Negative reviews can happen to even the best dentists. But how do you bounce back? Learn from coach Miranda Beeson in 3 simple ways. And get the best practices way to get great reviews too. To learn how, listen to Episode 654 of The Best Practices Show!
Links Mentioned in This Episode:
Send Kirk an email [email protected]
Negative reviews can be a gift.
Step 1: You do need to respond to the negative review.
Use your core values and take it offline.
Step 2: Don’t feed the fire.
Many one star reviews is a core values issue.
Step 3: Encourage more positive reviews.
The more you lean into core values, the less issues you have.
If you’re struggling, it isn’t the review itself.
“We know as practice owners, that consumers are looking to reviews when making a purchasing decision. So when we’re looking at the buying cycle. Looking at consideration. There is an awareness I need a new dentist. I’m going to go look online and as you’re pursuing, which is really what most people do now adays, you’re going to look at the reviews. And we know that, so if we get a bad one we panic. It is very much a part of the consumer buying process. It’s who we are now. It’s in our hand, it’s in our pocket, all day, every day. So our reputation is really on the line. So those feelings are valid that you have when you get a negative review. It’s just what we do with them and how we respond to them that matters.” (2:34—3:21)
“This can be a gift. This can be a time to reflect on your asking for reviews system. This can help you stop and reflect on what are we really doing with that patient experience in the practice. Because patient experience is the most important thing to patients when they’re choosing a dentist. Yes insurance…do you take my insurance…but we know, under neath all of those superficial questions that patients ask, it’s really “how are you going to make me feel?” “What is this experience going to be like when I’m in the office?” So when you get a negative review – we know sometimes they’re real and sometimes they’re bogus – but when they’re real there is a validity in us taking it as an opportunity to reflect on what type of patient experience we are providing and what type of consistency there is to that. Maybe we are delivering a really excellent patient experience 90% of the time, but if 10% of the time we aren’t and that’s showing up online that can affect our reputation.” (4:15—5:16)
“Step 1: You do need to respond to the review. We don’t want to leave that sad, little pitiful one star review with someone ranting. Whether real or not, we don’t want to leave it unanswered. Because that’s going to speak a story to your potential, new clients. If they’re seeing that review and the only side of the story that they’re then able to see is that review….and we should respond promptly ” (5:43—6:25)
“How do we respond? The best thing to do…is to offer an apology. Show some empathy and concern…something that acknowledges “oh my goodness. I’m so sorry that you had a negative experience.” And make sure to include your core values as a practice.” (6:28—6:52)
“You’re only going to want to take that so far online. The next step is providing a solution….You’re going to offer a path to resolution. And generally that should be “please give us a call or email me at this.” Something that gives them the call to action. That you’re willing to step up and hear them further…but we’re not going to do it on google. This is not the place for that.” (8:55—10:32)
“That’s really step #2. Don’t feed the fire. So try not to take is personally. That’s easy to say…if you do get a negative review and they’re speaking to you or about your practice you give your heart and soul to…it’s hard not to take that personally. Take a deep breath and find some level of calm before you reply. It’s really really important to respond promptly but it’s much more important to take the time to calmly respond so we are not feeding the fire.” (11:22—12:13)
“Don’t respond in a debate fashion. You will look negative in the eye of anyone reading that review if you also start going down that path of negativity. So no personal accusations, no patient information…We can’t please everyone and there are some people out there that are not going to own their own crazy and it’s going to show up. And what we do and how we respond is…that’s the only thing we have control over.” (16:21—17:04)
“The more you have great core values that you believe in, that you reinforce with your team, you just find you have less problems. And the reason I say that is if you’re regularly getting one star reviews, that’s not reviews, that’s a core values issue. Because the more and more people you have in your chair, in which their values line up with yours…you’re going to find they give you discretion. They’ll give you a little bit of leeway. They’ll let you screw up. They’ll still love you. People that don’t line up with the same values, they’re going to be quick to tell you this isn’t working for me” (17:43—18:23)
“Step #3: Encourage more positive reviews…We want to try to drown out that negative review with as many positives as possible. What data has shown us is that over 60% of people are willing to leave a review if you ask them to. If you don’t have a system within your practice already, just from a sheer marketing perspective of asking for reviews…you can get one in place. And how do we talk to patients about asking for reviews? What patients are we going to ask for reviews? Do we talk about it at huddle and pinpoint them in the morning? Are there certain key phrases that a patient says throughout their experience that cue you to say “Thank you so much for that. Would you mind sharing that online?” Because what we know is more than half of the people you ask will do that for you because they do care. ” (20:36—21:55)
“Make it easy. If you can have a QR code or now they have digital business cards or something that can go home or a lot of our automated reminder systems can push a review and you can let them know we’re going to send this right to your phone. We want to make it as easy as possible, if they do agree to leave a review. Then that just makes it even easier for them and you can start to drown out that one star negative review ” (24:50—25:16)
“You can have 5 stars, but only 4 reviews. I don’t know how legit; that might just be your team members. So when we’re really looking at this overall, we want that to be as high as possible with as many reviews as possible.” (25:26—25:40)
“You need somebody to respond to those 4 and 5 star reviews and validating and showing that we have a personal connection with our patients here in this office.” (27:36—27:43)
“Step #1, you’ve got to confirm if that reviewer is an imposter or a patient or not. We need to know the truth behind is this someone we actually did service who is upset or is this just a complete fake…You want to attempt to have that removed, once you have confirmed that is it, in fact, not a true patient. Can you request to have them removed. The process is a little bit different depending on where they posted the review…but to be honest you’re probably not going to be able to have it removed. But it’s worth taking the steps to attempt to have it removed…Follow those same steps. Respond promptly, try to calm yourself down first, try not to have an argumentative tone, but positive, offer a solution and you can indicate in there ‘give us a call, we’re having a hard time finding your record or something of that nature that vaguely indicates that we’re not sure you’re a patient here.” (30:13—32:10)
“I have a team, they’re just under 100 and they wanted to hit that 100 review mark. And so they set it as a quarterly goal, as one of the KPIs that they’re tracking on a weekly basis. They’re asking for reviews, they created an “asking for reviews system”, and they’re tracking it every single week. And they’re not even halfway through their quarter and they’re already at 98 reviews.” (36:30—36:28)
“Sometimes these are true. And we need to ensure, if there is any truth in the review that we are addressing it within the practice…If we are seeing a little bit of a trend, then we need to stop and reflect and we need to say ‘Is this something that really did happen in the office? Is this an experience that patients really are having when they’re here? Are they being talked to this way? Are we dishing out too many cancellation fees and it’s start to rub people the wrong way?” We need to really reflect on the truth that is there within that review and then address that within the practice. You want to align with your team…align with them on what happened during that experience. What can we do to shift things in a positive way moving forward? And then how are we going to start drowning this out? How can we start asking for reviews? How can we start getting more and more positive. And it might be that we need to change some of these systems within our practice or it might be that we need to initiate an ‘asking for reviews system.’ But we have to stop and look at, typically there is some level of truth in any feedback that we receive …so if it’s there and we can snuff it out then we need to figure out how to address it within the practice. And then ultimately, you just want to be the type of practice that’s represented really well online. And again, all roads lead back to our core values. So if you have really clearly identified core values, you have a team that knows what they are, that lives them day in and day out and you really center what you do and that patient experience around them then you are going to be the type of practice that is reflected outward in those reviews.” (37:34—39:29)
2:34 Can negative reviews be positive?
5:42 Step 1: How to Respond.
8:55 Provide a solution.
11:20 Step 2: Try not to feed the fire.
17:43 The importance of core values.
20:36 Step 3: Encourage more positive reviews.
21:27 How to ask for reviews.
25:25 Why you need more reviews.
29:45 If the review isn’t from a real patient
37:30 Final Takeaways.
Miranda Beeson, MS, BSDH Bio:
Miranda Beeson, MS, BSDH, has over 25 years of clinical dental hygiene, front office, practice administration, and speaking experience. She is enthusiastic about communication and loves helping others find the power that words can bring to their patient interactions and practice dynamics. As a Lead Practice Coach, she is driven to create opportunities to find value in experiences and cultivate new approaches.
Miranda graduated from Old Dominion University, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Chuck, and her children, Trent, Mallory, and Cassidy. Family time is the best time, and is often spent on a golf course, a volleyball court, or spending the day boating at the beach.
Send Miranda an email: [email protected]
Follow Miranda on ACT’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/actdental/