Practice Marketing : People Are Your Portfolio
- Bob Alaburda
- Aug 5, 2013
It was a tempting offer. Sign on the dotted line, and make your critics disappear. Perhaps you've heard the story.
Stacy Makhnevich, a New York dentist, tried eliminate negative online reviews with a patient contract that promised “additional privacy.” The agreement granted the dentist copyright over any online reviews posted by her patients, which provided a legal pathway for quickly and easily removing any criticism.
Surprise. The contract may not have been legal after all.
Now Makhnevich is being sued, her office has closed, and she has gone missing.
Don't Lose Touch
Few, if any, dental professionals would resort to the tactics of Makhnevich, but there is an important lesson to be learned in all of this. The most important marketing tactic you could ever employ is providing the best service possible to your patients. People are your portfolio, and unlike an artist, your work literally speaks for itself.
The fact is, a marketing company sold Makhnevich this contract. And in an age where there are dozens of companies fighting to manage your online reputation, it's easy to lose sight of the reason for negative reviews: unsatisfied patients.
Why treat the symptoms when you can treat the disease?
If you're concerned with your reputation, the most efficient route to redemption is through self-improvement.
Turn That Frown Upside Down
Despite your best efforts, negative reviews will happen. Trying to defend yourself on Yelp or otherwise respond to every criticism can sap your valuable time and energy. If the vast majority of your feedback is positive, don't let the vocal minority drag you down. The expression “you can't please everybody” may be the only cliché that is mathematically irrefutable.
To put it another way, there are hundreds of 1-star reviews of the iPad on Amazon. There will always be cynics and complainers. Especially on the internet.