Negative Review

William R. Pupkis, CMPE, Healthcare Consultant
Negative reviewIn the past, patients commonly used word-of-mouth to share their opinions, good or bad, of you of you and your practice. With today’s social media, your patients can easily reach hundreds of people with their comments through outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Even external circumstances, such as a patient’s unrealistic expectations, can trigger a negative post. These comments can influence whether or not potential patients decide to solicit your services. With a little initiative, you can become more aware of your practice’s digital reputation.

Take time to investigate your practice, or “brand,” from a patient’s point of view. A Google search of your practice’s name is a good place to start, followed by a review of social media sites (Facebook, Google +, Twitter, etc.). Sites such as Google Alert ( and socialmention ( can also help you monitor your online reputation.

If you find a negative comment, don’t panic and don’t jump to a hasty response. If you decide to reply, do so calmly and politely. For example, “We understand your viewpoint and would like to suggest ______ to correct this situation.” A sincere effort to rectify a negative experience can often inspire a formerly unhappy patient to retract his or her bad review.

Last month we discussed building your online presence. Building a favorable presence begins with developing your brand’s unique voice. Actively publishing content on your practice’s website and social media accounts gives patients a feel for who you are and the kind of environment you cultivate in your office. Keep in mind that you are communicating in the voice of your brand, not as yourself. Consistent, positive content will build a solid online reputation that will outweigh negative comments.

Continue to perpetuate your brand’s image by scheduling regular updates and postings. Engage your online audience by commenting, sharing, and interacting through social media. Also, remember to monitor new online mentions and address them accordingly.

With a simple strategy and a small investment of time, you can achieve a more favorable reputation, increase patient trust, and improve your chances of winning new and repeat patients.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 5:56 pm and is filed under Practice Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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