Some of our clients view their social media efforts as a necessary evil. Others view it as a way to engage customers when they’re outside the physical practice. Regardless of your personal views on social media interaction at your practice, there is one universal must — respond to customer complaints, questions, or posts in a timely fashion!
Social media has become a place where customers can voice concerns or complaints that they may or may not make while in the physical business. Sometimes, their complaint may arise when the business is closed and their only outlet is a Facebook page. Other times, a disgruntled customer wants everyone to know his or her complaint, so they put it up for all to see on social media.
As a practice, you need to quickly respond to these issues, but your interaction with social media needs to be more. It needs to become social listening. This means monitoring and responding to customer service and reputation management issues on the web. That’s a fancy term for basic customer service, but within your social media.
It makes sense to have a strategy in place for customer complaints on social media. This may simply be deciding who is going to respond to certain types of complaints in a small practice, or it may be creating a feedback loop in a large practice with multiple doctors.
It starts with the complaint
Let’s say one of your patients posts that your ThermiRF procedure was a “waste of money and I didn’t see any results” on your Facebook page. Or maybe a customer can’t get an appointment in a timely (to their perspective) fashion. That could very well hit your Facebook page. Now it’s out there for all to see.
This is where your social media manager needs to listen to everything that’s happening on your social media. This doesn’t mean simply posting a “Happy New Year” graphic or wishing one of the docs a happy birthday. This is active monitoring of what your customers are doing on your social media sites, and it can’t happen haphazardly; it needs daily attention.
Why is this such a big deal? Because people, as soon as they hit the “post” button, expect that their complaint is being seen instantly, whether that’s fair or not. This isn’t like a letter or phone call in the old days. So, you need to respond as soon as possible, definitely within 24 hours.
Your social media manager may not be able to immediately resolve the issue, but simply responding tells your customer that you as a practice are listening. This makes them feel respected and appreciated.
A loop could set the process
This is where a customer service loop can come into play. Patient complaints may involve a procedure. They may involve questions or concerns with something such as swelling or drainage. Responses to these kinds of complaints/concerns should come from one of the doctors to provide the patient with validation of the importance of her issue.
Maybe it’s a scheduling problem. In this case, whoever handles the logistics of your practice should probably be the one to respond.
Or maybe the person is posting on your Facebook page a picture of her at her daughter’s high school graduation. That response can come from anyone in the practice, probably the page manager. But even in these cases it’s important to acknowledge and comment on the customer’s post. This interaction tells customers that the practice cares about their lives, not just about the next procedure they are hoping to book.
The key is doing your social media listening every day, not occasionally. Your page manager needs to constantly watch all postings, responding in a timely fashion (or getting the proper person to respond if necessary). This way you can turn complaints into solved outcomes, converting that possibly disgruntled patient into a long-term patient.
If you have questions about your social media presence, contact your Advice Media representative and let’s talk about it.