The effect of one negative review on your practice probably will not be felt immediately. But, in a few weeks, as that one negative review pops up on a Google search, and people click on it, it keeps that negative review at the top of the search engine’s page. So although, the review may have been written weeks, even month ago, the more traffic the negative review gets, the greater the potential for it to impact your business in the long-term.
You may be thinking, “But I have so many positive reviews, those will pop up too, and there will be more of them!” Perhaps, but the nature of people is to want to read the bad stuff. If that one bad review does not read like a rant, but instead as an intelligent report of a bad experience, people will pay attention. And they will allow it to impact their decision to choose you for their care.
This is not to say that good reviews don’t count. They do! And they help balance out the negative reviews, but the negative lingers in a person’s mind. If there is no response, no reply from the physician, people start to wonder what the whole story might be. They wonder if there really IS something to what the reviewer states. A shred of doubt is all that is needed to impact your business. Can you afford to take that chance? Imagine one review taking thousands out of your practice. Now imagine that you have two negative reviews….. three?
Negative reviewers often post on more than one site, including: Wellness, Healthgrades, RateMDs, Vitals, Yelp, and Google+. These are just the biggest and most popular sites. A review left on a lesser known site will still pop up in a Google search. Reviewers may also leave the same review on several sites, and suddenly one bad review turns into five or six, which more negatively impacts your reputation.
With so many review sites out there, it is tough for busy professionals to find the time to monitor every site and respond to every negative review. But, 80% of consumers say that negative reviews do impact their decisions on whether or not to make a purchase or do business with someone. With consumers in constant “shop mode” for the best return on their money and time, it’s smart to present the best face of your practice online and not let negative reviews go without a response.