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How To Take Advantage of Negative Patient Reviews at Your Dental Practice

Bad reviews aren't always all that bad. Learn how you can take advantage of these negative reviews and use them to improve your dental practice.

Dental Intelligence


November 6, 2023

Bad reviews at your dental practice can deter potential patients, turn away existing clients, and kill revenue. What sets excellent dental practices apart is how they handle negative patient reviews. You can learn a lot from how clients complain about your business. 

Dental Intelligence offers a highly intuitive platform that helps you collect more positive online reviews for improved reputation management and website rankings. We understand how challenging it can feel when you first receive negative feedback and don’t know how to respond. Below, we will walk you through the top steps for taking advantage of negative customer reviews.  

1. Understand Why Online Reviews Matter

Online reviews affect your business in multiple ways. When someone says something positive or negative about a dentist at your practice, they’re potentially impacting the following:

Whether you want to improve your Google rankings or bring more customers in the door, you need to manage your practice’s reviews. 

2. Stay Professional 

Now that you know why online reviews matter, you can begin taking advantage of any negative reviews your practice receives. You may feel frustrated or aggravated when you first read a negative review. At this point, it’s best to step back and remain calm, professional, and level-headed. 

As a dental practice, you must keep the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at the forefront of all interactions. If a patient mentions their care or treatment online, you cannot discuss the same details when responding, as this could violate HIPAA. Taking the conversation offline is the best way to proceed here. 

If you feel upset about a review, the best thing you can do is take a moment to draft your response before posting it. You can show it to peers to ensure it sounds fair and professional. You may report the feedback if you believe the reviewer made false claims. 

3. Respond Promptly and Appropriately  

About 20% of reviewers expect responses within 24 hours, while most want to hear from you within a week.1 Prompt and genuine review responses show potential patients that you care. Try to keep the following tips in mind when responding:

4. Fix the Problem, Then Learn from It

Moving the conversation offline allows you to potentially resolve the dispute with the patient so they can delete their negative review. 

Negative patient reviews should be learning experiences for your practice. While some patients may complain about seemingly small issues, many pieces of negative feedback offer opportunities for your practice to improve. For example, if the patient left a bad review about waiting 30 minutes for their appointment, then you know your practice needs to work on streamlining the check-in process. 

5. Learn Your Bad Review Triggers 

As you generate negative patient reviews over time, you’ll likely discover that a few key issues tend to ignite the bad feedback. For example, your patients may often complain about hidden costs after appointments. Once you learn your bad review triggers, you can prevent negative feedback in the future by improving how your practice operates. 

6. Focus on Increasing Good Reviews

The best way to improve your average rating is to increase the number of positive reviews you gather so the negative ones seem less prominent. With review collection tools, you can easily send customers a reminder to leave a positive review after their appointment. The more positive reviews you generate, the better your practice will appear to future patients.

Improve Your Practice’s Reputation with Dental Intelligence  

Whether your practice has negative patient reviews or fake customer reviews, we can help you transform your reputation. Get a demo with Dental Intelligence today to learn how our digital tools can help you collect more positive reviews.


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