This patient review is tricky. How would you respond?

***** Patient Robert reviews his visit to Your Smile Design on Yelp.

“Good: Clean office, professional and friendly receptionist. Easy to get an appointment.

“Bad: I went in for an annual cleaning and had a suspicion that I had a cavity. The first person that reviewed my mouth (a dental assistant, I’m assuming) confirmed that, yes, I had a cavity.

After the cleaning, the doctor came in to chat. She didn’t mention the cavity at all. I asked her about it, she said there was no cavity and that was it; sent me on my way. I didn’t like her breezy attitude — she didn’t confer with the assistant (who was right btw) or seem concerned at all.

I found another dentist who quickly addressed my cavity. Your Smile Design is ok if you’re looking for a doc-in-a-box approach to dental care. But I wouldn’t recommend them for anything significant.

Posted by Patient Robert 8/14/18 

Dr. Elise Fraser from Your Smile Design responded to Patient Robert on 8/16/18 

What would you say to Patient Robert? Here’s Dr. Fraser’s actual response:

“Dear Robert,

Thank you for your review. Feedback like yours certainly helps us continue providing the very best service possible.

While I cannot go into the specifics of your visit due to privacy reasons, having reviewed your x-rays again, along with the other doctors at the practice, I stick to my original clinical assessment that your tooth was not in need of treatment for a cavity at this time.

My approach to dentistry is to exercise professional caution and to only render services that I feel are clinically necessary; I owe that to all of my patients. I am always available and would be happy to discuss the details with you over the phone or in person, at any time.

I enjoyed meeting you and having you as a patient and wish you the best in the future.

Elise Fraser, DDS

Dr. Fraser’s solid, caring reply to Robert is impressive. Now Robert realizes that Dr. Fraser’s assessment was perhaps right, and wonders about that second dentist.

A close look at the Your Smile Design review page on Yelp shows thank you notes from Dr. Fraser to many happy, grateful patients, answers to dental care questions, lots of photos, a short video, and office hours (including extended hours). It’s a setting certain to attract new patients.

Warm notes exchanged between the dentist and pleased patients deter grumpy patients. Robert’s review is the only negative on Your Smile Design and will be pushed down as new reviews are added.

We think Robert will return to Dr. Fraser’s care. Without Dr. Fraser’s reply he could have gone south easily.

To avoid patient problems like these and loss of undeserved patients during your busy day, turn to professionals for help. You can’t control what abusive reviewers say but a savvy pro can put you in the driver’s seat to direct the overall flow of the conversation.

Smile Reports provides online reputation creation and management services for dental practitioners. Questions? Write to jay@smilereports.com. 

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