After an office visit or time spent reviewing your plastic surgeon website, most potential patients seriously considering you as their surgeon begin the process of researching you using search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
We all know there are surgeons out there who deserve bad reviews. Every one of us has witnessed the horrible work of a “surgeon” in some form of the media; local news stations, CNN, the Today show, or more. There are many sites dedicated to “helping” people navigate away from such doctors.
Thank God for search engines! How else would so many people protect themselves from such providers? Hopefully, these sites and blogs keep giving people access to the information provided intended to keep people safe.
Good Surgeons are Impacted by Negative Reviews
There are many surgeons suffering from the severe financial and reputation loss from hostile former patients whom are 100% happy with the outcome of their procedure; however, they simply want something for nothing. There are also the former clients with ridiculous expectations that are now dealing with the resentment of spending thousands of dollars trying to make themselves perfect.
In either event, top surgeons always cover potential issues such as discomfort, pain, contour irregularities, asymmetry, or unfavorable scarring verbally and typically with a written disclosure. However, many patients soon forget all of this like it never happened.
Some Clients Blackmail Surgeons With Bad Reviews
Often, plastic surgeons make every attempt to satisfy their patients by going above and beyond. Including scheduling additional or follow up procedures with no compensation. While speaking with talented surgeons nationwide, I have heard horror stories of what I like to call “hostage taking”.
A client demands a completely different procedure, or worse yet, several additional procedures, be performed or they threaten bad reviews. Others will actually post a bad review and then have the nerve to blackmail their surgeon offering to remove the review once they receive a refund or something for “free”.
I have even read several instances where a Judge in a court of law has ordered a “hostage taker” to remove slanderous reviews, yet they forever remain. Often blogs, photos, emails, postings or just about anything uploaded to the internet will stay there forever, and can often be recycled on other blogs and review sites as as “source of content”. Unfortunately, not even our legal system can always protect you after a vicious web smearing.
Creating a Plan to Handle Negative Reviews
- Include in the job descriptions of your staff a proactive plan to check for bad reviews.
- Use all major search engines to research the name of your surgeons, practice name and website URL on a weekly basis.
- If you find a bad review, try your best to trace steps based on the review to isolate who wrote the review.
- Respond quickly and professionally to any negative review that is posted. Business Owners’ responses are now posted in Google and other local review sites. Showing a timely response will let future customers know you care.
- Write a personalized email to the suspected hostage taker asking them to contact you when they have time. Do not mention the review to them whatsoever, ask them to complete a brief survey or provide your personal cell phone number. It’s extremely important to let them know how important their satisfaction is to you.
- If nothing comes from the above attempts, carefully review the policy of the site with the questionably review. Follow closely any process they have to resolve such issues.
- You last step is writing a letter to the webmaster explaining your side of the issue, kindly ask them to remove the review. In some cases, Google and other local review sites will remove negative comments if they find they are false or intentionally slanderous.
I tried all of that with no success, what next?
By this point you may have contacted a lawyer and I can’t blame you. However, time is of the essence, and as we all know, every day your negative review is visible you risk losing potential clients and a valuable source of future revenue for your practice.
Since you can’t have the review(s) removed right away, it’s time to take an aggressive strategy of moving your negative reviews down the rankings order of all major search engines. Having a harmful review moved from page one to page three or four of Google lowers the visibility of that review dramatically.
Out of sight out of mind!
Reputation Management Can Fix Your Reviews
A top notch SEO company most likely offers a reputation management package as we do. Creating rich content with pertinent information about you, then optimizing that content, will drown out that review week after week. Eventually, the unfair information that’s been destroying everything you have worked for will dissipate. Make sure to select a company based in the USA. I have seen so many foreign companies adjust the wallets of surgeons with no adjustment in rankings or poor reviews.
Bad reviews no longer need to be the end of the world; now, there is something you can do. For a no cost, no obligation consultation and action plan, contact us today.