Managing Your Business Reputation Amid Mixed Reviews

Managing Your Business Reputation Amid Mixed Reviews

To be sure, a career in healthcare has a lot to offer. You can often expect to enjoy significant job security and a robust income. However, that’s not the primary reason why most healthcare professionals enter the field. No, you don’t go through all that rigorous and expensive training just to land a steady, well-paying gig.

For the vast majority of professionals in the healthcare industry, work is more than a job. It’s a labor of love, a career inspired by the hunger to help those most in need. And because healthcare providers invest so much of their heart and soul into their work, it can be devastating when you receive anything less than consistently stellar reviews from your patients/clients.

Nevertheless, the occasional negative review is an inevitability for most medical practices. This article describes strategies you can use to mitigate the emotional, financial, and reputational impact of mixed reviews.

Practice Compassion

Let’s face it: no one likes bad news, so when you learn that a patient or a family that you have worked so hard to care for is dissatisfied, it hurts. Not only this, but negative reviews can leave your confidence shaken. You may be disappointed and even angry with yourself and your colleagues.

That is natural, perhaps, but it’s also neither healthy nor productive. Instead, these are moments when having compassion both for yourself and for others is essential. Recognize and honor the fact that you and your team did your best, that your intentions were pure, and your efforts sound. 

Remember, as well, that the practice of medicine is necessarily fraught. You are often charged with the unenviable and formidable task of helping patients and families through some of the most difficult times of their life. It is understandable that emotions would run high and that patients and families experiencing a crisis or a loss are almost certainly going to look for a place to lay blame, whether justified or not.

Communicate and Connect

Even if a negative review is not necessarily justified or fair, that does not mean you can’t still learn from it. In fact, when you’re facing mixed reviews, you have an extraordinary opportunity to communicate with and learn from your patients and their families.

No practice, after all, is perfect. There is always room for improvement, and there are few lessons more motivating, instructive, or powerful than those learned through adversity. So take the opportunity to reach out to clients who post negative reviews. Be open, respectful, and, once again, compassionate. 

Acknowledge their feelings and express regret that their experience was not what they, you, or your team wanted for them. Ask questions to discern what you and your staff could have done to meet their needs and expectations more effectively. 

Not only can this help you glean actionable insights that will help you and your team optimize your processes and prevent such challenges in the future, but it will also open up important communication channels, channels that are often instrumental in your efforts to manage your practice’s online reputation. 

For example, by using a wide array of social media platforms to engage with established and prospective patients and their families, you will be better positioned to take control of the narrative surrounding your brand. This includes enhancing your ability to effectively manage mixed reviews and limit or negate their impact on your business reputation

Indeed, by soliciting questions, comments, and reviews through social media, you can cultivate your brand as responsive to and concerned with patients’ needs, goals, and experiences. Likewise, by addressing negative reviews and complaints with respect, compassion, and openness, you can allay readers’ fears that those reviews may raise, inspiring established and prospective patients to give your practice a chance despite the negative comment.

The Takeaway

Mixed reviews can have a negative impact on the reputation of any business, as well as on the emotional well-being of employees. However, they can be especially harmful to medical practices and healthcare providers. It is possible, though, to mitigate the harms of negative reviews by practicing compassion toward oneself and others, by using negative reviews as a learning opportunity, and by unleashing the power of social media to connect and communicate with patients, prospects, and families, including those who have concerns or complaints.