Responding to Negative Reviews

Responding to Negative Reviews

Nobody likes to receive negative feedback. As a practice owner, a bad review about your practice may seem like a personal insult and your first reaction may be to get upset. This, however, isn’t the best way to handle a negative review about your practice. When a patient leaves a negative review online, you not only have an unhappy patient but you have one who has voiced their opinion online for the entire world to see. Receiving negative feedback can provide your practice with the opportunity to change and grow, so instead of making the situation worse, follow these helpful tips:

Take a step back.

So you’ve just noticed a negative review about your practice? Chances are this has struck a nerve, and a rushed response may make the situation worse. Take time to reset your mind and relax, take a short walk, watch a funny video or play a quick game. Once you’ve calmed down it will be easier to formulate an appropriate response.

Respond to your patient, don’t react.

For most practice owners, the first reaction may be to defend your practice. This can be problematic when dealing with reviews online, accusations and denials tend to escalate a conflict. Keep in mind, just like the negative review, the world (and potential clients) will be able to see your response.

Appreciate ALL of your patients.

Receiving positive feedback is always nice, but keep in mind that negative feedback can also be beneficial to your practice. When a patient takes time to explain a problem, it is most likely worth investigating. Without negative feedback a problem may persist and repeat, affecting more patients down the road. When responding, thank your patient for providing their feedback regardless of your pride.

Explain patient experience improvements.

If the patient's negative experience was able to be resolved immediately, be sure to let the patient know in your initial response. If immediate action is not possible, explain to the patient what steps your practice will take to resolve the issue. Once the problem has finally been resolved, see if the patient is willing to update their review; also follow-up with a final response to let people know that problem has been fixed.