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Our award-winning doctor marketing expert, Jimmy Nicholas, often reminded clients that, even if you are the greatest doctor or dentist in the nation, you simply will not be able to please everyone all the time. Perhaps you had an exceptionally busy day, or maybe a patient had unrealistic expectations. Whatever the reason, you may find yourself contending with an unfavorable review online. If this happens, though, don’t lose hope! There are positive steps that you can take to mitigate the damage a bad review might do.
According to online marketing guru Jimmy Nicholas, there are certain steps you SHOULD take to restore your online reputation – and some steps that you definitely should avoid at all costs!
Someone has spoken badly about your or your business publicly. Maybe they’ve even insulted you. It’s human nature to be put on the defensive by this, but avoid the temptation to lash out at the reviewer in any way. Any attempt to make a public statement online that denounces the reviewer will ultimately reflect onto your own reputation. This, in turn, can scare away potential patients who might otherwise have ignored the review.
Another gut reaction that some doctors and dentists have is to try to erase the review from existence. For example, they may reach out to Facebook to erase a negative comment that someone left. Be very careful about taking a step like this, though! If the reviewer discovers that their review was deleted, this can make them even more upset. According to our doctor marketing expert, some reviewers will retaliate by posting even more vocal reviews in numerous additional places. By letting a single review stand untouched, you can avoid an unpleasant snowball effect.
You may have seen examples of this already online. Someone posts a bad review, and the business owner or doctor leaves a comment with an apology and an offer to remedy the situation. When others witness an exchange like that online, they can end up having a higher opinion of you. They will see a doctor who took the high road, who cares about his or her patient, and who did what it took to make that patient happy (or at least did their best).
Your comment can be something as simple as, “We are sorry to hear that you were dissatisfied with your care, and we invite you to call us at 123-456-7890 to discuss your concerns. We will do our best to improve your experience with us.” If you do end up fixing the problem, you could then ask if the patient would be willing to remove the review or update it with the solution you provided.
Sometimes, there’s just no way you can make a patient happy. In these situations, it may be unwise to delete bad reviews, but you can still take other steps to hide them from sight! The best way to do this is to ensure that you obtain as many positive reviews as possible. As more and more great reviews get posted online, that rogue negative review will get buried and will quickly lose its power to injure your reputation.
One way to obtain many positive reviews is to use a tool called Reviews Accelerator. You can learn more about it by going to ReviewsAccelerator.com or by contacting Jimmy Marketing, where we help small businesses and practices grow by getting better returns on their marketing dollars.