Is your marketing helping, hurting, or making no difference?
Take our quiz and find out!
Having trouble watching this video? Click here.
Patient Attraction Episode 709
How should a dentist react when a comment on your blog, a Yelp review, a Facebook post, or a Tweet says uncomplimentary or even damaging things about you or your practice? Your public image is vital to your continued success, but knee-jerk reactions to public criticism can do more harm than good. I’ll be back after the break with some thoughts about crisis management in the public sphere.
– The evolution of social media provides constant, real-time communication.
– That’s a great benefit, but it can also be a real liability for your dental practice.
– I’m Colin, and welcome to the Patient Attraction Podcast.
– Today, an unhappy patient can get their gripes in front of hundreds or thousands of people in a few minutes.
– And that instant communication can pose a real threat to your practice.
– Unlike large corporations, dental practices probably don’t have anyone constantly monitoring the social media.
– So by the time you learn about someone’s criticism, it may have been public for some time.
– The first thing to do is take a minute and think.
– That’s extra important if you’re really angry about what was posted.
– NEVER react out of anger. If you can’t calm down, have one of your staff members draft a response.
– Second, you have to decide whether the criticism is accurate.
– If so, you have some apologizing to do; the complainer has actually done you a favor, although it may not seem like that.
– That apology should be in a public reply to the public criticism on the same social medium.
– The most important thing is to not come off as defensive in your response.
– Everyone’s human, everyone makes mistakes, and your patients and followers will appreciate you owning the mistake.
– Include the fact that you’re changing your procedures to ensure that the event that sparked the criticism doesn’t happen again.
– For really serious errors, consider following up with the complainer via email, a phone call, or a written letter.
– Third, not all battles are worth fighting.
– A minor gripe that sounds like someone nitpicking doesn’t require a counterattack.
– That doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
– Give your response a light touch, but be careful with humor online, as it can really backfire.
– Something like, “We’re sorry that happened, and we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again” is enough.
– But what about the completely unfounded, really damaging criticisms?
– Those deserve a complete rebuttal.
– Again, think through your response before writing it, and have someone else read it before you post.
– A quick recounting of the actual facts may help, but don’t come off as argumentative.
– Include a link to the original complaint, or reproduce it in your response.
– Finally, have a plan in place to deal with future threats to your public image.
– That way, you have concrete steps to follow that will help you respond most appropriately.
– The best defense, of course, is to have so many positive reviews that they drown out the negative ones.
– On tomorrow’s podcast, I’ll talk about how to handle a media interview.
– Until then, keep moving forward.