Reviews & Reputation

My Practice Just Received a Bad Review, Now What?

Despite what most businesses may think, negative reviews are a common and essential component in the online marketing process. Why else would businesses offer 100% Satisfaction guarantees? With the need for a guarantee comes the implication that there will be some dissatisfaction with the product or service. While you may feel defensive when negative feedback is received–which is a natural reaction–your next response is extremely important.

Instead of setting out to uncover the source of the negative feedback, or devising ways to eradicate it, consider harnessing the positive of such an occasion by turning to your most-valued asset: your satisfied patients. Any savvy online consumer would likely be suspicious of a practice boasting a perfect, 100% satisfaction rate. In reality, most practices can count on satisfying around nine out of every ten patients on average. The key to combating the negative feedback is to develop a two-pronged attack for online reputation management. First, be pro-active and aware of your online reputation; and second, provide answers and a course of action in response to the bad review by engaging with your patients online.

According to a recent survey conducted by Opus Research, 35% of small businesses claim new customers find their products and services as a result of online research and positive reviews. By putting your satisfied patients to work, you are tapping into the perfect source of positive energy. Furthermore, because you have developed a pro-active stance to ensure your patients receive the highest quality care possible, they will more than likely be happy to spread the word and further expand on the positive online reputation of your practice. By preparing for the bad review, you will be able to limit its overall impact on your practice, and cut down on the time it takes to recover from it.

To further dilute the potency of negative feedback, engaging with your patients online will provide a forum for you to show your patients you are concerned with their well-being and satisfaction. By using the feedback from all reviews, good and bad, you will additionally show your patients you are listening to their suggestions, and willing to make the necessary adjustments to improve their overall experience with you and your practice.

The important thing to remember is that you cannot directly control every facet of your online reputation. However, you can control your response to the negative feedback, and the magnitude of its impact on your practice by remaining vigilant with online reputation management.

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Keith Humes


Keith Humes is Rosemont Media's CEO and Founder. Since 1998 Keith has been at the forefront of Internet Marketing with Surgeons and Dentists. He continues to stay ahead of the curve and offers innovative insights to the world of healthcare marketing. Keith also lectures nationally at leading industry events, such as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium.

Keith is an avid fisherman and master-griller. Next to fishing, Keith’s favorite activities include surfing, and spending time with family & friends.