Dealing with Negative Reviews « ePractice Manager | Systems for next-level growth

Dealing with Negative Reviews

By ePractice Manager
March 28, 2023

When potential patients are looking for a new dental practice, the first thing they generally do is an online search in their area. However, the search results that pop up are more than just the online picture of your business that you’ve carefully curated with your website, but also include results from review sites, such as: Yelp, Zocdoc, Google, and others.

These are testimonials from patients that have actually interacted with your business, and they make a big impact on the potential patient’s decision making process.

As mentioned in our previous post, Evaluating Your Practice’s Online Presence, monitoring review sites is a very important part of managing your business. When a potential patient goes to your Google business or Yelp page, they look at more than just the reviews, they also see how you interact with the reviews—which can make a huge impact on their impression of your practice.

The most important rule when dealing with reviews, whether negative or positive, is that all comments must be responded to in a timely manner. It only takes a few minutes a day to stay on top of this and is well worth the time investment.

Getting a negative review can be a frustrating experience, and it’s natural to become upset or defensive. But you must keep in mind that you are not only responding to the reviewer, you are also speaking directly to any potential patient that reads these reviews moving forward. 

So what should you do if you encounter a negative review?

  1. Acknowledge & thank them: The first thing you must do is acknowledge the reviewer and thank them for their feedback. Be sure to avoid any response that could be conceived as an argument, or come across as defensive. Though someone may have had a negative experience with your practice, reviewers may become more upset if they feel their grievance was ignored, or they were not heard.
  2. Offer resolution & reassurance: Depending on the nature of the feedback, let the reviewer know that you are looking into the issue and that you will be taking steps to make the appropriate handling. This is the appropriate time to reassure the reviewer of your practice’s high standards and that this isn’t something that happens frequently.
  3. Take it offline: Try to resolve the issue with the person offline instead of creating a back and forth on the review site. Apologize for their experience, and offer them a means to get in touch with you personally to try and resolve the issue.

Here is a template you can use to respond to negative reviews that fulfills all of the above points.

“Hello reviewer, 

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our practice. I am sorry to hear that you had that experience as we pride ourselves on our high standards and patient care. It is very important to us that we resolve this issue. Please feel free to contact me directly at (111) 111-1111. 

These days, online reviews have a huge impact on how potential patients see your dental practice. By responding to negative reviews and applying the above points, you have the opportunity to make positive impact on your reputation and even bring in new patients.

Here at ePractice Manager, we understand that running a practice is stressful, which is why we offer a full suite of onboarding, training, and management resources—to help you focus on what matters most, patient care.