E-Word-of-Mouth: Encouraging Positive Reviews and Reacting to Negative Ones

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How do you generate good electronic word-of-mouth on customer review websites? The following ECPs told dba how they encourage good reviews while reacting to the bad ones: Jonathan Rosin, M.D., Co-President, Rosin Eyecare; Stephen L. Franklin, CEO, Accurate Optical Co.; Mark Johnson, Director of Optical Services, Virginia Eye Institute; and Robin Matejka, Marketing Director, Emerging Vision, Inc., dba Sterling Optical and Site For Sore Eyes, New York, N.Y.

 

Jonathan Rosin, M.D., Co-President, Rosin Eyecare, Chicago

What techniques do you use to encourage positive patient/customer reviews on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.? We routinely ask patients for feedback in every aspect of our business. We are not bashful about handing out cards with social media web addresses and telling patients, "If you are happy with your experience at Rosin Eyecare, tell everyone, and if you are not, tell us!"

Conversely, how do you respond when you see a bad review on these sites? At Rosin Eyecare we value good reviews, but we learn most through candid criticism. When we receive a poor review, we privately respond directly to our dissatisfied patient/customer (never publicly). In most cases, the problem is quickly resolved and the bad review is withdrawn or converted by the patient into a positive one. Most importantly, we treat these situations as a catalyst for better customer care.

 

 

Stephen L. Franklin, Chief Executive Officer, Accurate Optical Company, Inc., Salisbury, Md.

What techniques do you use to encourage positive patient/customer reviews on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.? Although we are just starting to integrate social media into our operations at the retail level, we do encourage patient interaction through a service called DemandForce. Following every encounter, patients receive surveys and email communication requesting feedback and ratings. Although we don't solicit Facebook or Twitter reviews, we do offer in-office discounts and giveaways to encourage patients to "follow" or "like" us. This will allow for improved direct marketing campaigns without the costs of conventional advertising.

Conversely, how do you respond when you see a bad review on these sites? We research every comment received, both positive and negative, and we make an attempt to interact with the patient so we can address their concerns...or acknowledge their praise. The challenge we face is how to address the "anonymous" comments submitted. Without the opportunity to have point-to-point contact with the patient, the ability to generate a positive outcome is limited.

 

Mark Johnson, Director of Optical Services, Virginia Eye Institute, Richmond, Va.

What techniques do you use to encourage positive patient/customer reviews on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.? At Virginia Eye Institute we have found social media to be a positive and beneficial marketing tool. To encourage positive patient/customer reviews in social media we make sure we highlight the social media sites in different ways such as utilizing their logos on all marketing materials and on our website. We verbally encourage patients to visit our social media sites. Virginia Eye Institute has developed successful promotions utilizing Facebook and Twitter along with picture contests that have gone viral. These different initiatives have helped increase activity on our social media sites.

Conversely, how do you respond when you see a bad review on these sites? We value all feedback. We see any bad review or feedback as an opportunity to improve. Virginia Eye Institute will take the feedback, research and reach out to the patient/customer offline to resolve and find a solution. Once the patient/customer is satisfied we will encourage the patient/customer to re-post their satisfaction. We strive to be the industry leader in service excellence, and social media is another tool to help us work toward our goal.

 

Robin Matejka, Marketing Director, Emerging Vision, Inc., dba Sterling Optical and Site For Sore Eyes, New York, N.Y.

What techniques do you use to encourage positive patient/customer reviews on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.? Sterling Optical and Site for Sore Eyes will often ask fans and followers to "shout-out" their favorite store location or share how their experiences were. We have seen customers positively respond by just asking them to participate.

Conversely, how do you respond when you see a bad review on these sites? When there are customer reviews which describe a non-ideal experience at Sterling Optical or Site for Sore Eyes, we view this as an opportunity to turn the experience, and review, around. Social media is a great customer service tool, and having a page where customers can contact us allows us another touch-point. If there is an issue posted on Facebook or another channel, we assess the comment and respond with an appropriate answer. Sometimes this means taking the conversation "off-line," giving the customer a special offer or just making the situation right. More often than not, customers are happy with the service they receive on social media and then return to the store and continue to be a customer.

 

If you would like to suggest subjects and/or questions for a future dba q&a, or if you are a mid-size regional optical chain and would like to participate in our next survey, please email jsailer@jobson.com.

 

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