Facing A Negative Comment on Social Media?

Social media can be a wonderful thing, until someone posts a less-than-flattering comment about you. Read how you can handle this situation.

You may appreciate the many benefits of social media, but what if someone posts something less than flattering about you and/or your practice?

First of all, don't just ignore the post. Remember that social media complaints are available for the world to see and may negatively affect your reputation, which can result in a profound decrease in business. 

Here are a few tips to help minimize the damaging effects:

  • If it is possible to respond to negative criticism without violating patient confidentiality, immediately correct any factual statements and provide a brief explanation to clarify misunderstandings. Respond directly or use specially trained professionals to let the person know you are aware of the concerns.
  • It is not what you say, but how you say it: Choose your words carefully, as a statement of empathy could be interpreted as an “admission of guilt” if the complaint is escalated to a board action or lawsuit.
  • Take the high road. If the person is angry, do not engage in an argument. Your goal should be to calm the unhappy person and bring the situation to an amicable resolution. However, you also want others who view the post to realize that the patient may not have provided a fair review.
  • Offer to go offline with the unhappy person if the discussion escalates or becomes unmanageable.

For the future, it may be best to require people to identify themselves on your social media sites or practice blog so there is a line of credibility. Add a statement that anonymous comments will be removed.

As always, if you have questions about how to handle a negative comment on social media, don't hesitate to call NCMIC's Claims Department at 1-800-242-4052.

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