4 steps to handling negative online reviews and posts [VIDEO]

May 29, 2014

You may have been reluctant to enter the social media world because you’re worried someone may post something negative about you. Or maybe there is that one bad review on a website that you cringe at the thought of. 

You may have been reluctant to enter the social media world because you’re worried someone may post something negative about you. Or maybe there is that one bad review on a website that you cringe at the thought of. 

It is out there on the web haunting you like a bad dream. So, what do you do? Or should I say, what can you do to mitigate the impact it is having on your practice and your psyche?

Fortunately for you, it is most likely only damaging your psyche; however, your mental well being is important and protecting your image even more important. 

So, let’s say Jane has left a scathing comment on the web about you. Your best bet is to follow these steps:

Step 1

First, determine if you should delete the post, keep it, or report it to the third party software where it is placed. 

If this post is real (meaning it was posted by an actual patient), and it does not contain offensive language then keep the comment live. Deleting that review or post will only add fuel to the fire and cause her to spread more negative comments about you in places that you cannot see. 

If the post is offensive, vulgar, threatening, or spewing hatred at a specific team member, then either delete it or contact the website administrator to make a case for taking it down. The same is true with a false patient review; however, the latter is harder to pull down because you must prove the person is not a patient. 

Step 2

Now that you have determined to keep the post live, you should comment on the post.  Take a neutral stance, neither defending your position nor conceding to theirs. Instead, let the patient know that you regret that she had a bad experience and that you would like permission to contact her to discuss her concerns in person. This will make you seem real, genuine, and a person who cares about providing a great experience. 

Whatever you do, avoid ignoring the comment. Most of the time, your patients just want to feel heard and onlookers want to know you are listening.

Step 3

Flood the site with the bad review with positive glowing reviews by encouraging your patients to leave great comments about you either on your social media sites or on the review sites.

You can also send an email to patients pushing them to specific sites using your patient communication software.

Step 4

Finally, flood the internet with great information coming directly from YOU. Do this by utilizing social media, writing blogs, keeping your website up to date and looking great, as well as ensuring your website is appropriately optimized in Google and Bing.

This way, when someone searches for you on the internet, all of the positive and knowledgeable information heavily outweighs any one negative comment. 

The best approach to drowning the one or two negative comments is to kill them with kindness and great information. A proactive approach will help to protect your image.