Types of Negative Patient Reviews and How to Handle Them

Types of Negative Patient Reviews and How to Handle Them

Every day, you attend to numerous patients. Unluckily, you are unable to please every patient visiting your practice. The unpleasant experience might make them post a negative review of your practice on social media platforms or review platforms. But these negative reviews can help you improve your practice and manage your online reputation.

First, let’s understand how these can benefit you and then how to handle them.

Authenticity of practice

Having only positive reviews tends to sound fake for most searchers and reviewers. An individual wants to see both positive and negative sides of a practice, so not finding any negative comments might make the searcher feel skeptical.

Grow your practice

Criticism generally turns out to be a lesson for most of us. Via negative reviews, patients offer you free advice on the betterment of your services. This is like collecting feedback from patient surveys. Patient dissatisfaction can be caused by anything, whether it is information displayed on the website, behavior of a staff member or interaction with the physician. Small improvements can offer great results.

A negative review might be about your service or it could just be review spam. You first need to identify the type of negative review and handle it accordingly.

Never-pleased patients

There are some people who cannot ever be pleased. Irrespective of the quality of care you offer, you can’t satisfy this group of patients. Although ignoring negative comments is a bad idea for your online reputation, for such reviewers you have no other option. They won’t agree with your justifications and will instead heat up the conversation. So it’s better to focus on your other activities and leave these comments alone. Don’t let them hinder your efforts and motivation.

Dissatisfaction with practice strategy

You might receive comments from people who aren’t your target audience. To identify this, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your real prospects. Here, it is necessary for you to identify your target audience and pay closer attention to their comments because they are the ones you want to attract to grow your business. But it’s good for your practice to get reviews from numerous people, so explain your mission and vision to those with negative reviews of your practice’s strategy. Then you can suggest to them a service more relevant to their needs.

Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.

Fake reviewer

At times you will receive negative comments from an anonymous person. Check his/her concern. Confirm with your staff if the disappointment stated is from your practice’s end. If not, clarify the situation. You might even find negative comments that have been posted by a competitor or an ex-employee who has a grudge or argument with you. After a thorough analysis of such a comment, contact the review platform and kindly request that the review spam be removed.

Dissatisfaction with service

In some cases, a patient has had a bad experience while visiting your practice and may be dissatisfied with the treatment or facilities. Instead of feeling demotivated, reply to them in a polite way. Clarify the issue for them and assure them of improvement. Then take the conversation offline.

Rough critics

This segment of people may or may not be your existing patients or potential ones. But such reviews are very helpful for your practice. They highlight a real problem with your product/service that you have missed during the testing phase, and on analyzing the issue can end up helping you create a better product/service. Take such discussion offline and contact the reviewer for a better understanding of his/her concern.


There might be times when a disappointed customer will post a negative review on your social media page and others will add to the troll. If the complaint is regarding a bill or other legitimate reason, apologize in a calm manner and try to drop an individual message to the person. If their concerns are met, they will likely turn their negative review into a positive one.

Some quick tips

  • Don’t get terrified or panicked over negative reviews.
  • Don’t take negative comments as an end to your practice but as a chance for improvement.
  • Don’t reply abruptly. Take a few minutes and then return to the comment.
  • Don’t hesitate to accept your mistake and assure your patients of improvement.

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