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If you ever received bad reviews in your business, you will know that they often have repercussions. Recurrent bad reviews have the power to impact one’s business reputation negatively. People often look up health reviews before visiting the clinic. If they don’t find positive reviews, they are bound to look elsewhere. 

To stay at the top of your practice and get more patients into your clinic, it is important to pay attention to your online reputation. According to a survey conducted by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), about 54% of millennials and 42% of adults will look for their healthcare professionals on social media. Another survey by Revoo found that about 68% of people trusted reviews when they saw a mix of both good and bad reviews whereas 95% of them suspected that those with only saw positive reviews might be fraudulent.     

This is where online reputation management comes into the picture. When selecting a healthcare professional, patients will look for unfiltered reviews including bad review examples before they decide to visit in person. But let’s not forget that bad reviews are inevitable. In this article, we will look at some bad review examples and understand how to manage them and soften their blow. 

How to spot a fake bad review?

As a business practitioner, you will often come across spam or fake reviews online. It can be a result of a misunderstanding, left by a confused patient or your competitor to impact your business. Over 86% of customers hesitate to buy from a business with negative reviews. (Source) You don’t want to have fake bad reviews impacting your sales and brand name. 

Therefore, it is important to identify these bad review examples and ascertain their authenticity before you respond to them. Look out for these signs to uncover fake reviews –

  • It is accompanied by extreme emotional reactions.
  • It contains terrible grammar or repetition of certain words.
  • It focuses on irrelevant details.
  • You receive a bulk of reviews in a short span.
  • Reviews take the focus away to different areas than your expertise.  

Most sites like Google, Healthgrades, etc. allow users and businesses to report fake reviews. This makes sure that your patients and potential customers are not misled. Another important tip to keep in mind is that these bad review examples are still reviews and you should keep your cool while responding to them. 

Should you respond to bad reviews?

It is important that you do not ignore the bad reviews and respond to those negative reviews in a manner that limits the damage caused to your business reputation. No business in the world is perfect. Consider every bad review as an opportunity to enhance patient satisfaction and turn unhappy clients into happy ones. This is your chance to address their concerns and change their sentiment. Keep in mind to respond sensibly and politely while maintaining a professional tone. Here are some tips that will come in handy –

  • Be sympathetic – Even if the review is fake, apologize to the patient for having a negative experience and show them that you care and value their opinion. Offer them to revisit and encourage them to take the services again.
  • Take it offline – If the reviewer is angry or flustered, it is best to ask for the contact details and take the conversation offline. 
  • Offer an explanation -Explain to them that you value every patient and it might be a rare occurrence and not the service that you provide usually. Show them that you are committed to changing their experience and providing the best service. 

Some bad review examples 

Medical practices with higher positive reviews help boost sales and patient satisfaction rates. Negative reviews do the exact opposite. Below are enlisted some bad review examples to understand them better and devise a strong reputation management strategy –

  • Humble response
Hi [Name],
We understand that you found our services overpriced. But let me tell you that we adhere to the highest standards and focus on providing exceptional services. We hope that you will give us another chance to retain you in the future with our unmatched services. 
  • Honest response 
Hi [Name],
Thank you for your review, all feedback is important to us and we’re sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience. As you can see from other reviews, a vast majority of our patients are happy with the services. This makes us keen to ensure that this issue gets resolved. So, we would welcome you again to our clinic and make sure that you have a pleasant experience! 
  • Candid response 
Hi [Name],
I’m [Name], and I’m the Head of Customer Service here. I’d say that I was shocked to see your response at first. We take pride in our services and our staff adheres to strict protocol to deliver exceptional customer care. Sorry that we gave less than 100% that day. We invite you to give us another chance to make sure that the experience is up to your satisfaction. 
  • Professional response
I’m [Name], and I’m the Head of Customer Service here at [clinic name]. Sorry to hear that you had a terrible experience but we assure you that your situation is the exception and far from our usual high standards
We genuinely look forward to making it a pleasant experience for you and providing you with a tailored resolution.  
  • Ask for contact details response 
I’m [Name], and I’m the Head of Customer Service here at [clinic name]. We truly apologize for your recent experience and would love to make it up to you. However, it will be great if you can share your contact details so that we understand the concern properly and take appropriate action to resolve your issues at the earliest. 

Strategies to manage bad reviews 

Take a look at these strategies to manage bad reviews effectively and minimize their effects –

  • Get more good reviews – It is pretty self-explanatory. Get more positive reviews to diminish the negative impact of bad reviews. Don’t let bad reviews get you down. Instead, encourage your patients to put in more reviews about your business online. Also, avoid practicing review gating. 

  • Monitor your reviews – People usually post reviews on Google, Facebook, and industry-specific sites. It is important to monitor these sites regularly so that you can understand how your clients perceive your business. You can also promote positive reviews and report fake or derogatory reviews so they can be taken down in a timely manner. Many healthcare practitioners rely on reputation management software solutions that let businesses access online reviews from multiple sites in one place using a centralized and easy-to-view dashboard. You can leverage actionable insights to improve business reputation and boost patient satisfaction. 

  • Respond to bad reviews – We have seen some bad reviews examples and it is obvious that Ignoring them is not an option. Make sure to address them in a professional, calm, and polite manner, even if they are unfair or fake. The ultimate goal should be to convert unhappy clients and improve the patient-doctor relationship.

  • Apologize and offer a detailed explanation – The first thing to do is to acknowledge the issue and offer an apology along with a relevant explanation. If the review contains a vaguely described situation, you can ask for contact details to better understand the issue. Showing sympathy towards the reviewer tells that you prioritize and value them. 

  • Avoid using canned responses – Pre-defined answers can make or break the deal. Beware while using canned responses for all of your bad reviews. It does not look authentic and your patients will not take you seriously. Also, scripted empathy seems superficial and hundreds of your potential patients reading your reviews will find them appalling. On the other hand, responding with a personalized message shows that you care. It proves that you take every bad concern seriously and willing to work to correct it. 
  • Avoid getting personal – Bad reviews can be really frustrating, especially when they are fake. But make sure that you do not get personal. It is ok to be upset but do not vent out your frustration on the reviewer. It is best to maintain a professional tone while responding to them and show that you care about improving their experience. Whatever happens, do not retaliate or give a nasty response.

  • Show gratitude – This might sound a bit strange but hear us out! Appreciate them and extend your gratitude for their honest review. Take it as an opportunity to learn and fill the gaps in your business. When a patient had a bad experience and lets you know in a subtle manner, you should take that response into consideration. Use that information to improve their future visits.  

Are you looking for an advanced reputation management solution to stay on top of patient reviews? Emitrr is an all-in-one platform ideal for small to mid-sized businesses that can seamlessly integrate with your existing CMS to automate review requests and manage your online reputation across industry-specific sites using its advanced features.

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