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Ways to Respond to Unhappy Reviews of Your Dental Practice

It happens to the best of us - a negative review. Whether this is just a customer who was disappointed with heir visit or someone who is hot under the collar and fuming, there are ways to approach both. Hopefully, with some tact, compassion, a bit of generosity, and a healthy dose of boundaries, you can remedy the situation, clear up miscommunication, and either keep the customer or keep them from spreading their venom to other potential customers.

Here at BlueJay Reviews, we make getting you high-quality reviews a priority because we know how important a good review is for a dentist. Your business will rely on the opinions of others, and we want to make sure that you are getting the best results possible. One aspect of our service is to make it easy for you to respond to reviews. Here are some sample reviews you can use for different situations, as well as a breakdown so you can write your own!

For The Customer Who is “Always Right”

If you’ve been in the business for any length of time, it’s not hard to find that a customer can actually be accurate in their negative review. It’s hard to look at a review realistically and not feel like it’s an attack, but they are saying something harsh about your “baby” so it’s hard for hairs not to bristle on your neck. However, if the customer does have a point, you will want to cool off and reply with apologies, compassion, and make it right. Here is a sample response that you can use and tweak to respond to someone who may actually be right in their review:

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, (insert name). We are sorry that you had a bad experience with our dental office, and we appreciate you taking the time to leave your feedback and bring the issue to our attention. We are looking into the issue and we want to resolve this with you promptly. We will be sending you an email shortly, or you can email us at (your email here) so that we can find a solution.”

Start by eliminating the “cookie-cutter” appearance of your response by using the client's name (assuming this is on a platform where you can see their name in the review, like on Facebook) - not in an intimidating way, but in a personal way. Take responsibility and acknowledge that you are willing to make things right. If you have the customer’s email address on file, you can reach out to them personally or ask them to reach out to you - either way, you want to take this off public view and make it right without blowing it up into an even bigger instance.

For the Customer Who Had a Bad Day

Sometimes, the humanity of your customers comes out, and they just have a bad experience. This may not 100% reflect on your dental office completely, as they may have been a customer whose expectations just weren’t met. Maybe they just didn’t get their coffee this morning because it spilled down their shirt when they got in the car and they were running late for the sitter and the baby was crying and they forgot their lunch. Sometimes it’s just a no-good, terrible, awful day, and a disappointing experience can tip them over the edge of frustrations. Either way, if their expectations weren’t met, it just means that there wasn’t enough communication from the start, and there is hopefully still time to save the review and the customer.

“Dear (customer’s name), we apologize that our service did not satisfy your expectations. We pride ourselves on providing an exceptional experience for our patients, and we regret it when we miss the mark. We do appreciate you taking the time to leave a review of your experience, even though it was not what you were expecting. We would love to make this right by you, you can email me here, or ask for me next time you come in for an appointment - we want to provide the best for you.”

Remember Who You Respond To

Sometimes, you just can’t fix the situation, and you may lose the client. You can’t correct every single situation, and sometimes you just may not be a good fit for an individual which doesn’t make either of you bad, just not a good match. However, a good rule of thumb when responding to a negative review is that while you are responding to the customer who had a bad experience, you are ALSO setting a tone for the future customers who see this exchange. Studies are showing that 91% of people will read online reviews and 84% will trust those online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. If someone is going to leave a less than raving review, always respond in a cordial, respectful, and honoring way. This can gain more customers than you know, and it will keep your online presence professional.

Another thing to keep in mind as you are responding to reviews for your dental office is that you still need to keep in accordance with your HIPAA regulations. Be very careful when responding that you do not disclose any patient details, no matter what the patient says in their review.

Ready to Get Started?

At BlueJay Reviews, we are so excited to help you manage reviews for a dental office. We have many different customers in many fields, but this same strategy works for all of them. We assist you in collecting reviews by sending automatic messages that ask for them, allow you to respond to reviews, and even promote them across all of your channels. This is an innovative way to work within the social media platforms, which, as you know, are becoming a powerful way to market.
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