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Do’s and Don’ts of Handling Negative Reviews for Your Urgent Care Clinic

Picture it: you take a tumble and hurt your wrist. It’s not bad enough to warrant a trip to the Emergency Room, but you know a professional should probably check it out. How do you choose your urgent care clinic? Most patients find the answer on the other side of a search engine. With supercomputers in the palm of our hands, urgent care clinics rely more and more frequently on reviews from sites like Google to bring in new patients. 

Nothing is more rewarding than discovering a positive review on your Google business page. It feels like your hard work–and the effort of your staff–is paying off! These reviews can lead new patients to choose your urgent care clinic over others in your area. Conversely, there is nothing like discovering a negative review for your clinic. The feeling can be visceral. Your stomach gets tight, your brain kicks into overdrive, and you ask the most crucial question: what do I do now?

If you are dealing with a situation like this for your urgent care clinic, read on to discover some do’s and don’t’s to help you handle negative reviews and grow your business moving forward.

The Do’s

  • Learn from negative reviews

While negative feedback is not your goal as an urgent care clinic, any feedback is a gift from your patients. This feedback can include valuable information about ways to improve the patient experience in your urgent care clinic. When reading a negative review, think critically about the patient’s complaint. Is it valid? Have you heard this same complaint from other patients before? Do you believe it is something that can be resolved or improved? Often, patients are too afraid to speak up in person. You can use any information to make your practice better! 

  • Respond

As much as you may want to do so, ignoring a negative review won’t make it disappear. When you discover a negative review, it is crucial to respond to the patient. It is best practice to attempt to contact the reviewer privately: a sincere outreach to a dissatisfied patient can persuade them to give your clinic another chance. If essential, you can respond to the patient publicly in response to the review. If you believe the criticism is accurate and fair, a public reply can show the patient that you are genuinely sorry for their experience. You can state your changes to prevent the issue from reoccurring.

  • Thank customers for reviews

When someone shares a kind review, thanking the patient is often the first instinct. You may not think about this tip when dealing with a negative review of your clinic. By thanking your customers, you create a genuine connection and remind them you appreciate their feedback. Even in the case of a negative review, someone took time out of their day to provide criticism and allow you to make it right.  

  • Show that you’ve taken action

Patient reviews can be your clinic’s most effective form of urgent care marketing. When you receive a negative review and reach out to the patient, make sure to include the ways you have reviewed your processes and your plan to ensure this doesn’t happen again. 

  • Report fake reviews

While most reviews you receive will be from patients who have visited your clinic, the reality is that sometimes fake reviews do happen. Maybe it’s an internet troll, or an unethical competitor is attacking you without reason. In these cases, you can request for the review to be removed, as they are against most terms of service agreements. Report the review to the website where it was posted. You may be asked to include proof that the review isn’t real. 

The Dont’s

  • Don’t get defensive

When reading a negative review about your clinic, your first reaction will be to jump on the defensive. You may even be tempted to get personal with the reviewer. These are both bad ideas–remaining professional is the best course of action when responding to a negative review. First, take a break to process what the review says. When replying, make sure that you are courteous to the patient. Ensure that you are providing helpful information. If a reviewer feels you are being defensive or attacking them, they could escalate the situation and worsen it. 

  • Don’t discourage patient reviews

After one or two negative reviews, you might consider discouraging patient reviews altogether. If you choose this route, you will miss out on one of your clinic’s most essential forms of urgent care marketing. Evidence shows that most patient reviews are positive! With enough positive reviews, the few negative reviews you may receive will be balanced and should not affect your rating. Urgent care clinics should encourage patients to share their experiences in reviews. 

Negative patient reviews can offer you valuable information and provide you with an opportunity to connect and build trust with patients. If you are looking for help with your urgent care marketing, connect with Patient Care Marketing Pros. We are on a mission to help medical practices like yours triple their revenue through digital marketing services. Patient Care Marketing Pros can help you gain positive reviews and serve more patients at your urgent care clinic. 

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