Negative Reviews

If you are in business long enough, it is likely someone will post a negative review of your dental practice.  And it doesn’t matter how many positive reviews preceded it, that negative review may be hard to shake.  As the novelist Danielle Steel once said, “A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.”  What can you do when someone sits on your cake?

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First, read the negative review carefully, considering the patient’s complaints with an open mind, and determine what you can learn.  What could you have done differently?  If you find any merit to the review, use this insight to make the patient experience even better.

Secondly, resist the urge to angrily rebut the review point by point.  Doing so will make you look bad and give the negative critique more power than it deserves.  Instead, respond with empathy and professionalism, and invite the reviewer to contact the practice directly to help address any concerns.

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Finally, keep the review in perspective.  The actor Norbert Leo Butz once said, “I was in the original cast of ‘Wicked,’ and that got a bad review in ‘The New York Times,’ and it’s the most successful thing that’s ever been put onstage.”  Very successful dentists also get negative reviews.  Encourage your long term patients to leave reviews, and soon the negative one will be buried under positive feedback.

Negative reviews are an unfortunate part of running a dental practice today.  When you receive one, make sure you handle it effectively.

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