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How businesses in healthcare should respond to reviews

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Businesses, including healthcare facilities, are being impacted by customer reviews more than ever before. A patient’s voice is being broadcast and prospective patients rely on that feedback to select their trusted healthcare providers. If a negative review goes unanswered, it can lead readers to believe you don’t really care. As a result, being able to monitor and respond to reviews has become an important component in a business’s long-term success.

The importance of responding to reviews

In a recent survey done by Software Advice, 94 percent of respondents said they use online reviews to research medical providers prior to their visit. Responding to reviews shows that you care about the relationship with your clients and establishes credibility with your business. Showing potential patients you value customer feedback will optimize the overall customer experience.

Protect a patient’s privacy

It’s crucial you maintain a patient’s privacy when responding to reviews. In accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), you must respond to online reviews and comments without divulging any personal information. If a patient mentions a specific treatment or visit, don’t acknowledge it. Instead, offer general phrasing like “We take your feedback seriously” or “We work hard to improve our patient experience.”

Listen and empathize

It is important for a patient to know you take their grievances very seriously. When necessary, thank them for their feedback and encourage them to continue the conversation offline. By discussing specifics privately, you allow patients to feel heard and understood.

Don’t delete reviews

Unless a review is seen as inappropriate or includes profanity or slander, don’t delete it. By maintaining reviews, both good and bad, you will establish trust among your audience. If the only reviews on your page are positive, people may become suspicious as they suspect the reviews are fake.

Acknowledge every negative review

By acknowledging the review, you are initiating the steps to resolve the conflict or improve communications with patients on the feedback received. This continues to demonstrate your commitment to providing exceptional patient care. When responding to the complaint, it’s important to maintain a professional and sympathetic tone. Avoid placing the blame on the patient, as this could drive potential readers to other providers.

Responding to reviews is very important to maintain your business’ reputation. It’s evident online reviews have become a trusted tool for patients to review past experiences and then make decisions on where to seek healthcare.

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