Reduce management stress by monitoring reviews

Dr. Mehmood Asghar writes about online reviews and how to create a reputable online presence. 

Dr. Mehmood Asghar suggests ways to manage your practice’s reputation

Today successfully managing a dental practice can be daunting and challenging. In addition to providing quality dental services to patients, dentists must think like seasoned strategists and business people to ensure that their practice runs smoothly while being profitable. The 2021 Dentist Well-Being Survey Report by the American Dental Association reports that the percentage of dentists suffering from anxiety and stress at work tripled in 2021 compared to 2003 (5%).1

Unfortunately, dental schools do not teach budding dentists about the upcoming business challenges. And even established dentists are not aware of how to deal with the effects of modern social media. That is why, despite having state-of-the-art equipment and an experienced team, many dentists struggle with day-to-day glitches related to social media.

Today as consumers increasingly rely on social media to buy products and even medical and dental services, the demand for maintaining a good online presence has never been higher. Even with state-of-the-art, fully equipped dental offices, dentists cannot stand out from the rest unless they advertise themselves effectively. One of the factors that should not be overlooked is reputation management.

Your dental practice’s reputation can be leveraged as an effective marketing asset, especially when it comes to “word-of-mouth” marketing. Effective and targeted reputation management strategies can help you increase patient flow and profitability. But first, let us look at why online reputation management is so important.

To understand how managing your business’s reputation can help you, let us look at some data. BrightLocal conducted a survey on the impact of reviews of Google click-through rates.2 It was observed that businesses having overall positive reviews got more clicks than ones with negative reviews. It was also shown that a jump from 3-star to a 5-star rating resulted in 25% more clicks and visits. Interestingly, 56% of the respondents said that positive reviews were what led them to visit a website. So, a reputable online presence makes all the difference between a successful or struggling endodontic practice.

Reputation management — best practices

  1. Encourage your patients to post reviews

In today’s world, your practice’s success is directly proportional to how well-known you are in the online market, and how many 5-star reviews you have. Therefore, it is essential to have as many online reviews — whether on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or Google — as possible. While it is not a good idea to ask your patients directly to post positive reviews, you can encourage them to leave their feedback. For example, when a patient is leaving, one of your front desk staff can say, “Thank you for visiting us. If you liked our services, please don’t forget to provide your valuable feedback on our Facebook page. You can also let us know anything that concerns you, or if you feel there is room for improvement in our services. Have a nice day!”

  1. Check your online reviews regularly

The first step in developing and subsequently maintaining your reputation is keeping a close eye on your online patient reviews. One of your team members must be delegated to check your social media pages, Yelp, and Google reviews regularly and respond to them promptly.

  1. Listen to what your patients are saying

If you are frequently getting a negative review or complaint regarding a specific issue, there must be a reason. While it is easy to simply jump in and reply to a Facebook post or Google review, you must take time to read each post/review and try to understand the underlying issue — especially if it is something unpleasant. It is very important to take steps to resolve the issue and let your patients know that the matter has been taken care of. Patients love it when their voice is heard and their opinion is given weight!

  1. Handle negative reviews professionally

Negative reviews are part of the deal! Even the best-performing businesses like Apple or Amazon also get negative reviews. So, they are nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of — sometimes they may not be based on facts. On the other hand, some negative reviews carry genuine feedback for improvement.

If your Facebook or Google page gets a negative review, analyze the comment first. If it is factual, make sure to thank the customer for his/her opinion, and act upon the advice. On the other hand, if you believe that the comment is unnecessary or incorrect, you can politely set the facts straight. Remember, a nasty confrontation will not get you anywhere!

  1. Set aside your ego

Sometimes proving your point can do more harm than good. Whatever you will say on social media in response to a patient’s comment or negative feedback will be read and scrutinized by hundreds of your followers and patients. So, instead of winning the ego battle or proving someone wrong, look at things from a broader perspective: What is the lifetime value of this patient? How will my words or attitude affect my current and future patients? So, instead of lashing out, simply apologizing to an unreasonable patient can do wonders, and save you from hours of online debate and justifications.

In today’s world, online effective marketing and reputation management for dentists are requirements, not options anymore.3 Remember, patients choose dental practices in their area based on their positive reviews. If you have already been investing in online marketing but to no avail, perhaps it is time to start developing a good reputation management strategy.

Ian McNickle also discusses social media “must-dos” in his article, “What you need to know about online reviews for your practice,” at

Dr. Mehmood Asghar is a dentist, an educator, and a researcher in dental biomaterials. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Dental Biomaterials at the National University of Medical Sciences, Pakistan, in addition to pursuing a PhD in Dental Biomaterials. Apart from his professional activities, Dr. Asghar loves reading, writing, and working out. He is currently writing for Bond Street Dental ( in Toronto, Canada.

  1. Burger D. Dentist Health and Well-Being Survey Report finds dentists struggle with anxiety, discomfort at work. ADA Council on Dental Practice. Published February 22, 2022. Online at: Accessed April 5,2022.
  2. Bonelli S. Impact of Reviews and Ratings on Search Click-Through Rates. Brightlocal. Published April 25, 2017. Accessed April 5, 2022.
  3. Reber M. Shift your practice into high gear by turning your endo marketing upside-down! Endodontic Practice US. 2019;12(2):36.
    practice-into-high-gear-by-turning-your-endo-marketing-upside-down/. Accessed April 5,

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