7 Best Dental Marketing Articles on Handling Negative Online Reviews

7 Best Dental Marketing Articles on Handling Negative Online ReviewsDealing with a negative online review can be a nightmare for many dentists because one poorly executed response can hurt years of dental marketing efforts.

It’s important to remember that if you see enough dental patients, eventually you will be the target of someone’s unhappiness directed at you and your dental practice through a negative online review.

It’s just too easy for someone to do, and the better prepared you are on how to handle one, the less likely you are to blow what could be a marketing opportunity.

Yes, negative online reviews can be a dental marketing opportunity.

First, make sure you have set up Google Alerts to alert you when anything is written about your name or your dental practice name online. If you don’t know how to set up a Google Alert, click here for our The Wealthy Dentist article that walks you through setting them up.

It is important to address a negative review just as quickly as you can, but make sure you are responding as if it is NOT directed at you personally. Pretend the review is about another dentist. Disconnect from it emotionally. If you are having trouble calming down,  check out Real Actors Read Yelp videos before you respond.

Second, express your appreciation for the feedback from the reviewer. Make sure you address the complaint directly, “Thank you Mr. Brown for bringing this to my attention. I value the work that is performed at this practice, can you please call our office at XXX-XXX-XXX? Thank you.” Don’t get into details or defend your position, just show that you offered a way for the patient to reach you.

Third, if you are regularly asking satisfied dental patients for testimonials, make sure you make it easy for them to leave positive reviews by having the link to your Yelp page on something you can hand to them when they want to share how much they enjoy your dental practice.

Look at a negative online review as an opportunity to show your practice in a positive light by how you respond.  If you are still not sure how to do this, the Wealthy Dentist has written several articles about dentists and negative online reviews and how to handle them.  We’ve also shared the experiences from other dentists who have been kind enough to share their thoughts with The Wealthy Dentist.

Here are 7 of our most popular articles to help you  —

1. Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews
In customer service it used to be said that an unhappy customer would tell nine to fifteen other people about their negative opinions. Today an unhappy dental patient can influence hundreds of people by leaving a negative review on an online review website, in their Facebook stream or on Google Places. Negative reviews can be painful, but here are ways way to avoid a dental marketing disaster…

2. Dentists: Can Copyright Law Protect You from Negative Online Reviews?
Online dental reviews can be a problem for dentists when negative reviews appear, especially when they feel the review is possibly retaliatory or bogus. A few thousand doctors have taken matters into their own hands by working with a company called Medical Justice, that created a way to use copyright law to go after negative online reviews.  But is asking your patients to sign a contract really the right way to handle online review sites…?…

3. Dentists Beware: Yelp Results Now Showing in Bing Searches
Microsoft reports that the U.S. searchers who use Bing are likely to spend 9% more than the U.S. users who search using Google.  As search continues to be more influenced by social activity on sites like Yelp, Google Plus, YouTube, and Facebook it will be interesting to see if Bing can compete on a larger scale with Google over time.  Can Bing make a comeback and should dentists care…?…

4. Dental Marketing: Negative Online Review Appears as a Facebook Page
Dentists have had little luck in defamation lawsuits when it comes to negative online reviews since the courts tend to look upon unhappy reviews as free speech. In a recent defamation case in California, a dentist has been ordered to pay $80,000 in attorney fees to the parents who posted a negative online review. So how do you combat something like a negative Facebook page  By making sure your dental practice has more than one website…

5. Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative Review
The most costly dental marketing mistake could be threatening to sue your dental patients. As we have reported here on The Wealthy Dentist in the past, dentists have not been successful in court when suing patients directly for their negative online reviews…

6. Dentist Review Websites: Get Used to It
There’s no turning back the clock. A pre-Internet mentality is no longer relevant. Like it or not, online review websites do exist, and they’re only getting more popular. “Litigants have this pre-Internet mentality where they think they can control messages about themselves in public,” remarked Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “But the online community will see this as a slap in the face and retaliate. It blows up in [the litigant’s] face.”…

7. Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend Reputation
The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have experienced a negative online review. 66% of the dentist respondents answered yes to receiving a negative review with half of those experiencing a bad review more than once. 34% said they have not yet received a negative online review.  Dentists offered their experiences in dealing with negative online reviews…

How do you manage your online reputation? Do you have a dental marketing procedure for dealing with a negative review online? Have you had success in turning around a negative review?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.


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