Managing negative google reviews for dental practices

Dental practices are not like other businesses! Social media is promoted as a way for businesses to get a closer relationship with its customers.  Few businesses would have a more intimate relationship with their customers than the dentist. Dentists aim to build a trusting relationship. The ideal is for patients to feel totally comfortable questioning, and confirm, complex and personal treatment requirements. But what we don’t want is to be handling this relationship over a social media platform. Although every business owner must know how the SEO process works about which one can find more information on these seo videos. The process of social media and SEO is only there only to promote the business. Most of the time crooked teeth could be a problem caused by the wisdom teeth that may not be coming out like they should be, they could even cause really bad pain, that’s why you should go to your dentist for a Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery so there aren’t anymore complications with that perfect smile. Now check out Mama’s picks for giving your family a healthy,

Aren’t dentists lucky that we don’t need to say “thanks” to good reviews in cold social media but can thank people in person when they next attend our dental walk in clinic.

How many other businesses are as fortunate as dental practices where we have contact details for negative reviewers. As a general rule, people don’t want to move from dentist to dentist. Patients are looking for a lasting relationship so we really need to recognise our value base.

Dentists should be mindful of the following:

  1. A negative review is not an AHPRA complaint. Management of a negative review is a PR exercise. Dentists need to put away their instinctive focus on informed consent or justification of their own actions, when handling google reviews.
  2. Dentists should, if at all possible, use their surgery records to contact the patient and resolve the issue. Online is the last resort for contact. Ring them. Don’t ask them to ring you.
    Many practices have found that direct contact with the person, via a personal phone call, has resulted in the person removing the negative google review.
    Making contact via social media may prejudice you against the patient removing the negative review.
  3. Don’t write up the Google review management in the patients health records. Use a separate incident report system.
  4. If the patient has felt the need to use social media to complain then you should seriously examine your feedback pathways.
    Did you miss signs the patient was unhappy? Did the patient complain to other staff? Why have they used social media?
  5. If you don’t recognise the reviewer patient, then become an investigator. Check out their other reviews; the locations and dates. What can you discover about them? If you cant work out who it is by the comment or their other reviews then don’t respond but first try to get Google to remove the review by flagging it.

Dentists need to put away their instinctive focus on informed consent or justification of their own actions, when handling google reviews

Handling negative reviews that Google will not remove

No-one likes negative reviews but not all negative reviews are illegal. Genuine reviews by genuine patients will need to be managed by you or your practice. A genuine negative review should be seen as feedback for improvement of your business.
The aim of responding to negative reviews is to get that person to feel differently about you. You are not aiming to change their mind about the reality of the situation or alter their world view to align with your view.

You want to change how that person feels about you.

Managing this review should follow the Starbucks concept if possible:
listen , acknowledge, thank , take action, explain what you are going to do to resolve the issue and improve next time.
Complaint handling is a learned technique in public relations and if you or your staff are not experienced then you should seek help. Most people find role playing and rehersing the potential conversation are very helpful. Basic information on good complaint handling is a training module in Smartdentist. If you try and have a legalistic attitude towards the complainant you may end up with a legal solution! Public relations is a different skill set.

How not to respond online or offline (these are all genuine examples you can find online) 

  1. Tell the patient all the things they have done to be annoying e.g. making numberous phone enquires before the appointment. Your dental friends might be sympathetic but you have lost any new patient prospects.
  2. Tell the patient they agreed with the treatment plan
  3. Tell the patient they agreed with the quote. e.g. you charged $500 and it took you 15 minutes. (Generalised explaination: This patient is not interested in your great productivity gains. Perhaps you should explain it will only take 15 minutes!)
  4. Tell the patient how you value good service. This sounds as if you either treated them differently or are unwilling to listen to their grievance. People don’t want to hear how good you usually are! Other people just think you are arrogant.

Handling negative reviews that Google will remove

If you have a review that fails to meet Google’s policy on what is acceptable then you can ‘flag it’. Definately don’t respond to it. By responding your increase its legitimacy.
Google may take down reviews that are flagged in order to comply with Google policies or legal obligations.
You can flag reviews for Google to remove through your Google My Business listing. Only flag reviews that violate Google’s review policy. Be courteous and be patient. If the review has not been removed after 2 weeks then consider asking for help on the Google My Business forum.
Google’s review policy has the following as inappropiate and therefore subject to removal by google.

  • Spam and fake content – reviews by someone you can prove never attended. An example is a person who gives multiple negative reviews of a surgery that has multiple locations
  • Conflict of interest – negative reviews by current or former employees
  • Off topic – if you get a resturant review you will probably be able to get it removed from your dental practice
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content e.g someone elses copyright material
  • Offensive or sexually explict
  • Dangerous and derogatory
  • Impersonation

Understand the Australian legal situation:
According to ACCC, businesses and review platforms that DO NOT remove reviews that they know to be fake risk breaching the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Reviews can be considered misleading if they are represented as impartial but were written by:

  • the reviewed business
  • a competitor
  • someone who have never used your business
  • someone who has been to your business but has written an inflated review to receive financial or non-financial gain

If you are considering defamation as a response to a bad review – take a break; take a holiday; phone a good friend!


End of month -online marketing and advertising

End-of-month bookkeeping is a way of life for most of us running a dental practice. What about also having an end-of-month reconciliation of your online presence?
Save money, worry and time by checking your own online presence, marketing, advertising, and SEO free with free Google tools. Would that be too hard? No and someone on your staff would love to do this. Don’t they love playing on the internet! If you need assistance with your marketing strategies then try using this google business listing service.
SmartDentist wants to help you do this easily.
Check out our newest policy on SmartDentist
End of month: Online Marketing and advertising
With links and a checklists created by professionals at Undrcut, to help you manage your online presence, this policy helps dental practices to gather together all their online marketing details they need to ensure the practices online presence stays relevant, effective and up-to-date.
Online marketing details?
Did you know Google and Bing provide a range of free tools that are used by SEO and marketers to keep track of your online marketing. Yes – they are free! If you are willing to spend a bit of money for your business then you can contact this seo marketing company.
The policy allows you to gather the details for these in the one place and gives simple lists of tasks to keep your website and social media presence working well. For each of the Google tools you simply need to register. So once you have registered to use these tools you will need somewhere to note where you store your username and password. e.g. these are your online marketing details!
If you have ever wondered or worried after being approached about your inadequate google ranking? Have you had visits from sales people wanting to help boost our Google Local Business listing?
You can pay someone to review these FREE TOOLS and report their finding back to you. You can pay someone to remind you to pay them to add a photo on your Google Local Page listing…or
use this new policy with lists and links and free tools (all together on one page) so you can actually check out what is happening in your online life. The policy also gives you lists of easy tasks to keep your online presence working for you.

Policy task example
Google MyBusiness Task:

  • Add a new photo each month to your Google Local Business listing.
    [ Do your staff all have an iPhone/android phone at work? Why not have a photo competition for your Google Local Business photo needs.]

Do you have a practice facebook page?
Then use this “End of Month” policy to remind you to “share” information into your facebook presence. Need ideas of what to share? The policy includes websites which should provide you with a new share idea each month.

Marketing and My own practice website

Two years ago Google announce that having a https site was a ranking signal

…and we all want to rank well with Google!

While the change doesn’t make that much sense for dental practice sites I decided that I would update my practice website from http to https. (Read about Google search and https)
For localdentist websites, my site is the “crash-test-dummy”.
Along with making my site into a https site I have made “under the boot” SEO changes.
Below are the changes I have just recently made to my site.

  1. https – This is a cost change because of the need to purchase an SSL certificate. This is a yearly extra cost.
  2. Structured data added. See the lowest part of my website with details such as open hours etc. This has been setup with special data coding. Google recommends this coding and may utilise it in page rankings someday. Read more… You wont see the extent of these changes unless you used the developer tools on your web browser and look at the source code of the page.
  3. Facebook share and follow links – allowing practices to easily “share” the monthly website updates into their other social media such as Facebook.
    Recent pages have a facebook share friendly image for excellent presentation.
  4. Increased Search engine friendly links to the extensive range of Localdentist pages. Practices can now just let me know if they want individual pages removed or replaced with their own content.

If you have a “localdentist” websites then these changes will be integrated into your site over time(except https). If you would like to change your site to https like mine please contact me.
For subscribers who do their own website or have a wordpress site I am happy to help or provide training.
SmartDentist users – happy to help with your end of month marketing updates!

Online presence