How to Handle Negative Reviews of Your Dental Practice

How to Handle Negative Reviews of Your Dental Practice

1. Stay Calm.

Assess the negative review with a clear head.

The most ideal star rating peaks between 4.0 to 4.7, and trustworthiness decreases as the rating gets closer to 5 stars.

5x When someone interacts with your negative reviews, they spend five times as long on your website.


2. Embrace Some Negativity.

It pays to acknowledge you’re not perfect (even if you’re close).

Patients know that no provider is perfect. They expect to see at least a few negative reviews when they’re researching you.

82% of consumers actively seek out negative reviews.


3. Respond Quickly.

Never let sour feelings fester.

A considerate public response shows you respect your patients, but it’s critical that your replies are HIPAA-compliant. Keep things general, don’t repeat any personal information, and stick to re-stating your practice’s values. (i.e. “We strive to start every appointment on time and treat every patient with respect.”)

66% of patients say it’s important for a provider to respond to a negative review publicly. (Software Advice)

4. Start a Private Conversation.

(Talk the talk.)

If the patient’s concerns are legitimate, encourage them to reach out to your practice privately by providing your contact information. A one-on-one conversation is a great way to re-establish trust.

41% of consumers say that when brands reply to their online reviews, it makes them feel valued. (Bazaarvoice)

5. Remedy.

(Walk the walk.)

Offer a reasonable solution to the patient’s complaint (again, if it’s legitimate). Usually, all patients want is a practice to acknowledge their bad experience and work to address the cause.

53% of patients expect a reply to their online review within seven days. (ReviewTrackers)

6. Explore an Update.

(But don’t count on it.)

If you’ve reached a resolution with the patient, you can ask them to update their review. Keep in mind that it might not happen, and being pushy won’t help the matter.

70% of consumers changed their opinion about a brand after the company replied to review. (Marketing Charts)

7. Don’t Stress!

Like they say, the best revenge is living well.

Keep the positive reviews flowing in. Frequent positive reviews (with responses) help SEO and guarantee that negative reviews will not stay prominent on your listing.

95% of consumers suspect reviews are censored or fake if there aren't any negative reviews (Reevoo)

Grow your practice by sending automatic review request text messages with Swell.

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