How to Handle Negative Feedback from Patients?


Have you ever received a bad online review from your patients?

This might have made you sad and even make you worried about your dental practice reputation.
Now, you must be thinking about how you should handle it.

If you are thinking to ignore it, then you should think once again, as even the unfair feedback should be responded. And, deleting the feedback is not a good idea as well, because running away from the problem is not the solution. Plus, most of the online reviews can be deleted only by the reviewer.

Negative feedback is not as bad as you might be thinking. In fact, they are the opportunities in disguise. When you respond to their feedback, they will know that you care and listen to them, while promising them for improvement. This will help you regain their trust. Moreover, when you handle the negative feedback wisely, it can even benefit your dental practice.
Here are some tips for you on how to handle negative feedback from patients effectively:

1. Think before action!

When you go through the negative feedback of your dental practice your first instinct might be to respond instantly. However, this is not the right thing to do.

After reading the feedback, give yourself some time to react or talk to your colleagues about it. The point is you should let that instant feeling to pass out and not reflect it on your comment. Remember, you do not want to start an online shouting match. Be calm and reasonable and respectful while responding.

what's your next step

2. Apology and thank you

Start with a humble apology. You should humbly apologise for any inconvenience they had to encounter. Don’t be defensive while responding, instead of getting defensive or aggressive show concern for your patient professionally.

Moreover, you should remember that the reviewer took his/her time to let you know the problem. Therefore, you should thank your patient for giving their valuable time and providing their opinion.


3. Public or Private

If the customer is talking about your dental practice, then you should respond publicly. This shows others that you are responsible for your work and are taking care of the problems seriously. However, after making the situation just right, take the conversation offline by simply asking them to contact the office or to write detailed complain on your online poll, so that they can get more help.

In contrast to this, if the feedback is about the customer service or the office decorations, then you can deal with it offline. However, you should still offer your help and be polite while dealing offline.

doctor talking on phone

4. Respond from the patient’s perspective

Always try to understand your patient’s perspective. Sometimes, the feedback is more about what your patient went through rather than your dental practice. Hence, respond by understanding your patient’s perspective.

When you respond from their point of view, they will also understand what you are saying and be satisfied with your response. They might even thank you for the solution you offer.

star rating

5. Ask more reviews

Now you see the negative feedback is not so bad, you might even want to encourage it more reviews. In fact, encouraging reviews is one of the effective ways to prepare for the negative review.

97% of Customers Read Online Reviews. – Neil Patel

When you ask your patients for reviews, the chances are high that you get a positive review while the chance of getting a negative review is quite low. Hence, the negative reviews will seem inconsequential in front of all those positive reviews.

Remember, you cannot stop the patients from giving a negative feedback but you can always turn the plate. When you receive to get a bad feedback, always learn from it and try to improve.


At 360° Dental Marketing, we offer a complete online, offline and referral marketing solutions for dental practices.

Note: Through our Done 4U Marketing Solutions, we work exclusively with One Dentist per area.

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