Guide to Removing a Bad Google Review for Medical Practices
As hard as you work to give your patients excellent care, it stings when you see that one of them has left a negative review on your Google My Business page. And you want it gone, fast.
After years of working with doctors and healthcare professionals, we’ve realized that the vast amount of negative reviews have nothing to do with patient care itself. Most bad reviews tend to be caused by misunderstandings, particularly about insurance. That might make you feel a little better, but you still want to remove the bad review before too many potential patients see it.
Fortunately, you’re not helpless when it comes to Google reviews. There are lots of ways to remove bad reviews from your Google My Business page. Plus, Google just released an exciting new tool that helps make the process of removing bad reviews even easier and less stressful!
Five Ways To Remove A Bad Google Review (New! Way Below)
There are five ways to get rid of negative Google reviews. We’ve listed these here in order – start at the top and work your way down until you get the results you’re looking for.
Manager Your Reviews Tool – New Release!
Reach out directly
Most negative reviews are a result of misunderstandings, not bad patient care. As such, we always recommend to our clients that the best and most relationship-preserving way to get rid of negative reviews is to reach out and talk to the patient directly to address their issue.
Hopefully, once the issue is resolved, the patient will delete the review on their own. This way, you remove the bad review and get a happy patient, too.
A note about reaching out directly: do not have a conversation in the comments of the review about the issue itself. You may respond in the comments to say “We’re so sorry to hear this and will be reaching out to your directly to address your issue.” But that’s where the conversation should end.
It’s simply too easy to violate HIPAA laws when talking out an issue on a very public forum.
So we ALWAYS recommend that you take bad review management offline.
90% or more of the time once the patient feels heard and their issue has been resolved via phone or email they are happy to remove their review and move on.
We see this time and again work wonders for getting negative reviews removed.
Flag the Bad Google Review for removal
If you get a review that’s inflammatory or completely inappropriate, you can flag it to notify the Google team to remove the review. Flagging is no guarantee that the review will be removed, but it does bring it to Google’s attention so they can make the determination. You can flag the review by clicking on the three dots to the right of the review on your Google My Business page. Then click “flag review.”
Tweet to the Google Small Business team to delete the review
If you’ve tried the above two options and didn’t get the results you were looking for, you can tweet to the Google Small Business Team directly at @googlesmallbiz. They’ll tweet back and help you resolve your issue. We particularly like this option because it’s all public, so Google is motivated to give you excellent customer service.
Submit an official legal complaint to Google
Google also has a more formal way to have a review removed if you feel it violates the law or your rights as a practice owner.
If the review content is illegal or slanderous, you can submit a legal form to google.
This is a formal request to Google to have the review removed.
Why Google Won’t Let You Just Remove Negative Reviews
It can be frustrating to have to jump through hoops to get a negative review off of your Google My Business page, especially if it seems untrue or unfair.
But Google makes it difficult to remove reviews on purpose.
If every business could remove any review they didn’t like, we wouldn’t be able to trust online reviews at all.
To keep online reviews as authentic and trustworthy as possible, Google stands as the gatekeeper that determines whether or not there’s enough legitimate cause to remove a review.
They are putting the job on consumers to drive accurate search data and with that they want reviews to be as trustworthy as possible.
Fight bad reviews with good reviews
The very best way to address bad reviews is with good reviews. The thing is, to get good reviews, you have to ask.
All that passive review generation (i.e. just assuming patients will go leave you reviews because you are awesome) does is generate negative reviews.
The reason is, unhappy people are way more willing to go out of their way to voice their disapproval by writing a review.
A happy patient is not going to inconvenience themselves unless you ask them to do so and make is SUPER simple for them to convert.
The most effective way to get more good reviews is to put a proactive reputation management system in place so that your practice regularly and consistently asks your patients to leave reviews.
Some practices are afraid to do this because they’re worried that they’ll get more bad reviews. But here’s the thing. You don’t have to ask people to leave bad reviews as I mentioned above.
When a person is mad enough, they’ll take the time to find you online and vent their frustrations for the world to see.
On the flip side, when you do a great job for a patient, they aren’t likely to remember to leave a positive review unless they’re asked.
80% of consumers (and growing) USE reviews to make decisions on what businesses or practices to do business with, but they forget to actually leave those reviews themselves!
So put a process in place so that each and every patient is asked for a review.
Most businesses do this by either email or text campaigns that hand-deliver the review link directly to the patients.
The more good reviews you have, the more bad reviews (which every business gets once in a while) get lost in the crowd.
No practice is perfect so patients understand if you have a 4.8 or 4.9 rating. It seems more genuine.
Reviews play a major role in local SEO by helping your Google My Business rank higher for the things you do at the practice!
Wrapping up Removing a Bad Patient Review from Google
Luckily, Google now has several different methods to go out removing reviews.
And if you do get a bad review, the first place to start is totally in your hands by being proactive with the patient and taking the conversation offline.
Need help with healthcare reputation management? We are here to help!
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