When it comes to your practice, your patients are everything. Without them, where would you be?
For this reason, it’s important to take time to respond to patient reviews on social media. After all, sharing their thoughts on your practice takes time and that alone should be remembered and acknowledged.
Responding to reviews helps to build better relationships with patients and giving prospective patients visibility into the interactions can provide an indirect way to market your practice. Perhaps less obvious, these interactions sometimes highlight areas of improvement for your office to work on.
There are a few types of reviews your practice can receive; positive, neutral, and negative. In this post, I will focus on positive and negative reviews. Follow along for guidance on why it’s important to respond to each type of review in addition to some helpful tips on responding.
When it comes to responding to positive reviews, you may be taking for granted this wonderful opportunity to boost your social presence.
Not only does responding to a patient’s review reaffirm their positive experience, it also provides you with another opportunity to market your practice and get the word out to others.
So, keep these best-practices in mind when you’re replying:
1. Always be sure to thank the patient for their positive review. This reinforces the relationship with your patient while making them feel valued and appreciated.
2. Let the person know that you look forward to continuing to provide them with excellent service in the future. Not only does this highlight the good service you provided, but it also gives them confidence in staying with you long-term.
3. Politely use the opportunity to ask the patient to tell friends and family about their experience, potentially attracting some new patients via referrals.
It’s also worth mentioning that whenever you receive engagement on social media, your practice receives a strong social signal which can help boost your site’s search rankings. The more people that engage with your content, the better your content will perform on places such as Google.
When people think of reviews, negative reviews are often the first thing that comes to mind because of the impression they can leave. It’s important to carefully assess your negative reviews, as they can help uncover weaknesses that your practice may have. In doing so, you can find ways to improve on these areas.
If you are able to resolve any negative experiences, the reviewer may edit their initial review or create a new review to counter the initial one. Sometimes a course correction is even more powerful than simply getting a positive review from the start.
With negative reviews, remember:
1. Before responding to a negative review, ensure that it’s a valid complaint from a legitimate patient. If they do not appear to be a patient, let them know you cannot locate their name in your patient list and encourage them to reach out individually with their name to solve the issue.
2. Regardless of how the patient phrases their review, it’s important to stay professional and thank the patient for bringing this matter to your attention. This allows them to feel as though their voice is being heard.
3. In your response it’s important that you sympathize with the patient. If the details in the review go against your practice’s core values, let the patient know that, and also mention what your practice will do to improve in the future. This shows the patient that your practice cares about their experience.
4. In the event that you did something wrong, own up to it! There is nothing more commendable than saying “We know we made a mistake. We’ve learned from this experience and are better for it.” Doing so shows that you take your patients seriously and want to create a better environment for them.
5. Towards the end of your response be sure to provide the patient with a way to get in touch offline to make things right. Regardless of your course of action, it’s important that you provide them with the ability to speak with someone individually to clear the air and maintain the relationship.
6. In the event you are able to work through the patient’s issue, and it’s appropriate, you can ask them to update their review or post another review as a follow-up to the original one. Such scenarios can help keep your reviews positive and helpful to your practice’s appeal.
While there are several ways to respond to reviews on social media, we hope we were able to provide you with a few helpful tips and suggestions that your practice can utilize.
Responding to reviews is a good way to communicate with your patients and it allows everyone (prospective patients included) to see how much you value their experience. Regardless of a given review’s nature, it’s important to stay professional and provide your patients with the same amount of respect.
If you have any additional questions when it comes to responding to reviews, or any other social media questions, please reach out to us!
—Nicole Gamble, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications