More dental practices are starting to see the value of social media and are using it effectively to generate referrals and positive word-of-mouth. Just like other business owners, dentists can also benefit from the increased exposure that comes with having positive reviews on their website, blog, review sites or social media profiles.
However every review left by a customer need not be full of praise and even positive reviews might have a few criticisms about your practice. On the other hand, a few customers might leave really bad reviews trashing your clinic and destroying your online reputation. It is important to remember that customers are more likely to spread the word about negative experiences and it can have a strong impact on prospective clients. To mitigate the damage to your reputation, you should have a strategy in place to deal with such reviews. Here are a few tips that you should follow when you respond:
1. Always respond to reviews
Whether the reviewer is praising or complaining about your clinic, you should always reply to them. It is a chance for you to thank them for taking the time to provide a testimonial for you (if it is a good review) or to correct any mistakes that might have happened which negatively affected their experience (if it is a complaint).
2. Be polite and professional
Even if the reviewer is intentionally spreading misinformation, don’t be defensive or rude in your response. Politely explain the reason for the misunderstanding or confusion which resulted in a bad experience for the customer so that other readers can see both sides of the story. If your client is genuinely criticizing your office or complaining about a specific event that happened, apologize quickly and offer to rectify the mistake. In any case, your response should not take more than a few sentences to address the issue.
3. Don’t try to resolve the situation online
While it may be tempting to reply to a bad review point by point, it looks highly unprofessional. It is better if you leave a number and the name of a person for them to contact you so that the problem can be resolved. Once the situation has been solved to their satisfaction, you can always ask them to update the bad review accordingly.
Rather than scrambling to suppress negative testimonials, you should try to rectify the underlying cause. Bad reviews are not necessarily a bad experience and genuine criticism from your clients can provide you with valuable feedback on how to improve your practice.