Most of us tend to obsess over an occasional negative online review. We fume about it for days. We complain to our team, our spouse, and anyone who’d listen.
It’s understandable. Negative feedback hurts. We work so hard to take good care of our patients, and we are very sensitive to any criticism that seems unjustified or inflated.
The problem is that while we spend so much energy on an occasional negative review, we often ignore dozens of glowing reviews from our happy and loyal patients. It may be human nature to concentrate on the negative, but ignoring the positive feedback is a missed opportunity to build your online reputation.
Online reputation management is not just about fighting negative feedback; it’s about crafting your message, sharing your story, and humanizing your business.
According to a study done by Modern Comment, a social media marketing firm, 78% of consumers say that when they see a business owner respond to reviews, they believe that the business cares more about its customers. When you respond to your positive reviews, you let your existing and potential patients know that you are genuinely interested in creating exceptional experiences for them.
What is the best way to respond?
Your patient took the time to write a glowing review for your practice. Take a few minutes to show your appreciation.
“Hi Lisa, Thank you for your kind words. It’s always a pleasure to see you. We are looking forward to your next visit.”
It might be tempting to go a step further and either send a gift, offer a discount, or add some promotional material. Don’t do it. It may be a guideline violation of some review sites, and it may make the reviewer feel uncomfortable. If you’d like to add a special touch, send a thoughtful handwritten thank-you note. In today’s word of overstuffed email inboxes, a handwritten note is always noticed and appreciated.
With online review platforms such as Google, the office has the ability to respond back to it’s published reviews.
Take the time to personalize each response. Adding a personal touch to your response or commenting on anything specific the reviewer mentioned makes it much more meaningful and sincere. Avoid giving away any private information. A public response should not contain any personal, health, or appointment information. Sign off with your name.
“Hi Suzie, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I will never tire of hearing that the kids are looking forward to coming here. It’s always a pleasure to see you and your family.
Pay a Compliment
Your patients are a reflection of your practice. Compliment them when appropriate.
“Everyone is so nice here because we have the best patients. We are here to help with whatever you need!”
A personal thank you from the practice / doctor will go a long way. Try thanking your patients at their following check ups, they’ll be impressed that you remembered their positive feedback!
Sprinkle Some Marketing
Your response is not just for the reviewer – a lot of potential patients will read it. Take the opportunity to brag a little about your practice.
“Hi Jenny, Thank you for much for such great review! We work hard to deliver great dentistry in the most comfortable environment, and I am happy to see that reflected in your last visit.”
Share the Love
Recognize your team and share the feedback. Keep in mind that a positive review is important for your online reputation, but it can also do wonders for your team’s morale.
“Hi Jane, thank you for your kinds words. I made sure that Jessica got the recognition she deserved. She was so happy to see your reviews. See you soon!”
Sharing the positive reviews with your team during your daily huddle is an awesome way to start the day right and energize your team. And, for a longer lasting effect, a prominently positioned Kudos Board, featuring the latest and greatest reviews, is a powerful reminder to your employees that their work is valuable and their contributions are truly appreciated.
Dr. Gina Dorfman completed her dental training at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2000 and shortly after she started her own practice near Los Angeles. Her passion for creating systems and leveraging technology to streamline practice operations is what eventually led her to co-found YAPI. Today, among practicing dentistry, she is a published author, a motivational speaker, and a frequent contributor to the many articles found on our blog!