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Tips for dealing with a negative online review of your practice

Online reviews are becoming more popular and are now becoming a significant part of the decision- making process for many people.

Patient experience is everything!!

The important thing to remember is that a person could make a review on or offline.

Getting the patient experience consistently right is what will make or break your business and determine whether a patient will return and refer.

Negative reviews of your business can be painful, both emotionally and financially. Here’s what to do about them.

See below some ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ to help manage online reviews:


  • Be proactive and act swiftly-investigate the facts and explore both sides of the story

  • Keep calm and put yourself in their shoes-in any situation where you’re feeling attacked or offended, it’s helpful to take a step back and put yourself into your patient’s shoes; most of the time, their behaviour has nothing to do with you.

  • Make contact personally offline- be professional and empathetic. Thank them for their feedback and let them know you appreciate their input. You may be able to persuade them to change their review once they have been heard.

  • Encourage them to contact you-If you can’t get in contact, encourage them to do so.

  • Show you tried to make contact-If you can’t identify the person who left the negative review, leave a comment on the review, encouraging them to contact the office.

  • If possible fix the problem-patient loyalty is key and you could turn even them around to be a fan.

  • Catch it before it leaves the practice-check in with patients before they leave the practice and ask them if there is anything more you can do for them.

  • Learn from it-listen to feedback and act where possible to make improvements.

  • Encourage more positive reviews from raving fans 😊, this also helps to increase your average star rating.


  • Take it personally, try not to get defensive

  • Breach their privacy

Use this as an opportunity to control your reputation and define your brand, in a positive light, by showcasing your willingness to address their issue.

Demonstrate that you listen and care about your patients. You can take this to the next level by proactively asking for feedback for example through an online survey.

If you need support with strategy or execution across any aspect of marketing, Reality Marketing is happy to help and is available as your own Marketing Manager, as you need it.

Contact, or call 0423 361 093.

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