One of the most common questions we get is whether or not functional medicine practices should respond to their Google reviews. To put it simply: yes. No matter how mean or nasty customers can get, it’s always best to leave a response. In this article, we will go over why that is and the best way to go about responding to reviews.
Responding to reviews has two major benefits. First and foremost, it lets customers and potential customers know that you’re listening to feedback. Even if that feedback is negative, most internet users will appreciate the fact that you went out of your way to reply to the review.
Secondly, responding to reviews is a great way to show Google and other search engines that you are an active website. Being active is incredibly important when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). If Google believes your business is inactive, it won’t place your website at the top of searches.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for healthcare providers to respond to reviews due to HIPPA. It’s important that you respond in a way that doesn’t confirm the reviewer was a patient. You should also avoid releasing any personal information about the reviewer. Failing to do so can lead to heavy fines due to HIPPA violations.
Even something as inconspicuous as “thank you for the review, we are happy to have you as a patient!” is enough to get you popped for HIPAA violations. Even though responding to reviews is important, it’s even more important that you avoid any complications with HIPPA.
Here’s the reality, even the most well-run companies in the world get their fair share of negative reviews. That’s why it’s important you understand the best way to respond to these reviews. We understand the temptation to respond in a negative way, but it’s important you handle these reviews properly. Avoid sounding defensive if your response at all costs.
Coming off as defensive gives potential customers the impression that 1.) you like to argue with customers and 2.) The negative reviewer was right. It’s important to remember the customer is always right, even when they aren’t. Respond to the negative review in a positive way. Let the reviewer know you hear their complaints and you are doing everything you can to fix the problem moving forward. Even if you disagree with the review, behaving in a professional manner is the only correct response.
Taking care of your functional medicine practice’s website can be difficult, especially with your busy schedule. If you need help setting up your SEO, Google Profile, and responding to reviews, our team at Functional Medicine SEO is here to help. Contact us today to find out what it is we can do for you and your website!