One of the greatest fears dentists often voice concerning social media is the prospect of receiving negative comments and posts. It can be intimidating to think that someone can go online and post nearly anything they want about your practice. Luckily, negative comments on social media sites like Facebook are rare. The public nature of such forums mean that people are less likely to post anything that their personal profile is linked to and they rarely do.
BUT, you may eventually encounter a negative post or comment on your social media page. Here’s what to do if that happens:
Post a response.
Negative posts on local search tools such as Google, Yahoo and Yelp are usually permanent and cannot be removed, but social media sites like Facebook do offer that option. Unless a comment is particularly slandering or offensive, however, its best to not delete the post. While how you deal with a negative comment is always up to you, we generally recommend a polite response that addresses the issue. Current and potential patients expect that not everyone is going to be completely happy all of the time. Social media offers more options for you to work with when it comes to negative comments. They are most interested with how you handle the situation. The worst response is no response at all.
Show off your customer service.
An appropriate response to a negative comment can advertise that you care and are willing to work with people that are less than satisfied. Even if the person complaining remains irrational, a response that is both professional and accommodating is very attractive to potential patients. Your response shouldn’t sound like an excuse, but should instead respectfully acknowledge the problem and seek a resolution.
Use negative feedback as a learning opportunity.
The reality is that none of us is perfect. While we may fear the relative anonymity of the internet and the ease at which someone can say something less than positive about our practice, the internet has also made it much easier for us to find out what people really think about us. No one wants to hear criticism, but gaining the perspective of our patients is incredibly valuable information. Their opinions might not always be factually accurate, but they are your patient’s perception of reality and businesses of all kinds thrive on how people feel about them. With negative reviews you have the opportunity to look critically at the complaint and evaluate what can be done to become better.
If you’re concerned about negative reviews on the internet, Dentists4kids.com offers a product that helps you manage your online reputation. Our Review Builder program allows you to send patients directly to the review sites you most want to build with positive comments. It also gives patients with not so positive online reviews an opportunity to tell you exactly what they think, in a forum that you control. Click here for more information.