We tend to focus on monitoring patient reviews on third-party rating sites, such as Healthgrades and Vitals. But an often-overlooked site where patients also can leave reviews is Google My Business. It offers potential patients vital information about your physicians and your organization, such as directions to your clinic and phone numbers they can call to schedule appointments. Google My Business (which supplies information for Google Knowledge Panel, Google Maps, and more) also offers an option for patients to assign star ratings to your doctor and organization pages.
Patient reviews are incredibly important to individuals seeking a doctor, and most people who research physicians start their searches on Google, not on a specific organization’s website. A 2014 study published in AdWeek shows that 97 percent of millennials trust anonymous reviews, compared to just 77 percent who trust reviews on brand websites. As more of these adults become healthcare decision-makers, it will become even more important for healthcare organizations to monitor and respond to negative comments on all third-party review sites.
We’ve prepared this three-step guide to help you respond to negative reviews on Google My Business, as well as to provide tips on how to respond appropriately when patients leave negative comments. Please note, your business must be verified on Google My Business before you can respond to reviews.
1. Log into Your Google My Business Page
Head to business.google.com, click the three horizontal bars in the top left corner of the dashboard, and choose “All locations.”
2. Choose a Location
Find the location to which you want to respond to negative reviews. Click on the 3 vertical dots, then “Reviews.” From there, you can see who left a review, when the review was written, the contents of the review, and the star rating.
3.View and Reply to Reviews
Click the “View and reply” tab to arrive on the individual’s review. At this point, you can type a response to their comment. Click submit to post your response.
What to Write in Response to a Negative Review
As with negative reviews on all platforms, people want to be heard and acknowledged. It’s key to respond quickly — this is a good customer service practice and also shows others who visit the page that you are listening and taking action. Remember, these reviews are public and so are your responses.
- Thank the patient for responding. This might seem strange for a negative review, but it’s important to let them know you appreciate that they took the time to provide feedback.
- Be professional. Ensure your response reflects your organization’s brand tone and voice, not your personal opinion on the matter. Proofread your response for grammar and punctuation errors before posting it for public view.
- Keep the response short. Acknowledge the reviewer’s complaint, offer a brief explanation of how you’ll make it right, and provide another method to contact you, such as an email address or phone number.
- Take the conversation offline, if appropriate. If the patient is excessively angry, steer the conversation offline to avoid unnecessarily upsetting potential patients who may read the commentary.
Patient reviews provide important feedback you can use to improve the patient experience and build better relationships between physicians and patients. By quickly and appropriately replying to reviews, you can build your patients’ trust and encourage physician loyalty when the need for care arises.