2 ) Prepare your responses ahead of time .
Of course , you don ’ t want your posts , comments , and review responses to sound like “ canned ” statements . Behind every post and review is a real person who deserves their own response . However , privacy laws limit just how “ personal ” a response can be when it comes to PHI .
Consider drafting 20 or more potential responses to online feedback , and have your lawyer or HIPAA-compliance consultant review and approve them from a legal perspective . Once approved , you or your staff can select the appropriate responses to reply to individual comments and reviews . Using a variety of responses helps show that a real person is behind the comments ( this is not the time or place for bots ).
3 ) Respond ( ideally , within a week ).
Patients expect practitioners to respond to their comments and reviews in a timely manner — especially ones that are negative . Read their feedback and select the most relevant pre-approved response or , if one doesn ’ t fit the circumstance , work with your lawyer or consultant to craft an option that does .
Remember , due to PHI rules , you cannot acknowledge or repeat any identifying information about a patient . You cannot recognize that a person is a patient or confirm that they visited your office ( even if they clearly state this information in their review ).
4 ) Take it offline .
I ’ m a big advocate for online marketing ( so much so that I own a digital agency ). However , I also recognize that there are times to employ time-tested , “ old school ” marketing tactics . For example , a handwritten thank you note is a nice touch for a patient who leaves a positive review or gives you a referral .
Additionally , an old fashioned phone call is often helpful when addressing negative patient feedback . A respectful conversation will likely make an impression . The patient might end up even modifying or updating their negative comment or review , which would demonstrate your commitment to ensuring that each patient has a satisfactory experience .
Remember , responding to online reviews and feedback is an essential part of building a credible online reputation .
Ernie Cote is a business owner , digital marketer , sales leader , and public speaker who shares his expertise on marketing for the dental industry . As the CEO of Bullseye Media , LLC , he has helped hundreds of dental practitioners achieve their branding and practice growth goals . For more , please visit onlinedentalmarketing . com . www . northtexasdentistry . com | NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY 19