It will happen from time to time, someone will post a negative review about you, your staff, and/or your office. But, how you handle it says a lot more about you then the actual review does.
As soon as a negative review pops up, the first instinct is a quick defensive response or want it taken it down because it affects your reputation. Maybe, your feelings are hurt, totally understandable. In today’s digital world, it is so easy for people to sit behind a computer and make comments they wouldn’t necessarily make to you face-to-face. Luckily, there are some steps to take when this happens to you:
- Address the review. Most review sites, such as Google+, HealthGrades, and Facebook will allow the business to respond to the review. We recommend contacting this person, offline, and addressing their issue in a phone conversation. Everyone likes to be heard. A quick phone call may turn a negative review into a positive one. And, depending on how the conversation goes, it’s okay to ask them to change their review.
- Respond Online. Once you have talked to the reviewer, if possible, go back to the online review and say something like, “We’re glad we were able to discuss your concerns” or “Thank you for sharing your concern”. This shows other reviewers that you have addressed the concern of this reviewer and you care enough and respect them enough to reach out to them.
- Contact Review Site. In the case that the review violates a site’s certain policies, you may be able to request it be removed. Calling the site or flagging it, and explaining how/why it should be removed may work. They may not take it down, no matter how many times you call, if it doesn’t violate their policy. A negative review doesn’t violate most site’s policies. The one exception is Facebook, which will not allow reviews to be removed. We suggest using a negative review as a teachable moment to further explain a situation. Of course, physicians and lawyers must be cautious not to violate patient or client privacy privileges.
- Ask for Reviews. There’s no shame in asking your customers to review you or your business online. If you should get a bad review, ask five more people to write you a positive review. That will push the negative review down. When potential patients/clients read the five positive reviews, that one negative review won’t stand a chance. Consumers read reviews differently – they understand one very negative may be the result of a negative person, especially when other reviews are all positive.
Online reviews are known to persuade consumers to try your products or services, don’t risk consumers missing out on the many RAVE reviews by over-reacting to one negative review.
As long as you stay on top of your reviews, work with the unhappy customer, and respond so others can see your expertise and great customer service, a negative review is not going to cause harm if it’s handled correctly. In fact, they may even help to make sure that all customers are leaving your office/site/store happier than when they arrived. Turn that negative review into an opportunity to improve.
Need help with your social media? Tschetter & Associates can help. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 248-625-1911.