Negative Google Reviews: Can I Remove Them?
The short answer is no, but wait! All hope is not lost.
Sites like Google, Facebook, Healthgrades and Yelp aim to deliver honest, unbiased reviews. Some sites have strict penalties for businesses that try to game the system either by writing fake reviews, offering incentives, or some other shady maneuver. Only reviews that explicitly violate the review site’s Terms & Conditions have a chance at being removed, but only by a site administrator.
The point is: an authentic Google business profile displays ALL opinions from ALL patients, not just the ones the business prefers. Therefore, your negative reviews are here to stay.
You can’t control what patients say, but you can control what you say. The right response could win back the patient’s loyalty or even get them to edit or delete their review. Even if the patient takes no further action, others reading the review will take note of your thoughtful response, minimizing the damage of the negative review.
Don’t react; respond
Reviews piling up with no response tell patients your business couldn’t care less about them — you want to prove the opposite is true.
Tip 1: Have an internal process in place to deal with a negative review
- First question, is the reviewer, in fact, a patient?
- Discuss details with your staff or provider who treated the patient
- Try to resolve issues OFFLINE. Do not discuss details with the patient online due to possible HIPAA violations.
- Have a standard response ready. For example:
“Thank you for your feedback. We promise to fix the problem internally and will contact you directly for resolution.”
Tip 2: Offer options to ease their concerns and show you care. For example:
- Refund their money. Use your best judgment to determine if the issue was exceptionally awful enough to merit a full refund.
- Offer a discount for the next time they return. This increases the likelihood of the patient giving you a second chance.
- Promise to fix the problem internally. If you do this, list any specifics you can, such as who you will contact and when you expect the issue to be resolved. Again, be aware of any HIPAA issues.
Only after responding thoughtfully and providing a satisfactory solution should you consider asking the patient if they would remove their review (or update it to a positive one) — if they haven’t already done so on their own. Don’t push this, as it implies you only care about your brand image rather than your patients.
What’s the antidote for a bad review? Lots of great reviews!
Patient voices are the most powerful form of advertising. Collect new reviews from your patients on a consistent basis and eventually the positives will outweigh the negatives. Automated software like MCD Reviews makes it incredibly easy to get hundreds of new reviews on third-party sites, then promote the best ones across the web.
Negative reviews are an inevitable part of running a business, but with a solid review management strategy in place, your patients will do your marketing for you.
Article credit to Birdeye Growth Hackers