You Got a Negative Online Review — Now What?

Mar 8, 2017 | Marketing

The web has becomes a key place for people to search for audiologists or hearing aids, so online reviews have become equally important. Positive reviews are great; they show potential patients you provide a quality service, and they show search engines that you are a quality business, which in turn helps improve your search rankings.

But what happens if you get a negative review? Is it time to freak out? Call Google to have it removed? Below are a few best practices for handling a negative online review if and when it does happen.

Take Ownership of the Complaint or Issue

Often when someone complains, the initial reaction is to get defensive. This is not the place to do that. It is important to show that you are listening to the issue, that the issue is important to you, and that you are sorry the patient had a problem.

By taking ownership of a complaint, you are showing any potential patient online that you truly care about the service you provide, and that any issues that come up will not fall on deaf ears.

Looking Toward the Future


You owned up to the issue and apologized. Now is the time to describe how things will change at your practice or how you will be sure future patients don’t experience the same problem. Will a procedure change to ensure this doesn’t happen again? You don’t have to describe in specific detail what course you will take to prevent the issue from happening again, but you should provide enough information to show that your practice took this issue to heart and made a change to prevent it.

Fix the Issue With the Reviewer

Offer to fix the reviewer’s complaint or issue. An example of how you could respond might be: “We truly appreciate you letting our team reach out to you to discuss what happened and find a solution.”

Now, you might not know who posted the review, so another way to say this would be, “Providing exceptional service to our patients is our top priority. We would love to speak with you about your experience and find a solution. You can contact me/us directly at 555.555.5555.”

Example Responses to Negative Reviews

negative review response 1

Responding to Online Negative Review Example 1

Additional Tips When Responding to Negative Reviews:

  • Have a few people review your response to the negative review before posting it.
  • Make sure it is not defensive.
  • Keep the response brief.
  • Although you are responding to the reviewer, make sure you are thinking about your future patients. They are most likely to be the ones reading your response.
  • Try to respond to all negative reviews.
  • Respond to the positive reviews as well. Thank them for their business. These are easier to handle.