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Patient Attraction Episode 973
Online reviews are a fact of life these days, and research indicates that they’re just as powerful as a personal recommendation. Some businesses have tried to stifle negative reviews by including a non-disparagement clause in their terms of service. I’ll be back after the break to tell you why that’s a horrible idea for dentists.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I’m Colin Receveur.
– You may have heard about the New York City dentist who actually took his unhappy patients to court.
– They had left negative online reviews about their experiences.
– The dentist claimed that the reviews were defamatory and hurt his future business.
– That hasn’t worked out very well for that dentist.
– Some businesses have added “non-disparagement clauses” to their terms of service, hoping to discourage negative reviews.
– Those clauses are no longer enforceable after the passage of the Consumer Review Fairness Act last December.
– The law supports consumers’ First Amendment right of free expression online.
– Clearly libelous reviews can still be contested in court.
– But businesses can no longer claim a terms of service contract violation in such suits.
– Think about it, though – who are your patients?
– In most instances, they live within 10 miles or so of your office.
– Sometimes, they’re your friends and neighbors.
– Any kind of legal action against them due to a negative online review is a horrible idea and may do more damage to your business than the review itself.
– All dentistry is local, and maintaining your image in your community is vital to your success.
– If you have a non-disparagement clause in your terms of service, remove it.
– The much better way to deal with negative reviews is to give excellent service in the first place.
– But when the inevitable unhappy patient sounds off online, you’ll gain points by handling the issue online, calmly and with understanding.
– And make sure that your happy patients are leaving an overwhelming number of positive reviews.
– Join me for our next podcast.
– Until tomorrow, keep moving forward.