Proactive management of dental reviews for reputation preservation
Lots of dentists and/or their practice managers know the huge benefits of a comprehensive social media presence and use it very effectively.
It is extremely useful for demonstrating “social proof”, for broadening brand awareness and, via advertising, promoting your services to a targeted local audience. It has sometimes been described as “word-of-mouth on steroids” and when used effectively, social media is a significant tool in the overall dental marketing arsenal.
But with the benefits come a few downsides and one of these is the ever-present issue of negative reviews. This is something I’m asked about on a regular basis by dentists who are worried about embarking on their first social media campaigns or who have dabbled, only to be put off when their first negative review inevitably arrived.
Unfortunately it is not possible to prevent negative reviews and they are a fact of life for any company with an online social media presence. But does that mean we should shy away from Facebook and the like just in case, or should we embrace the opportunities they offer and be prepared to manage a negative review when it comes along? Unless you are adamant that social media isn’t for you and that you understand the implications of not taking part, then the latter option is the way to go.
Why do negative reviews happen in the first place?
Irrespective of how good a business’s service levels are, sometimes things can go wrong. Even when the issue is relatively minor, it’s all too easy for a patient to hop on the the web, track down your Facebook or Google page and leave a bad review. Very often they don’t think twice about the harm that could cause and they just blurt it out regardless. It’s frustrating because most of the time a mature discussion with the dentist or practice manager would likely have solved the issue amicably. But very often the first thing you know about it is when the negative review lands.
The good news is that most web savvy users understand that the odd negative review will crop up when it comes to reviewing businesses and in most part, if the large majority of reviews are positive, they will opt to work with you anyway. So all is not lost if we know how to spot those negative reviews and deal with them appropriately when they land.