Cosmetic Surgeon Reputation Management
As the owner or manager of your cosmetic surgical practice, the work that comes out of that practice is on constant display for the world to see. And every patient has the instant ability to boost or devastate your reputation with just one online review. Just because you might not participate in social media doesn’t mean it isn’t already affecting your business. Addressing both your positive and negative reviews is crucial to keeping your reputation golden.
Request a review from every patient. Regardless of the type—a one-time consult or a repeat patient— each one represents a potential good review. Provide a laptop or tablet in the waiting room so they can leave reviews via social media links on your practice website.
Ask a few patients to record their testimonials. You can display a “before” picture next to the live “after” patient as she records her live testimonial. She can even answer common questions about her surgery and recovery so prospective patients can get an idea of the entire process.
Address all reviews as soon as possible. If you receive a negative review, your speedy attention to it may convince the patient to remove it. And remember to make good on whatever you propose to make a patient happy. If not, a negative review could spiral out of control.
Don’t forget HIPAA! It’s OK to address online reviews, but remember never to answer public questions or comments with any medical advice or convey any information or responses directed at a particular patient. Remember the doctor/patient privilege and privacy laws. Keep your responses neutral and contact the patient privately to discuss any complaints.
Don’t bribe patients to leave good reviews – stay ethical! You could be tempted to give a patient anything from a free injectable session to free skincare but be mindful that it’s not only unethical, but your social media accounts could be shuttered, and your reputation marred. You’ve worked hard to earn your reputation so make sure your patients are aware of that and leave reviews based on their experiences with you, not what’s in the swag bags they carry out of your office.
Don’t be afraid to seek legal counsel. Some patients can get nasty, especially if they have unrealistic expectations of a cosmetic surgery outcome. There will always be patients who demand more and are out for revenge. Social media is the “free and easy” way to get it. Don’t risk your practice by relying solely on your knowledge. Engage your attorney to make sure you protect yourself.
If you don’t have the staff to manage online reviews, consider hiring a third-party reputation management provider. One of the easiest ways to unravel the time, effort and skill you’ve invested in your practice is to dismiss and ignore online reviews, so do what you need to do to ensure each one is answered and resolved. Your reputation and livelihood depend on it.
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