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Correcting a Bad Review Online Part II


In today’s digital world of social media and online reviews, getting a bad review could very well be the death knell for a business. While a single bad review by a customer shouldn’t cause any issues, a string of several in a row can put off potential clients. After all, why would anyone want to go to a dentist with only 2 stars when some other clinic has 5-star reviews?

How to Respond to Bad Reviews

Some businesses have tried lawsuits and other tactics to strike back at bad reviews, although not very successfully. Even if you were right about the situation, such an attitude will hardly endear your practice to patients.

It’s far better to respond to reviewers in a professional and polite manner. If you or someone in your office made a mistake, apologize and offer to correct the error. It’s not always easy to admit you’ve made a mistake but most people will give you a second chance as long as you don’t get defensive about it. You should always thank any client who takes the time to review your practice as well.

But what can you do if the customer is at fault? The old adage of the customer is right isn’t always true. Some people will leave negative reviews even if it was not your mistake, but theirs. So how do you respond to a negative review such that potential clients will realize you’re not to blame? Here’s an example of one such review of a dental clinic and how they handled it.

Case Study – Negative Review Sample

“I visited XYZ clinic 3 days ago and will never go back again. First of all, they gave away the appointment I’d made over 3 weeks in advance. Then they had me fill out multiple forms – the first set was the ‘wrong ones’ apparently and so I had to do them all again! After waiting 45 minutes, the dentist finally saw me. He recommended treatment for my issues but didn’t even have time to listen to me or explain anything. The entire appointment felt rushed. I would never refer anyone to this clinic!”

The Dentist’s Response

“Dear client,

Thank you for bringing your concerns about the practice to our notice. I would like to clarify that we did not just give away your slot. Our clinic’s policy on late arrivals is to hold their slot for 15 minutes before rescheduling. Since you were more than 20 minutes late for your appointment, we had no choice but to see other patients. We did have another cancellation, so we were able to fit you in.

As for the multiple forms, I sincerely apologize for the error. Our clinic is shifting over to a new system and sometimes mistakes happen, in spite of our best efforts. We appreciate your patience in this regard and such mistakes won’t happen in the future. We work hard to ensure our patients are happy and look forward to seeing you again.”

As we can see, the dentist replied in a polite but firm manner. He clearly explained their policy on late arrivals and pointed out it wasn’t the clinic’s fault for the delays. They also apologized for the mistake they did make and didn’t offer any excuses for it. Sometimes a reviewer will come back to your practice and update the review to show the situation has been resolved. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

In this case, the reviewer didn’t go back or update the review. However, potential clients can see the response and judge the clinic fairly.