Finding a bad review of your practice is a slap in the face and it happens even to the most conscientious practitioners. Someone might be having a bad day and take it out of you. Sometimes the review is deserved and presents a growth opportunity. While we all act differently to criticism, the one thing you should not do is ignore a bad review. When ignored, negative feedback can have a detrimental impact on your practice.
Can You Afford to Lose Patients to Bad Reviews?
Potential patients who are considering using your dental services will invariably look at your reviews. If any bad reviews are ignored, they may not give you a second glance. They might make the assumption that you don’t care about your patients or care to address deficits. That is a sure way to lose out on new business and any referrals they might make in the future. This applies not only to potential patients but current ones who keep track of reviews.
Reviews are (Usually) Forever
Negative feedback on review sites is usually there, out in public, for all time. It is difficult if not impossible to remove bad reviews. This creates a lasting list of negative impressions on your practice that can be referenced by others. That is why it is important for dentists to address poor reviews whenever possible. Show the client or customer that you care about their thoughts. Do not attack; stick to facts and apologize if warranted. While it may not win a patient back, it may be appealing to future patients, especially if you also have many positive reviews.
Show You Respect Your Patients
No one wants to be treated disrespectfully; we all want our voices heard and to be valued as individuals. If you ignore negative reviews, you are essentially telling both the reviewer and prospective patients that you don’t care what they have to say. While some reviewers just want to be nasty (or may be competitors trying to sabotage you), legitimate patients who do complain feel passionately enough about your business to voice their concerns. If you don’t validate those concerns, expect them to take their business elsewhere.
Missing a Chance to Learn
You are not perfect; no one is. Mistakes present an opportunity for leaders to learn. It is even better when a patient presents those mistakes clearly. This will allow you to learn why the mistake happened and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen in the future. If you ignore feedback, you open the door to a mistake happening again. Negative reviews offer a chance to learn and grow your business; if you ignore them you miss that opportunity.
Great reviews are not the only ones that can help improve your practice. Bad reviews present an opportunity to learn from them and grow. If you choose to ignore poor reviews, the consequences could be disastrous. Not only could you lose current patients, but prospects, too.
When you see a negative review, take a step back and see what you can learn from the experience. Address their concerns, by telephone if possible, and make every effort to create positive experiences in the future.