How to Deal with Negative Patient Reviews

Negative reviews to your practice are extremely detrimental to new patient acquisition. The Internet has made it incredibly easy for disgruntled patients to go to any number of review sites such as Angie’s List, Yelp, or a dentist directory such as FindMyDentist.com and leave a nasty review – whether it is justified or not. Dentists, Hygienists, and Dental Assistants naturally take offense to such reviews.

And then the question arises, “How do I immediately remove a negative review from the internet?” Some dentists try contacting the website in question asking to have the negative review removed with limited success. Others attempt the legal route, which is lengthy and costly. In fact, I even have negative press on me. It was a reckless driving charge because I decided it would be enjoyable to drift (think Fast & Furious) through an intersection when I was 18. That was a lifetime ago but it still shows up when you Google my name. I made an attempt to have negative press removed (on numerous occasions) but was unable to do so. I threatened legal action with not much concern from the other end. And since i have no desire to spend thousands on litigation, the negative press is still there, but less pronounced as it is now buried deep in the search engines.

Two Ways to Deal With Negative Reviews

Ask to have it removed

While it is likely you will not find much success going this route, it is always a good idea to at least make an attempt as you have nothing to lose. Find the contact information of the website or organization in question and tell them that you are concerned about a particular review that did not seem justified. Depending on who the Webmaster is, there is a possibility that they remove it if there is a mutual understanding between the two parties. But since this is a very unlikely scenario, move on to the next method of dealing with negative reviews or press.

Drone out bad reviews with Great reviews

If the above didn’t work out, which it probably didn’t, then it’s time to accept the negative review and move forward by doing the next best thing – getting massive amount of positive reviews to push the negative review out of view. Think about it, if you have 100 reviews and 1 is bad, so what? That’s a 99% satisfaction rate. But if you are starting to get multiple bad dentist reviews, then it’s time to start taking a good look at your practice. Are staff members friendly, including yourself, the doctor? Is there an concerted effort to communicate with and educate the patient? If there are any customer service issues, either replace staff members or ensure they get trained properly to deal with the public.

Now worst-case scenario is that you have a lot of bad reviews and negative press. At this point it’s probably in your best interest to change the practice’s name or even put it under your partner’s name, so this way you can disassociate yourself as much as possible from the prior organization. I truly hope you don’t run into such a nightmare situation, but it’s the only way your practice will survive.

Please contact us for inquiries on how we can help you with your internet marketing goals.