No need to worry, it’s not nearly as often as you think. The true number of people actively searching for complaints about their doctors is relatively low. But the results you get for a search of that kind are a pretty big deal.
Most plastic surgeons feel like there is no way to get in front of the “bad reviews” problem. Matt Cutts, the head of web spam at Google, has a famous recommendation about negative reviews:
“The answer to bad speech is more speech”
Translation for plastic surgeons:
Get more good reviews, only from happy people, don’t defend yourself against a bad review, and get a lot of reviews really fast before someone else beats you. Oh and if you’re lucky, Yelp and Google won’t unpublish your reviews for no reason.
Well thanks, Matt Cutts. This is a terrible solution! Just get more reviews?
Not only is it hard to have success asking patients to write reviews on established local business websites, it’s not even what your patients want to see. RPR was created because plastic surgeons need a better way to fight this incomplete representation of the patient experience.
Here’s the Real Patient Ratings top secret recipe for what we think a patient DOES want to see:
- The writer really is a patient (so there’s no chance of a phony review)
- The writer has anonymity and feels free to be truthful
- The review is written at the right time – not too soon after surgery or too many years after the experience
- There are a lot of reviews to read and a lot of data
- Not all of the reviews are perfect
Your patients are smart consumers. They know that simply finding and believing one bad review about a plastic surgeon is a terrible way to make a decision. They do recognize that surgeons and their staff members are humans too.
Real Patient Ratings has surveyed 4698 patients and generated 2693 online plastic surgery reviews for members since January 2012.