They Said THAT About My Practice?

It’s a day you have been dreading.

You do everything you can to provide the highest quality dentistry, best customer service and most fantastic patient experience ever. You answer everyone’s questions, are empathetic and even work through lunch to squeeze in that emergency. And then one day, an email arrives from your spouse.

“Honey – you won’t believe this. That nice patient, Mrs. Crumley, who got those beautiful crowns yesterday, just trashed you on the internet!”

Sure enough, you click on a link, go onto some site you never heard of, and there it is in plain sight for millions (or at least a few people) to see.

“I was NOT impressed with the service at Great Lakes Dental Care. Dr. Hack was not very nice to me and everything he did hurt. I will not be returning. Besides, my caps look like horse teeth.”

Okay – maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but the fact is, eventually something negative will be written about you on the web. Maybe it’s already happened. So what do you do?

Keep Your Blood Pressure Low!

First of all, don’t worry. It’s no different than in the past when no matter how great of a job you did, someone would say something negative to a friend. Only this time, instead of a whisper at a cocktail party it is electronic in nature.

Remember the key thing – don’t panic. Bad reviews on the web are a normal thing in today’s hyper-connected world. Secondly, ignore your first impulse to write a rambling diatribe letting everyone in the cyber-world know what a jerk Mrs. Crumley is. The last thing you want to do is engage her in a back and forth e-battle with everyone trying to get in the last word.

Now take a deep breath and give yourself some time to relax. If you must write a response, take a day or two to calm down. (Don’t worry – your practice won’t fold in the meantime.) Your best response is a brief, polite reply letting the disgruntled patient (and anyone else reading this comment) know that you will be glad to see them to rectify any issues with which they are having problems. You also may want to throw in that you have been serving the community for thirty years and that your excellent reputation with thousands of satisfied patients speaks for itself. But whatever you do – don’t be nasty or get involved in a fight.

The Best Offense

As with many things in life, the best offense is a great defense. In this case, a great defense means having so many positive things about your practice on the web that this review appears to be exactly what it is – the crazy ramblings of a disgruntled crackpot!

According to Susan Wilson Solovic, best selling author and CEO of Small Business Television, the more presence you have on the internet the less relevant one isolated bad review will look. Solovic says:

“In addition to your web site, create pages for your business on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You should also consider starting a blog for your business and posting it.

The more relevant and positive information about your business there is on the web the less visible a negative review will be.”

Solovic also states that only a small percentage of people say they are unlikely to do business with a company based on a negative review. And if a review contains information that is just downright false, many times the site will work with you to have it removed. She recommends asking your current customers (or patients in our case) to post positive things about your practice.

So when the inevitable happens, don’t panic, don’t worry and most importantly, don’t get engaged in a battle. Start now to build a positive presence on the web, and the occasional negative review will look like the inconsequential blip that it is.

For more information on how to build your web presence, drive more new patients to your practice and be perceived as the expert in your community, be sure to attend one of our upcoming Social Media Marketing Summits! Click or call 1-888-88-MADOW for more information.

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