Dealing With Negative or Fake Patient Feedback

As a doctor working hard to run your clinic with the intention of helping patients in need of your services, patient reviews can make a difference, and a bad review on your Google My Business profile can be a nightmare. To make matters worse, on occasion, these negative patient reviews may not even be legitimate. However, with the proper steps, you can actually make a negative review work in your favour. Additionally, we will show you how you can go about reporting and removing these fake reviews. 

Table of Contents:

How Should I Deal With a Fraudulent Review of Your Clinic?

First, let us walk you through the process of determining if a review is genuine or not. If you see a negative review left on your Google My Business account, do a quick check to ensure that you have a record of said patient. Should you find no record of the individual visiting and being treated at your clinic, you can deduce that the feedback is fake. 

Once you’ve established that the feedback is fraudulent, address the review calmly. You should apologise for their dissatisfaction and the inconvenience they are facing before informing them that you have no record or transaction stating that they visited your clinic. Offer a means for them to get in touch with your clinic so you may help them resolve their issue. 

After you have done this, you may go ahead and proceed with reporting the review you suspect to be fake. Follow these steps towards informing Google and having the fraudulent feedback removed: 

  1. Find your business under Google Maps
  2. View your reviews and locate the one you wish to flag
  3. Click the three dots at the top right corner of said review
  4. Click on “Flag as Inappropriate”
  5. Get in touch with Google to follow up on the status of your flagged review. You will find Google Support listed at the bottom of the menu on your Google My Business home page.

Regarding a false or defamatory review, you have the additional option of filling out a Google form for a legal removal request. While this is an extra step, you may find that it is worth it should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Why Should I Respond to A Negative Review of My Clinic?

You may be wondering why you should even respond to a bad review. Wouldn’t it be easier to leave it alone and allow for more positive feedback to come in? While this may be the easier option in terms of you not requiring to spend time tackling negative reviews, it has been shown that a mere 13% of customers would consider visiting a business with a 1 or 2-star rating. Additionally, 86% of people may reconsider their decision to use the services provided by a business with negative reviews. 

While these figures may seem daunting, there is hope yet! By taking the time and making an effort to resolve the issues a patient may have faced at your clinic, potential patients can see that while there may have been a problem, you are working hard towards eradicating these issues. 

How Should I Respond to Negative Patient Feedback of My Clinic?

Now that you understand the importance of responding to negative patient feedback of your clinic, allow us to walk you through the best way to reply to such comments. 

Similar to how you tackle a fraudulent bit of feedback, you should take these steps: 

  1. Apologise for their unpleasant experience with your clinic. By apologising and acknowledging their feelings, you show that you care about each patient who walks in and out of your clinic doors. 
  2. Reiterate your commitment to quality service. This step goes a long way in showing that this unpleasant experience is not your regular standard of service. You are dedicated to providing patients with the best you can. 
  3. Ask to take the conversation offline. Dealing with a dissatisfied patient is best done away from public view. Provide a number or email at which they can speak to you directly. This also allows you to find out what went wrong. 

Here Are Some Examples of How You Can Tackle Negative Patient Feedback:

Use these templates the next time you find yourself faced with a less than pleasant review. Remember to always reply with kindness, and take negative feedback as an opportunity to see how you can better help you patient’s during the medical journey with you.

While not particularly negative, reviews like this can affect your overall ranking on Google. By investing time to respond to these patient’s, you not only ensure they walk away happy, but also that potential patients see that you and your clinic are committed to providing the best care you can.

A negative review like this definitely has the potential to steer potential patients in a different direction. Reach out to the patient and see what they felt wrong, and how you can rectify the situation. Remember to take your conversation offline, so as to give both your clinic and the patient in question privacy.

Similarly, remember to always thank the patient for taking the time to leave feedback before attempting to find out what they felt could have been improved on.

In cases like the one above, where you find no record of the patient, ensure you reach out and clear up any confusion that may be occurring here. At the same time, make a point to report the review as fraudulent so as not to let it affect you overall Google My Business ranking.