10 Reasons Your Patients are Complaining Publicly, Part 2

10 Reasons Your Patients are Complaining Publicly, Part 2

I’ll continue the list of the top 10 complaints people have with their dentist as compiled by the folks at Dental Anywhere. If any of these, or the five listed in the previous post, apply to your practice, you’ve got some changes to make.

  1. No call backs.

This is a big no-no. Thirty-nine percent of those people who complained on Yelp did so because the dentist office never called them following initial contact.

Wait, what?

Sure, a smaller percentage of these people probably left bad contact info or weren’t clear on what they were looking for. But 39 percent? That’s ridiculously high. There simply is no excuse for this.

Again, this would be frustrating for the dentist who can’t create staying, paying, and referring patients out of unreturned phone calls.

  1. Work that had to be redone.

Thirty-nine percent of negative reviews dealt with procedures that had to be redone either by the original dentist or a new dentist. Adding insult to injury, most of the reviewers had to pay for the correction.

This is bad. Really, really bad. After all, this is what the dentist is there to do. Nobody wants to go to a dentist who won’t solve their problem but still charges them.

Now, of course not all this is the dentists’ fault. Some of these patients were likely nitpickers. Others may not have been happy with the results relative to the price. But the public never hears or considers those reasons. They are left to believe that the reviewed dentist simply did a bad job.

This is one of the places where having an overwhelming number of positive reviews is your saving grace. We work with our clients to boost their numbers of good reviews to help offset any negative ones.

  1. Patients were billed incorrectly.

Forty-two percent of negative Yelp reviews were caused by bills for procedures covered by insurance, bills for incomplete procedures and being billed a different price than they were quoted.

Again, this is out of your hands. This is an internal communication issue between you and your office staff.

Despite a large percentage of complaints, this probably isn’t a make-or-break problem for most potential patients if they saw this among your reviews.

Not like the number 1 and 2 reasons.

  1. Long wait time.

Forty-two percent of negative Yelp reviews complained of waiting an hour or more. This is a practice-management issue that you have to work out with your staff. Are they scheduling you too frequently? Are you underestimating how long consults and procedures will take?

It is up to you and your office staff to resolve why you have some many patients waiting so long. If you don’t it will resolve itself when patients get fed up and stop coming.

  1. Diagnosed with unnecessary treatment.

Fifty-five percent of Yelp complaints said a second opinion disputed the need for an extensive treatment suggested by the original dentist.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: any dentist who would unethically suggest a procedure that a patient doesn’t need gets what he deserves by way of negative Yelp reviews.

Now, let’s talk about what happens when these are unfair reviews. More than likely, most of these were simply a difference of opinion between two well-meaning dentists. But again, the perception in the community is that the reviewed dentist was doing something unethical.

Here is another example of why having an overwhelming number of positive reviews is important. You cannot respond to every negative review, nor should you, with facts about each patient. You have to let your satisfied patients defend you.




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About the author
Colin Receveur is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and dental web marketing expert who has pioneered the way dentists market themselves online for the past decade. Since incorporating in 2001, Colin has established a rock solid track record with his dentist clients and turned SmartBox into a stalwart of proven results for hundreds of dental practices.