How To “Respond Publicly as Owner” to a Bad Google Places Review

I’m the first person to tell a dentist, if you’re going to use a consumer review service, use Google Places. Sure, you could use Yelp! or Merchant Circle, and I certainly don’t discount the SEO benefits of using multiple services. However, only Google Places allows a dentist to “respond publicly as the owner” to a negative review.

Let’s say you get a Google Alert that your name came up in a new Google Places review. Much to your surprise, the review was bad… really bad. In fact, you were called a quack! You may not even remember seeing the offended party. Perhaps the review is a fake. Regardless, you’re lucky the review was on Google Places and not Yelp! Why? Because you can respond. You have the opportunity to share your side of the story.

Warning: DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL. Instead, use facts, empathy, and kindness in your response.

Here’s a pretend review from a disgruntled individual…

“Dr. Xavier placed a crown on my tooth, but I still have a toothache, and I feel like I was greatly overcharged! When I called to ask about my bill, they wanted me to come in for another appointment! I think Dr. Xavier and his team are money hungry quacks! – In Pain from Dallas, Tx”

Now, if you’re Dr. Xavier, you might want to offer a free root canal without anesthesia. However, as a wise business owner, your response should be factual, empathetic, and kind, like this…

“Dear In Pain, Dr. Xavier here. I’m so sorry that you feel you weren’t treated well. Without getting into the specifics of your case, I must generally say that in my office, excellence is the standard. Crowns are handmade restorations, and there is a chance that yours needs to be adjusted. On the rare occasion this occurs, I do not charge patients for the adjustment visit. If you have questions about my fees, my financial coordinator can help you. I will say, if your crown was cosmetic (porcelain or zirconia), it will have cost more than you might have paid for a metal restoration in the past. I use American-based, high-quality dental labs because I believe that there is great value in solid, reliable, and attractive restorations. However, I happily work with financing companies and accept credit cards so that my patients can receive the dental work they deserve, without straining their budget. Please do not remain in pain. You may call my office to schedule a time for me to examine your crown, but if you don’t call me, seek the care of another dentist whom you trust. No one should live with pain. All the best, Dr. Xavier.”

What would this lengthy response do for you?

  1. Show potential patients that you invested time and thought into a response
  2. Show potential patients that you empathize with all of your patients
  3. Express patience and levelheadedness
  4. Make you look like the “bigger” person
  5. Prove that you’re in the dental industry for the right reasons — to help people

There is little chance that In Pain would return to you for a follow-up visit, so don’t worry about that.

If you need help with reputation management, or if you’d like to step into the online marketing arena, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing today. Our expert copywriters and content managers have the skill and expertise to make you look like a champion on the ‘net!