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Remedying a Bad Review – A Case Study

Dovetail - Client Reviews blog

No business likes getting a bad review. However, negative reviews are inevitable as no business is going to get everything right all the time. As a dentist, you pride yourself on providing the best services for patients. But sooner or later, you will get a one star or two star review.

As a practice owner, reading a bad review can hurt. You might feel angry and defensive. The important thing to remember is not to take the reviews personally. You should never respond to reviewers when you are angry or in a bad mood. All your interactions with clients – whether it is positive or negative – happen in public. Always be polite and professional when responding to reviewers.

Case Study – Example of a Bad Review

A family owned dental practice received the following two star review from a dissatisfied client.

“I brought my eight-year-old daughter for her appointment last week. The waiting room was crowded and the staff didn’t seem to know what they were doing. No one bothered to answer my questions about the paperwork and we had to wait 90 minutes before the dentist could see her!

The dentist and hygienist were great with my daughter. They talked to her throughout the process and made her feel comfortable. But the waiting time and attitude of the front desk employees is unacceptable. I was late picking up my son from school because of this incident. I don’t think we will come back after the experience we had. XYZ”

The Practice Owner’s Response


Thank you for taking the time to leave a review for us. Our incredible team of highly trained doctors takes great pride in delivering the best dental services for our patients.

I apologize for the long wait times you experienced. I assure you that it is not normal for our clinic. We had a glitch with our scheduling software earlier in the week which messed up our appointment book. Our front desk staff were trying to do the best they can without that information. We have since resolved the issue and patients won’t have such delays in the future.

I realize it doesn’t make up for what happened but I would like to offer a discount on your next visit to our practice. Please contact us at xxx-xxxx to get your coupon and schedule an appointment. I hope to will see you soon and we will do a better job next time!


How to Resolve a Bad Review

As a leader, you should delegate tasks to others. But responding to bad reviews is something you might want to do yourself. A practice owner apologizing for the mistake has a greater impact than a random employee. That’s exactly what happened here.

The owner thanked the reviewer for the positives and apologized for the mistakes. They offered an explanation for what happened without getting defensive. The customer was assured that the problem was fixed and an invitation to come back with a coupon thrown in. The final sentence shows that the practice is determined to do a better job in the future.

In this particular case, the patient did reach out to the practice and came back for another visit. She was so impressed with her experience that she updated her review to reflect it. This is possibly the best outcome of a bad review for any clinic. Others who read the review will see that the practice cares about the patient experience and is ready to fix their mistakes, if any.

You can’t expect your clinic to never get a negative review. But how you handle it will determine if you have lost a customer or gained a loyal client for the future.