your service. It is critical to understand that not all feedback is beneficial. When you are reading through online reviews, start by looking for repeated issues. For instance, if the most common word in negative reviews is “disappointed,” this may imply that the patients had higher expectations from your practice than what was offered. Once you have identified the patterns, figure out what aspect is causing an issue with your patients.
2. Look for solutions
Once you have determined what aspect of your practice needs improvement, brainstorm with your team potential effective solutions. For instance, if you are experiencing long wait times, consider the steps to improve your efficiency or ways to engage patients while they are waiting. The most important thing to learn from negative reviews is never to take them personally. Taking each review personally can actually harm your service and reputation. Instead, negative feedback should act as the framework to improve your service.