Negative patient reviews can have a significant impact on your online reputation. The consequences of this can have a significant impact on your bottom line. It’s seen that patients who encounter bad reviews for doctors on platforms like Google and Facebook are typically driven to seek care elsewhere.
Art of Positively Responding to Negative Patient Reviews
As doctors, our goal is to provide the best possible care to our patients. However, despite our best efforts, negative patient reviews can still occur.
These negative online reviews can be frustrating and disheartening, especially if we believe that we did everything possible to provide the best care.
Real Example: How did we respond to a negative online review?
I will start by giving a real-life example of how my team responded to a negative patient review for a very renowned physician in our city.
The screenshot of the review is here.
When asked, the doctor stated that this specific patient was in a hurry. He needed to go catch the train to Noida as soon as possible. As a first-time patient at his clinic, the doctor was more concerned with completing all necessary blood tests.
However, as we now know, patients have “The Google Fever,” and the patient was eager to learn all the pathophysiological details. Obviously, the physician cannot go into all of the medical specifics, especially when the office is so packed with apprehensive people. The doctor attempted to dismiss most of his extraneous questions and told him to focus on the tests first. This is why the doctor received a negative patient review despite having done nothing wrong.
Since we have experts in answering medical questions, we felt compelled to provide an answer to this one that would comply with the doctor’s standards. However, the patient didn’t respond back, despite reaching out to him over the phone.
It’s important to remember that these doctor reviews by patients provide an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and improve our services.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to respond to negative patient reviews with other examples that you can also use as templates for responding to such negative reviews.
Prompt and Kind Response
When responding to negative patient reviews, the first step is to respond promptly and kindly. Show empathy and acknowledge the impact of their experience.
For instance, you could start with a message such as “Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We’re sorry to hear that we fell short of your expectations and that you had a negative experience.”
Address Specific Concerns
After acknowledging the patient’s concerns, it’s essential to address them specifically. Respond with a detailed explanation if necessary, indicating that you’ve read and understood their feedback.
For instance, if a patient complains about long wait times, explain that you’re working to streamline your scheduling process to reduce wait times.
Move the Conversation Offline
While it’s important to respond publicly to negative reviews, it’s also important to take the conversation offline. This will allow you to have a more in-depth conversation with the patient and address their concerns more thoroughly.
For example, you could offer to speak with the patient on the phone or invite them to come in for a meeting. This will show the patient that you’re committed to resolving the issue and that you value their feedback.
Offer a Solution
When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to offer a solution to the problem. This could be a refund, a discount on future services, or a free consultation. By offering a solution, you show the patient that you’re committed to making things right and that you value their business.
For example, if a patient complains about the quality of care they received, you could offer to provide them with a free follow-up consultation to address their concerns.
Hospital feedback examples on how to respond to negative online reviews
Angry Review 1:
“I had a terrible experience at this clinic. The staff was rude and unprofessional, and the doctor was dismissive of my concerns.”
Ideal Response for Angry Review 1:
“We apologize for the negative experience you had at our clinic. We take patient feedback seriously and strive to provide a welcoming and professional environment. We would like to speak with you further about your experience to better understand how we can improve. Please contact us directly to schedule a meeting. We appreciate your business and want to ensure that you receive the best possible care.”
Angry Review 2:
“I waited for over an hour to see the doctor, and when I finally saw her, she rushed through the appointment and didn’t listen to me.”
Ideal response to angry review 2:
“We apologize for the long wait time and the rushed appointment. We understand that your time is valuable, and we’re working to improve our scheduling process to reduce wait times. We would like to offer you a free follow-up appointment to address any concerns you have. Please contact us directly to schedule an appointment. We appreciate your feedback and are committed to providing the best possible care.”
Angry Review 3:
“I received a bill for services that I never received. This is unacceptable, and I will not be returning to this practice.”
Ideal Response to angry review 3:
“We’re sorry to hear about the billing issue you experienced. We take all concerns regarding billing seriously and would like to investigate this further. Please contact us directly, and we’ll work to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. We understand the importance of accurate billing and appreciate your feedback.”
Angry Review 4:
“I felt ignored and dismissed during my appointment. The doctor didn’t listen to my concerns, and I left feeling frustrated and unheard.”
Ideal Response to angry review 4:
“We apologize for the negative experience you had during your appointment. Our doctors strive to provide compassionate and attentive care, and we’re disappointed to hear that we fell short of your expectations. We would like to offer you a free follow-up appointment with a different doctor to address any concerns you have. Please contact us directly to schedule an appointment. We appreciate your feedback and are committed to providing the best possible care.”
Angry Review 5:
“The facilities were outdated and dirty, and I didn’t feel comfortable during my visit.”
Ideal Response to angry review 5:
“We apologize for the negative experience you had at our facilities. We take cleanliness and comfort seriously and are committed to providing a welcoming environment for our patients. We have implemented new cleaning protocols and are renovating our facilities to improve the patient experience. We appreciate your feedback and hope that you’ll give us another chance to provide you with the best possible care.”
These are a few ways to respond to negative patient reviews online. For more details, you can start a conversation with Dr. Navneet Goyal and ask your queries for free. At Sensoriom, we are creating an ‘Integrated Practice Network’ where we will help the fellow doctors to enhance their productivity. Click below to send a WhatsApp message to Dr. Navneet Goyal.