Responding to Negative Online Reviews of Your Dental Practice

Unhappy patient with 1 star reviewAs many as 85% of your potential dental patients will do online research about dental practices before scheduling an appointment. This means that the online reviews of your dental practice will have a huge influence on whether or not you’re able to bring in new patients. It’s important for you to be aware of your online reviews and reputation and know how to handle any negative reviews that may pop up.

Avoid the Negative Reviews

Obviously, our best advice is to do your best to avoid negative reviews in the first place. The best way to do this is to treat every single patient with the respect and concern they deserve. Many negative dental reviews stem from a patient not feeling as if he or she was listened to or valued at the appointment. Both you and your staff should have proper training on how to interact with patients and take concerns and questions seriously.

Dealing with Negative Reviews of Your Dental Practice

If your practice does encounter a negative online review, there are a few things you can do to deal with it:

  • Keep calm – It may be your first instinct to immediately jump to the defense of yourself, your practice, and your employees. However, this will only make you look impulsive, defensive, and rash. Take a break to think about a proper response before you respond to the review.
  • Respond professionally – When you’re calm and ready to write a response, make sure it’s non-emotional and professional. Remain HIPAA compliant by not disclosing any information about the patient’s procedures.  Acknowledge the concerns of the patient and let him or her know that you’ll be following up with them to further discuss the issue.
  • Contact the patient – Instead of turning the problem into an online back-and-forth where miscommunications may arise, and frustrations may fester, contact the patient over the phone as quickly as possible to talk about the problem.
  • Resolve the issue – Talking to the patient will go in one of two ways. If the issue is resolved, you may be able to get the patient to agree to remove the negative review. If not, at least it will show prospective patients that you were able to handle the problem kindly and professionally.
  • False Reviews – If you receive a review from someone you have no record of, First, ensure there was no contact. Take normal steps to respond professionally. If you are certain they never came or contacted your office, “flag” the post. Each review site is different but have similar procedures for reporting inappropriate reviews.

We know it can be stressful and emotional to see a negative review of your dental practice posted online. However, these negative reviews can be used as a learning experience and a way to prove to potential patients that you take concerns and problems seriously.

For help with managing your online reputation or any of your other dental marketing needs or concerns, please contact Pro Dental Designs today.

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