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No reviews is not good news

An interesting question sent in by a reader:

Hi Andy:


I have a medical clinic business and would love your comment about an issue.


We have about 15 doctors working in our clinics. At the end of every day we send an automated email to all patients seen that day asking for feedback, which is overwhelmingly positive.


However, some doctors never get any feedback, positive or negative. I have always wondered why that is. Should we take no feedback as negative feedback?


Answer: No feedback is not good feedback.

Best case, there are unhappy customers who don’t feel comfortable saying something. No doctor has a perfect record.

Worst case, the doctors are so bland and ineffective that no one cares either way. Not caring = no customer loyalty = dissatisfaction over time. Silence means your customer service is not good enough to make a difference. There is a clinic down the street somewhere that is thrilling people, and will steal your customers over time.

Raise the bar on service and earn that good recommendation.

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  1. Karl June 6, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Hey Andy,
    I’m not sure if you really answered the question. “Doctors and patients” is not totally equal to “service and customers.”
    I recently had a tooth removed by my dentist. A job well done, because necessary and accurately performed. If he had sent me an e-mail the same evening, I wouldn’t have made a recommendation because of the pain and the drugs etc…
    But I just love this dentist. He is highly skilled, professional, caring, he takes care of my family (euh, the teeth of my familiy members I mean). I will recommend him, but I won’t fill out a form immediately after his performance. So he get’s no registered feedback.
    The question remains. Is no feedback negative feedback?

  2. Andy Sernovitz June 6, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Over time, it is. I believe that in a world with many decent providers, just doing a good job isn’t enough. What could that dentist have done to make it extra special? If you’re not doing anything to earn a positive review then you’ll lose customers to someone who is (eventually).

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