Recent publicity in the hospitality industry about fake one-star reviews of restaurants has highlighted the fact that the whole review process can sometimes be a bit of a dog’s breakfast if not handled correctly.
Restaurants are now finding themselves being held to ransom by unscrupulous “diners” who attend the restaurant and then feign an unsettling experience in an attempt to persuade the restaurant owner to give them a free meal in return for the fact that the diner will not leave a scathing review of their experience on social media or on a review site.
It’s a scam.
It is a criminal offence for a person to leave a bad review for an establishment or business that they have never visited.
Recently a dentist in Victoria Australia successfully took legal action against a fake review, that was actually left by a “former business associate” of the dentist.
So fake reviewers do need to be wary.
In my dental practice, I once had a new patient who presented for a consultation wanting Invisalign treatment.
However, after taking records, I advised the patient that his Class III malocclusion could not be fixed or corrected using only aligners.
This patient was very upset with my diagnosis, and so went ahead and voiced his dissatisfaction on social media review sites.
This was not a good result for my practice. Things would have been better if the patient had phoned me about his disappointment [in paying a fee for records and consultation and diagnosis], rather than launching into my practice on his computer.
What my practice then had to do was to actively seek happy patient reviews to stack above this “unhappy” review and suppress it down the list.
A simple phone call from the disappointed patient to me would have resulted in a refund of his fees paid [a refund was never sought], rather than the resultant mayhem and disruption that was caused.
No review is better than a bad review. It should always be the goal of your practice to eliminate any potential for bad reviews.
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