How To Maintain A Good Online Reputation

I had an interesting thing happen to me online this past weekend. Weil Foot & Ankle Institute advertises online like we talk about during our “marketing machine” webinar. 

One of the places we advertise is on Facebook. On Saturday, a patient commented on one of our advertisements, saying that she had been in our office many times, wasn’t happy with her experience and was still in pain.

I looked up the patient and found that she was seen by me after having been seen for more than a year of pain and three other doctors not solving her problem. I had ordered diagnostics, which definitively diagnosed her problems and recommended a surgical procedure to correct them. She was seen twice in total and never scheduled surgery.

I posted a response on Facebook saying just that. She responded that after I recommended surgery, she needed to get another opinion and that person said not to have surgery….and that she was still having tremendous pain.

It ticked me off that someone could just say whatever they wanted online and make me look bad when all I did was help her figure out the problem and recommend solutions.

Then funny enough, in the Sunday Edition of the Chicago Tribune Business Section, there was an article about online reviews, stating that businesses have no control over them and how to deal with them. 

The author cited many experts who recommended that when people leave those kind of reviews, the best thing to do is to reach out to them directly and acknowledge their frustrations. Most people want to know that they are being heard and by doing so, you offer them something of great value. Once they have accepted something of value, i.e. your kind response to them, you can ask them to remove their comments and usually they will.

With this information in hand, I reached out to the patient privately and offered her a free visit with another doctor in our group to see if there was anything else we could do for her. She readily accepted and down the road, I plan to ask her to withdraw her statement.

With the internet being an increasingly important location to market yourself and your practice, it is critical to watch your reputation on review sites and have strategies to address patients and people who choose to air their grievances…whether truthful or not. By having these strategies in place, you can quickly address any issues and prevent them from negatively impacting your online reputation. I hope you will put these to use.

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