Responding to Reviews: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly - BRUX DENTAL MARKETING

Responding to Reviews: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hopefully, you’ve read our previous blog on how to generate more positive review for your dental practice.

So now what to do with all these awesome reviews? And how do you deal with the not-so-awesome ones? Have no fear, Brux Dental Marketing is here with a wealth of experience and suggestions to lead you down the path to success.

Managing and responding to positive reviews is pretty straightforward; the short version is you need to do something to acknowledge the review. Most businesses choose to reply to the positive review within Google, which is a great start. The copy of these replies can be similar, but we would strongly dissuade you from doing a simple copy and paste of the same response to every review.

The sentiment should thank the patient for taking the time to leave the review, letting them know the staff loves reading reviews like this and loves seeing patients just like them, and also intimating that you work very hard to have a practice that your patients enjoy.

Eliminate “no problem, it’s what we do” from your vernacular. Don’t short sell yourself in responding to reviews and compliments, both inside of your office and out!

If you want to take it a step further, consider making a reminder in your appointment book during the patients’ next visit to thank them for submitting a review. This stuff goes a long way and also gives you a layup of an opportunity to ask the patient to refer in their friends and family.

That conversation is as easy as something like this: “Mrs. Smith, thank you so much for your kind review after your last visit. We love patients like you. If you have any friends or family that are looking for a dentist, we would love to help with their dental care.”

Now how do you handle the bad reviews. Well, hopefully, if you’ve implemented our email campaign that we laid out in our previous blog, the bad reviews are few and far between. But a few will still slip through every once in a while, and that’s okay. People don’t expect all positive reviews, hopefully, you have a lot more positive than negative.

When a negative review comes in, you should go back to your chart notes for the patient, look over anything you need to know from their last visit, and decide what, if any, fault your practice had in the matter.

Stuff happens and sometimes even the best dental practice has a bad day, whether that be running late, not being able to complete a root canal due to a loopy root, or a staff member who wasn’t having the best day.

Whether you had any fault in the matter or not, your response online should be the same; you need to acknowledge their feedback (patients like to feel heard) and attempt to take the conversation offline. Taking it offline is necessary for no less than two reasons.

First, we don’t want a situation to spiral into a thread of comments from the patient getting upset with your response. We’ve seen this happen with businesses on Facebook who reply to customer feedback and it literally turns into a train wreck with every response.

The second reason we want to take it offline is every medical care providers favorite 5 letters… HIPAA. Discussing the treatment a patient had done, whether they showed up to your office on time, or even want to get into.

Try to get in touch with the patient via email or phone and respond accordingly. If you messed up, it is okay to say so. Figure out a way to recover the patient while not throwing any of your staff under the bus or making excuses for what happened.

The patient does not care that the extraction that should have taken 10 minutes took 90 because the tooth fractured into a million little pieces, causing you to run late for their appointment. Thank them for giving you an opportunity to grow and improve as a provider.

Sometimes it may be necessary to give them something for their troubles (think free bleach or a Starbucks card) and sometimes they just want to be heard.

Finally, the ugly. These are the reviews that are so ridiculous that you actually laugh when you read them. They may range from people who are upset that you wouldn’t prescribe them pain medication for a crown recement to those who complain that you wouldn’t see them when they were 30 minutes late for their appointment. It’s amazing how brazen people become when they are by themselves with a keyboard.

In our experience, it is best to let these reviews speak for themselves and not reply. Again, people don’t expect that a business has all 5 star reviews, and any person with rational thought will read the review and know they are dealing with an unreliable source.

How do you deal with negative reviews? Have you found anything that works well to recover patients who didn’t have the best experience in your practice? We want to hear about it!

Responding to Reviews: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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