Feedback: a problem or a gift?


The feedback today is not what it used to be. The approaches to its publication are changing, the situations after which the feedback gets the right to life at all. But most importantly, a whole new meaning is given to these texts by the patients themselves. Which is which and what should doctors and clinics do about it.

SERGEY FEDOSOV, CEO of MedRoketa, Editor-in-Chief of ProDoctors portal

As recently as 5-10 years ago, feedback was something that didn’t mean much and didn’t influence the choice of a doctor or clinic. But for the modern patient who is used to spending most of their time online, feedback has become the most important factor when it comes to deciding whether to go to your clinic or use a competitor.

It’s better to get started with feedback today than not to start at all. After all, lack of process is a mistake, not a path to improvement.

отзывы о работе стоматологической клинике

Quite often we hear such phrases: “Who needs these reviews anyway?”, “Who trusts them?”, “Why should we respond to them?”. Bright local did a study a couple years ago and found that 84% of people trust onlinefeedback. That’s a huge result! And when asked if responding to reviews was important, 30% cited them as a key factor in choosing a clinic or doctor, and 70% cited them as a factor. It turns out that the answers are important to everyone. The statistics speak for themselves.
What to do in such a situation? In my opinion, online feedback is an unavoidable reality. Therefore, it will be more productive to learn how to engage with them and make patient opinions work to improve your brand’s reputation.

Start collecting feedback
One way is through a post-admission questionnaire. This way you will learn and be able to analyze patient experience, look at all processes from a different point of view and understand what exactly customers are not satisfied with, what needs to be improved. The key is not to confuse a marketing survey (“How did you hear aboutus?”) with a survey based on patient experience (“Would you recommend our clinic to your friends and family?”).
When surveying, it’s handy to apply the NPS metric to explore attitudes towards your brand. Invite the clinic visitor to answer at least five questions and give scores from 1 to 10. If the majority of answers received a score from 1 to 7 – the person is clearly dissatisfied with the service, he/she is a “critic”. If 7-8 – the patient has a neutral attitude, and 9-10 – the client has become a “promoter”, that is, he liked everything and, most likely, he will return and recommend your clinic to his friends.

What other tools help you get feedback:

  • a survey that the doctor conducts at the end of the appointment;
  • admin survey;
  • book/tablet for reviews;
  • calling patients by doctors;
  • calling by administrators;
  • texting.

Don’t wait to leave a thank you or complaint – set up a feedback loop and start managing that communication with the patient yourself.

Don’t ignore the feedback
Among those clinics and doctors who respond to online reviews, two categories can be distinguished: the first responds only to positive feedback, the second only to negative feedback. It’s good that there are answers at all, but someone still goes unnoticed

What to do in such a situation?
In my opinion, online reviews are an unavoidable reality. Therefore, it will be more productive to learn how to engage with them and make patient opinions work to improve your brand’s reputation.
Lack of attention is perceived by any patient as indifference to their opinion. And in such a case, it would be hard not to think about the quality of service. At its best, you should respond to any feedback, whether it’s nice or not: apologize and address the issue, or thank the author for the feedback and choosing your dentistry.

The cardinal rule: don’t respond in a formulaic way. Each text has a unique story and the kind of words that will help you write a personalized response. The author will be very pleased to be treated so sensitively. And by doing so, you will create a better brand impression and increase patient loyalty. Remember that your response will be noticed by other people who are still just choosing dentistry.

положительные отзывы о работе стоматологической клинии

The ideal case is a dissatisfied patient who becomes a “customer for life” after the problem is solved. I will note a few general points here.
So, if you received a negative review:
1. Don’t give in to emotion. They won’t help you understand the situation, analyze it, and solve the problem.
2. Find those “clues” in the text that will help you understand what went wrong and what the patient is unhappy about.
3. Respond to feedback as constructively and correctly as possible. Humanity and empathy are desirable.

как реагировать на негативные отзывы о стоматологии

In order for a “negative” patient to respond positively to a response, at ProDoctors we recommend responding in roughly this pattern:

  • Thank you for your review, “Dear Patient, Thank you for your review. It will help us to see the situation from your side and improve the service at the clinic.”
  • Honestly express our attitude: “We are sorry that you have this impression. We try to do our best to make patients feel comfortable in the clinic. We apologize that your appointment has been delayed.”
  • We offer a solution: “We invite you to have your teeth cleaned again at Dentistry – it is important to us that everything is done in the best possible way. Of course, the procedure will be at no cost to you.”

What you definitely don’t want to do:
o pointing out to the patient that he or she is wrong: some point did create the problem or discomfort;
o communicate from a position of “we know best” just because the patient does not have specialized
medical knowledge;
o to lecture the author of the feedback;
o to answer in a pattern.

Even a negative review is an excuse:
o to make your position known;
o to apologize;
o to fix the problem;
o to compliment a client;
o fix the business process;
o get even better

Remember that you are replying to one person, and there will be hundreds of people reading this

1. In order to maximize the number of commendations and complaints, it is advisable to in troduce the role of afeedback manager (the role, not the position) in the clinic

2. Such an employee (it can be an administrator, a marketer, a dental manager) should have enough authority andbudget to solve possible problems. Otherwise, you won’t be able to respond to feedback effectively – there will be no customer service.

3. The clinic should have guidelines for all staff members. It’s a matter of quality communication and a well-aligned customer experience.

4. All activities should be personally supervised by the director or chief physician. For a systematic approach to work, you need to take a report on the work done at least once a week: what happened, how the problem was solved, what budget was used, whether the client returned, etc. Of course, it is important to do everything possible to make the majority of patients return to dentistry.

The patient journey doesn’t end with leaving the doorstep of the clinic, but continues online and influences the choice of a potential customer. Usually, a person starts reading reviews when they need medical help. And at this moment he is first of all looking for confirmation: if something goes wrong, he will not be left alone with the problem, but will solve it together with him.