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    6 tips to address, survive one-star online reviews

    Negative reviews can strengthen your practice when addressed properly

    If you have not yet received a bad review, it is coming. It is only a matter of time. Have you Googled your practice recently? Anyone with a smartphone, social media account, or an email account can go online and rant about anything—including your practice.

    My one-star reviews always bring in some of my best patients. I want to share how we we turn bad reviews into great practice builders.

    Anyone can review you

    Reviewers don’t have to be a reliable source, best-selling author, or even an expert in your field to write about you and your practice. They can lie or embellish the truth about their experience with you and your staff. 
    Reviewers have a voice on the Internet, and everyone can read about it. When the review is bad—really bad—it feels like the reviewer’s voice is on a megaphone and the reviewer is jumping up and down on a podium. Even more frustrating is the fact that you cannot remove a bad review; it stays on the Internet forever.  

    Related: Diet review: Picking the best diet for your patients

    Many people trust online reviews. They make choices about where to do business after reading reviews.

    Let’s face it. We all do it. We all scroll past the five-star reviews. We even scroll past the four-star reviews. We focus on the one-star reviews because we want to know why that person was not happy. 

    Find the “why”

    What happened with this consumer? What did she experience that was so awful that she gave a one-star review?

    Sometimes, reviewers even start the review with the phrase, “If I could give zero stars I would, but that was not an option.” You want to read that review first.

    Our human nature is to be vigilant of the negative things that could happen to us. We do this to avoid any deceitful or dishonorable practices when doing business. 

    Which brings us to the questions about the costs of a one-star review:

    • Does it cost you your reputation?

    • Does it cost you to lose future business?

    • Will you lose established patients?

    • Will you lose the opportunity for new patients?

    • How do we calculate the cost of a bad review?

    It is really hard.

    Related: 5 ways to fire a patient

    Do you sweep the one-star review under a virtual rug? Act like it’s not there? Let us start with what you should not do.

    Diana Canto-Sims, OD
    Dr. Canto-Sims is CEO and founder of La Vida Eyewear, designed for Latinos by a Latina. She is a member of Transition Optical’s advisory ...

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