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How To Handle Positive & Negative Dental Reviews

By PETE JOHNSON

It’s no secret that positive affirmations leave us feeling giddy and accomplished. On the other hand, negative reviews can send a chill down the spine. People’s opinions are louder than ever with the advent of the Internet and social media. Instead of phone calls and word-of-mouth, reviews are posted for all to see, and can’t be deleted. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can celebrate the good and come back from the bad. In fact, both can be turned into resources to better your practice.

Here’s everything there is to know about making the most of both good and bad reviews.

Bad Reviews

We’ll start with the bad news first — negative reviews sting. While criticism can be hard, it also offers an opportunity to learn from your patients and fix any weaknesses you may have. Additionally, how you handle negative feedback says a lot about your character. Therefore, take the high road and adopt these strategies:

Say Thank You

Even if a review is negative, it’s important to take a moment to thank someone for providing feedback. There may be exceptions, for instance if someone is blatantly disrespectful and their feedback is not constructive, there’s no need to condone poor behavior. Otherwise, take the time to commend a user for their honesty. Despite your feelings, this is the first step to making amends.

Respond in a Timely Manner

Timing is extremely important when responding to negative reviews. When tensions are high, patience is thin. Therefore, make sure to acknowledge a poor review as quickly as possible.

Get a Second Opinion

While you should be speedy with your response, you also shouldn’t skip over having a second pair of eyes proofread your comment. Not only will they spot any typos or errors, but they can also assess the tone and make sure it reads as cordial. If a response comes off as overly defensive, rude, or dismissive, it will make the situation even worse. Therefore, find an objective proofreader to make sure that your message is clear, concise, and civil.

Listen To Their Concerns

 When addressing a negative comment, it’s important to relay to the reviewer that you hear and understand them. This is the first step to establishing a sense of trust. Therefore, assure them that you comprehend the situation before providing your response.

Ask Questions 

In order to better your practice and get the most out of a negative review, ask follow-up questions to get to the bottom of the issue. Not only will this provide a clear picture of what needs to be done to rectify a situation, but it will also make the reviewer feel that you are taking the issue seriously. When following up, be sure not to inundate the commenter with too many questions. One or two will suffice and get the point across that you’re working towards resolution.

Ask To Speak Via Email or on The Phone

 At the end of your comment, let the reviewer know that they can contact you personally via phone or email. A long thread of back-and-forth responses doesn’t provide the best optics for your website. Additionally, by providing a direct line, you’re assuring the commenter that you’re taking their comment seriously. Some will follow up and some won’t. At the end of the day, they will feel more at ease knowing you hear them and that you’re willing to put in the work to make the situation better.

Good Reviews

We’ve saved the best for last! It’s time to talk about the always appreciated glowing review. After receiving one, make sure to take a moment to acknowledge a job well done. Afterward, there are many ways you can utilize this feedback to grow your business.

Add Quotes To Your Website

When you receive a good review, there’s no shame in showing it off! These reactions to the work you do are genuine and honest, therefore, when you display them you’re providing users with the most authentic content possible. There are many ways to work a good review into your website design. You can create a tutorial section, located near the bottom of your page. Alternatively, you can sprinkle them throughout sections of your page, and perhaps next to procedure overviews that they discussed. Before integrating them into your design, be sure to reach out to the reviewer and receive their permission. Not only will this establish trust, but they may share the site with their friends!

Turn Written Reviews into Patient Testimonials

The only thing better than a written review is one captured on camera. Therefore, reach out to those who left positive comments and see if they would be interested in being the star of a patient testimonial video. In these clips, patients discuss the treatments they have had as well as the results. It offers before-and-after visuals and captures their emotional response.

Highlight Reviews on Websites

Reviews can be left on a myriad of sites. Yelp, Facebook, and Google all are platforms where patients can tell the world how they felt about their experience at your practice. For most of these, business owners can bookmark certain reviews that they feel are helpful for people to read. When doing this, you may feel inclined to select the review that appears the loudest. While these are fantastic, it’s also important to consider those that evoke emotional responses. For example, if a patient felt cared for and comfortable throughout the experience, highlight their story as it will resonate with readers. Perhaps someone came in to get an issue fixed that they have been dealing with for years. This would be a great review to share, as it shows off your impeccable work and evokes emotion.

Share on Social Media

Sharing positive reviews on social media is simple. On Facebook, you can easily reshare positive reviews on your page. When posting on Instagram, turn short quotes into aesthetically-pleasing posts. Additionally, you could also insert a positive review into a caption. Don’t forget to tag the reviewer in the post. Not only will they appreciate this shoutout but they may also share it with their followers and spread your message.

Respond!

This is the easy part. For positive reviews, be sure to let commenters know that you appreciate their feedback. A quick thank you will go a long way and will let them know that you’re with them every step of the way — even after they leave your practice.

The Good & The Bad

There are a few things to consider for both good and bad reviews. First off, it’s important to encourage patients to leave a review no matter what. Having no reviews for your website is bad for optics. When searching for a dentist, many potential patients turn to reviews to make their decision. If there are none, they will question the legitimacy of your practice. Therefore, be sure to make it easy and simple to leave a review. You can link to Yelp and Facebook from your website and provide a cordial nudge to leave a review if they feel so inclined.

Encouraging reviews is important for dental marketing. On top of that, it’s critical to read reviews and take them to heart. For both the good and the bad, identify consistencies in the comments to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are. If reviewers often applaud your clean office and family-friendly environment, be sure to celebrate this strength in your marketing. When it comes to consistent negative feedback, be sure to thank commenters for their honesty, and begin to rectify the core of the problem so it doesn’t happen again. In certain scenarios, you can let these reviewers know you have addressed the issue and invite them back to experience improvements. They will be touched that you considered their feedback and perhaps will be swayed to become a patient once again.

Are you eager to develop a strategy for responding to online reviews? At Get Practice Growth, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today and we would be happy to loop you in on all that we can do for your practice.