You spend years building your reputation, spend loads of money, deliver impeccable service and create your own brand in the minds of your patients.
Prospects visit your website and they like what they see. Online you have some patient reviews, not many but you figure more will follow. You haven’t asked patients to write them yet, but you promised yourself you would.
HOWEVER, the web is still The Wild West. Like a good Scout, you must “Be Prepared” because ANYTHING can happen.
AND it does: Your first online negative review is posted. POW!
Your patient Tom complains about his experience at your practice that is not at the level for which you are normally known. Tom wants to vent. And he does. Big time. Online. On Yelp. One measly star.
So before the eyes of Yelp’s 140 million voracious readers and review writers Tom has posted his negative review about your practice.
Thousands can see it.
If you had prepared, there’s a good chance Tom wouldn’t have vented, at least not online. Instead, his review would come to you. And you would resolve his problem together. But, if he posted it, you’d have plenty of excellent reviews already posted online, so Tom’s bad review would get, at most, a passing glance.
Reputation management requires savvy preparation.
Right now, though, your first 1-star review (1 star is horrible, 5 stars is best) is posted alongside your two other ho-hum reviews. Worse, prospects on Yelp believe what complainers say. They just do. This is mortifying.
Complainers typically share their negative experiences on a popular, busy web site that ranks high in search engines, like Yelp. Because of this, anyone who wants to know about your practice may find the undesirable review early in their research, marring their first impression of your practice. Tom’s negative review, true or not, can be harmful to your online reputation.
Meanwhile, the public is watching.
Tom is emotional. Until you respond to Tom’s vent, the public can see you are neglecting Tom. Your speedy response is critical. Respond quickly and thoughtfully. You can save the relationship.
Next, go after those 4-star and 5-star reviews. Encourage every happy patient to write about their experience with you on their favorite review website, like Google, Yelp or Facebook, to push down any negative review that creeps in, so it drowns in your “sea of excellence.”
Be prepared. The world is watching and your online reputation is priceless.