Best Practices for Responding to Patient Reviews

According to statistics, that’s the percentage of patients who look to online reviews to evaluate healthcare providers. That means a bad review can easily convince a patient to look elsewhere, while positive reviews can do wonders for bringing in new clientele.

With this in mind, responding to patient reviews should be a top priority for you as a physician or practice manager. Yes, even the positive reviews.

If you’re interested in finding out the best practices for responding to reviews — both negative and positive — then read on.

How to Respond to Negative Patient Reviews

It’s any physician or private practice manager’s nightmare when a poor review pops up on Google. Although it’s impossible to keep every patient happy, by responding to their feedback the right way, you greatly increase the odds of improving the customer’s experience.

When crafting your response to negative reviews, be sure you’re following Google’s review guidelines and keep these key points in mind:

  • Thank them for their feedback. No matter how negative, always thank the patient for taking the time to leave a review. Even if your blood is boiling — pause for a few moments to calm down, then respond professionally.
  • Don’t say sorry or make excuses. Avoid making blanket apologies or trying to come up with a reason that explains the mistake. This is particularly important for avoiding lawsuits.
  • Try to right the perceived wrong. Even if you don’t agree with the patient’s perspective, the fact that you’re trying to make them happy is usually more than enough to reverse a poor review — and make you look good to other people reading the reviews.
  • Offer to move the conversation offline. If the patient would like to discuss the matter further, having them reach out to your practice privately is a great way to resolve their concerns.


The following is an example of what you might say to a patient who has left a negative review about your practice:

Dear [REVIEWER’S NAME],

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Please feel free to reach out to us at [PRACTICE’S NUMBER] if you have any further suggestions or concerns. Your experience is important to us, so we would love it if you’d give us another chance to make things right.

Of course, the situation will vary any time you receive a negative review. However, this template can be used as a general guideline for turning a patient’s negative experience into a positive one.

Replying to Positive Reviews

If a patient complimented you at your practice, would you thank them? Well, the same goes for when a patient writes a great review. Not only will responding to positive reviews help create buzz around your practice, but it will also help you build loyalty with current patients while attracting new ones.

So, how do you respond to a positive review?

Most importantly, make sure you thank the patient and personalize the response by responding to specific points in their review. Below is a great template to follow — be sure to customize it for each patient and put your own spin on it.

Dear [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thank you for taking the time to leave us such a great review. We’re so happy you loved your experience at our practice. Your satisfaction is our number one priority. Thanks again for your kind words and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Final Words

The fact of the matter is, whether positive or negative, online reviews influence how people view your business. The best way to improve your reputation is by taking the time to create thoughtful responses to each review.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had a system to automatically get more online reviews? Then be sure to schedule your free Zingit demo today!

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