Communicating with your patients online is very important for the image and reputation of your physiotherapy clinic as well as building trust among followers. Social media, especially Facebook, has become one of the most widely used (if not the most) channels that people use to express and share their feedback.
Unfortunately, the comments are not always positive. This is something that can happen to any business out there and physiotherapy clinics are no exception. Every patient expects to receive the best possible service from your clinic and when something goes wrong, they don’t hesitate to express their frustration on public channels.
The good thing is that those situations can be turned around and serve as a mean to strengthen your online brand image and increase trust towards your physical therapy clinic. Here is how you should handle negative responses and comments.
Never leave a comment unattended
No matter how ugly the case seems to be, you should never leave any feedback unanswered. It will only make the matters worse. Statistics show that every person shares his or her negative experience with 9-15 people, sometimes this number gets over 20.
In those situations, try to think from your patients’ perspective: they are frustrated and need their issue solved, and the faster you do it, the better for your clinic’s image. Respond promptly, figure out the cause of the problem and ensure the patient that you can and will do everything to set things right.
Be patient, professional and understanding
People are very different and tend to express their experiences differently. Some patients might sound a bit too frustrated, even rude, but that should never affect your attitude towards them. As a professional physical therapy clinic, you need to be patient and understanding with every single person.
Listen to the complaint carefully, explain the situation and try to help out as best as you can.
Offer a solution
It’s not enough to just listen, be caring and sound professional. Patients complain because they have a problem and they want it solved. While each case is different depending on the circumstances, you need to figure out the best way to solve the problem by offering a corresponding solution.
The solutions come in different forms. For example you may offer a free massage procedure or a discount the next time your patient comes for treatment. Whatever the case, it’s important to be on point and make sure that your offer actually helps solve the problem of your unhappy patient.
Surveys show that after providing a solution, 34% of people delete their negative posts and 33% make a new post explaining how you handled the case and thank you publicly.
Never take matters personal
As a professional physiotherapy clinic, you have nothing to hide. Show everyone that you are ready and prepared to handle any problems that may arise and sort everything out publicly. Not only this will help boost your authority and reputation in the eyes of your community, but also, if you try to take the matter personal, you will create the wrong impression.
Taking things personal usually means that you are trying to hide a mistake or offer compensation not to disclose any sensitive information. In either case, it will result in bad publicity and bring nothing else than negative attitude towards your clinic. Only respond privately when a patient contacts you privately in the first place.
Never ask anybody to remove their negative posts
The only worse thing you can do besides not responding to comments and feedback is actually deleting negative posts. Patients will just be outraged and you will risk losing a lot more than just a single, unhappy patient. Some might go as far as making sure that every single person they know becomes aware of what happened to them.
It’s important to treat each post, comment and feedback with respect and caring. Accidents can happen to everyone and nobody is safe from those. It’s more important how your physical therapy Facebook page deals with the negative comments. Managing the conflict situations correctly will help increase your clinic’s reputation online and make everyone aware that you are a real problem solver, not just another physiotherapy clinic. Take a look at how PatienSites.com can help you deal with negative feedback on social media and help turn it into a positive, image-strengthening experience.