Posts Tagged Yelp


Bad Online Reviews and How to Respond to Them

It is important to address every online review – good or bad – publicly so that others reading the review will know you are responsive to patient communication and concerns.

Here’s How to Respond

Here are some simple steps to addressing a bad review, potentially resolving the patient’s complaint and showing possible future patients how you deal with patient concerns.

Don’t get bent out of shape.

As much as we want to think that we do the best we can for every patient, we do make mistakes. I spoke with a patient recently and told her the practice had failed to send her prescription in and she was dumbfounded. “You mean you are actually admitting you made a mistake?” she said “That’s so refreshing.” We will all make mistakes, and we all must own them.

Read it. Go away. Come back and read it again.

First blush reads can be deceiving because we are instantly on the defensive. All healthcare is under the microscope and we are all peddling so hard to keep up that it’s easy to feel that we are doing everything we can and resent anyone who thinks we could do better. If you let it go for 24 hours, when you come back and read it a again, it could read differently and may be not as harsh as we originally perceived it to be.

Address the online review and include:

  • An apology acknowledging that the patient was dissatisfied – regardless of the specifics or what you cautioned them about, you want patients to know you do not want them to be dissatisfied. This is not necessarily to admit that you did something “wrong”, but that if the patient feels something went wrong, you want to acknowledge their feelings and address them. This is not the forum to say “we told you this might happen…”
  • Reassurance that patient care is the top priority in your practice.
  • An invitation to contact the practice administrator to discuss the issue in more detail and review if anything could have been done differently. Include a phone number and email.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Write it, let it sit for awhile, and come back and see if it reads the way you want it to. Have others read it and give their opinions. Less is often more when responding to a bad review.

Keep a copy of the online review and your response

Share with employees at a staff meeting. Make it a customer service teaching moment.

Contact the Patient

If you know who wrote the online review, contact the patient with an offer to discuss over the phone or face-to-face.

Keep in mind that the most important thing is to take the public sting out of the review by responding in an open, calm and compassionate way.

Photo Credit: sergiosantos9 Flickr via Compfight cc

Posted in: Amazing Customer Service, Practice Marketing

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12 Ways to Supercharge Your Practice in 2012: #3 Create a Customer Service Culture


When do you think about customer service in your practice?

When things start heading downhill? You overhear something that surprises you, complaints seem to be on the rise and you think, “time for another customer service seminar.”

The problem with this, of course, is that customer service is a day-to-day relationship. If you wait until you recognize the signs of things heading in the wrong direction, it could be too late. Just like other relationships, customer service in your practice needs consistent attention and creativity to keep things fresh and in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Just like other relationships, customer service is a living thing that needs care and feeding.

Here is what Customer Service isn’t:


Posted in: 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Practice, Amazing Customer Service, Day-to-Day Operations, Leadership

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How to Ask Your Patients to Leave Positive Feedback for You Online

Asking for feedback can be tough.

Asking for feedback as a physician or care provider is unexplored territory for most practices.

My primary care provider has a simple and effective way to ask patients to leave feedback online.


Posted in: Practice Marketing, Social Media

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Spotted! Amazing Customer Service at My Dentist’s Office

The older I get, the more I dislike going to the dentist.  I don’t know if it has to do with the increasing number of root canals and crowns I’ve needed, or if it has to do with becoming more controlling as I age and feeling totally out of control in the dentist’s chair.

Regardless of my feelings about going to the dentist, I had a surprising customer service experience at my new dentist’s office recently.  I had been putting off finding a new dentist since we moved to the big city over a year ago.  It became urgent to find one when I started having a sensitive tooth that made me shriek (inwardly) every time I drank or ate something cold.

I did my research: asked people, went online to Yelp and tried to discover what I could about the local dentists.  I also needed to find a dentist in my insurance network.  I found the one that seemed to fit, called, made the appointment, and showed up at the appointed time after receiving a nice email reminder.

The receptionist greeted me, introduced herself and SHOOK MY HAND.  I had barely sat down with my clipboard of forms to complete before the clinic door flew open and the dental assistant called me.  She introduced herself and SHOOK MY HAND. She said we would deal with the paperwork as time allowed.  She talked to me about x-rays, and asked if she could take new films and a dental impression.  She asked about my former dentist in another state, and when I couldn’t remember his name, the receptionist returned with a page of names from the Internet and asked me if anything looked familiar.

The dentist came right in after the x-rays, surprisingly did not shake my hand, but proceeded to look in my mouth carefully, gently, and asked lots of questions.  Then he discussed a tentative care plan with me, and when we agreed, he turned me back over to the assistant for some remedial gum care training.  Magically, I completed my paperwork by the time I was done in the chair.

I stepped to the check-out desk feeling confident that my dental health was in very good hands.  Then the receptionist (whom I found out later was the dentist’s wife) had some information for me about what the care plan would cost.  She had called my insurance company and found out what my plan would cover and what I would be paying out of pocket.  She explained it beautifully and I was so impressed I asked her for some advice about the financial counseling program I am starting in my practice.  She had some interesting insights to share.

To Recap:

  1. Got positive feedback on dentist online.
  2. Was able to get an appointment within a week.
  3. Got an email reminder.
  4. Receptionist and dental assistant shook my hand.
  5. Dentist was gentle and talked things over with me.
  6. Receptionist explained my insurance plan clearly and what I would owe, and gave me choices for scheduling services.
  7. I felt cared for, respected, and that they were happy to have my business.
Would your patients say the same about a visit to your practice?

Posted in: Amazing Customer Service

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