Respond to Concerns
It’s really easy to be available when business is going well and patients are happy, but what about when they’re not?
How does your practice handle unsatisfied clients or a bad review?
The way in which you deal with disgruntled patients says a lot about your communication strategy as a whole. When it comes to bad reviews online, unfortunately many practices take the “if I ignore it, it will go away” approach.
Considering that over 72% of people say bad reviews would prevent them from visiting a physician, this is NOT a recommended approach. If you want your clients to trust and respect you, you must earn it by proving your dedication to righting wrongs and doing what you can to resolve their issues.
Even worse than ignoring the complaint, some practices choose to respond publicly in a combative manner. This is never a good look… Even if the individual’s grievances are unfounded, you must remain calm and resist the temptation to respond emotionally.
Below are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with an upset client.
Respond to Emails & Calls Quickly
Let’s face it, nobody really likes dealing with problems. But, the longer you avoid the issue, the worse the problem can get. If a patient reaches out to you personally regarding an issue, and you let days pass before responding, there’s a good chance their frustrations will begin to amplify. Now, in addition to the original issue, the individual also feels ignored or neglected. They may even take to online review sites to air their grievances publicly. Respond quickly before the fire spreads.
Cool Off Before Responding to Online Reviews
When it comes to online reviews, it can actually be helpful to give yourself a bit of time before responding. This gives you a chance to let the initial, knee-jerk reaction abate so that you don’t respond emotionally and make the matter worse. Taking a couple hours or a day to try and understand the patient’s experience can help you put yourself in their shoes and formulate a calm and respectful response.
Thank the Reviewer
Getting called out is never fun. However, you need to consider that for every patient that complains, there are potentially dozens of others who felt the same way and stayed silent. Oftentimes, negative reviews can actually be an opportunity to show your current and potential patients that you really do care. If you make the effort to genuinely understand what went wrong, engage with the individual in a meaningful way, and show that you are taking steps to fix the situation, you could turn an unhappy patient into an advocate. Plus, you’re showing prospective clients that you’re willing to own up to your mistakes and care about the happiness of your patients.
Protect Patient Confidentiality
It is important to remember that even though the conversation is taking place online, you’re still interacting with a patient and must comply with HIPPA. You cannot discuss topics relating to medical advice given by the doctor or divulge details of the patients’ diagnoses, treatments and idiosyncrasies. If the patient’s complaint involves confidential information, respond with a generic but genuine reply thanking them for their feedback and letting them know that you will be reaching out to them personally to resolve the issue.
Take a Proactive Approach to Managing Patient Concerns
It helps to take a proactive approach to managing patient concerns and correspondingly, your online reputation. MyMedLeads offers a Patient Review Service that does just this.
- After a patient visits your office, MyMedLeads sends out an automated survey.
- Patients can provide feedback and will also have the opportunity to add reviews to top sites like Yelp, Google, Realself and more.
- If a patient was dissatisfied with your service, a process is set within our software to mitigate the issue. This allows practices to follow up with the individual and resolve problems internally to help ensure they don’t end up shared on the web.
- Patient reviews captured through MyMedLeads will also be displayed on your own personal MyMedLeads profile page, which is indexed by search engines.
It All Starts with Good Customer Service
Providing strong customer service is a crucial aspect in any business. Honesty is the best policy – especially when dealing with unsatisfied patients. Simply owning up to your mistake, showing that you respect your client’s concerns, and communicating that you are taking steps to address the problem can go a long way in diffusing the situation.
Instilling this as a philosophy in your practice will help you salvage many “would be” lost patients and diminish the likelihood they will disparage your name online and to other potential patients.
Learn How MyMedLeads Can Help Improve Your Communication Strategy
This concludes our 4-part series on improving communication with your leads and patients. If you are interested in seeing how our tools can be implemented into your current communication and marketing strategy, please give us a call at 844-446-9633 or complete our online form. MyMedLeads offers free, personalized demos so you can see for yourself if our product is a good fit for your practice.