Ep 55 - Navigating the New Realities of Managing Practice Reviews with Jessie Pressman, Head of Consulting, People + Practice

December 27, 2023

Feedback is the cornerstone of your practice’s professional standing. Both patients and referring doctors actively search for reviews, underscoring the pivotal role that effective review management plays in shaping and maintaining your good reputation. Today, Jessie Pressman, the Head of Consulting at People + Practice, will impart crucial insights into navigating patient reviews. Drawing upon her extensive experience in overseeing the reputations of orthodontists, Jessie will provide proven strategies for addressing negative feedback and offer guidance on responding to positive reviews. And remember, for forward-thinking Orthos, there has never been a better time to be an Orthodontist. It’s the Golden Age, so take advantage of it.


  • How managing a practice’s reputation has changed over the years and ways that you can collect positive feedback
  • Jessie discusses what strategy and approach she has made to the People + Practice Program and gives examples of how her approach has resolved issues
  • What to do and say when you get a negative review and why you never apologize
  • Times you don’t respond to a review and when to report them to Google
  • Tips regarding getting reviews and responding to them


  • (4:13) There are ways to collect positive feedback from your patients. The tip is to ask for a review. When someone is happy, they don’t think of leaving a review. You have to ask by prompting the client for a review
  • (4:53) Google is the search engine where you should spend your time and energy cultivating and responding to reviews. Facebook is no longer the preferred platform to use. Google is King
  • (14:10) There are legal reasons you should never apologize for a patient's bad experience in the office. Be very careful that you do not violate HIPAA laws

Achieving practice growth isn’t as simple as it used to be. But with groundbreaking technology and new communication channels to reach more patients, People + Practice is an orthodontic marketing agency that firmly believes that there’s never been a better time to be in practice. 


What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

(00:00:00) Dr. Leon Klempner: From my experience, um, as an orthodontist, I know that most ortho practices have tons of five star reviews and many of you might be rethinking the significance of managing your reviews. But in today's ever evolving digital landscape, your online reputation impacts how you attract new patients. So our focus today, navigating the new realities of managing your reviews.

(00:00:33) Narrator: The future of orthodontics is evolving and changing every day. But although the way to achieve practice growth has changed, there's never been a better time to be an orthodontist. Let's get into the minds of industry leaders, forward thinking, orthodontists and technology insiders to learn how they see the future of the orthodontic specialty.

Join your host, Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein each month as they bring you insights, tips, and guest interviews (00:01:00) focused on helping you capitalize on the opportunities for practice growth. And now welcome to the golden age of orthodontics with the co founders of people in practice, Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein.

(00:01:15) Dr. Leon Klempner: Welcome to the golden age of orthodontics. Um, Leon Klempner, a retired board certified orthodontist. And as I like to say, when I'm not retired, I'm the director, um, and craniofacial orthodontist at Mount Sinai hospital. Uh, part time faculty at the school of medicine at Harvard. And of course I am the CEO of people in practice.

(00:01:38) Amy Epstein: He's very busy. Um, Amy Epstein, I am the COO of people in practice and we are a digital marketing consultancy for orthodontists. And our job is to help practices use the right tools in the right ways to maximize practice growth. Today, we are thrilled to have on our podcast people in practice is very own Jesse Pressman, who is our head of (00:02:00) consulting, and we are thrilled to have her and she's been working with us for almost a decade now and has 20 years of experience.

Experiencing managing teams and marketing for small businesses. She began her time with us actually as our reputation management specialist, and she continues to innovate on the strategies that we deploy for our clients around the world to build and protect their online reputation. Welcome, Jesse, to the Golden Nature Orthodontics.

Thanks. It's 

(00:02:27) Jessie Pressman: so exciting to be here, . I get to listen all the time, and now I get to be on it, . 

(00:02:33) Dr. Leon Klempner: Well, we're happy. 

(00:02:34) Amy Epstein: Yeah, we're happy to have you. Yeah, we're thrilled to have you on today. 

(00:02:37) Dr. Leon Klempner: Um, so Jesse, I can't believe it's 10 years, but I guess it's 10 years. It's more like 12. Oh my gosh. Um, and we don't look a day older.

So Jesse, um, when we first started, um, working with clients and managing their reputation, we did it. (00:03:00) Certain ways, depending on what was going on, and a lot has changed over the years. So, uh, could you share with our audience a little bit about how we've changed our strategy and 

(00:03:12) Jessie Pressman: why? Absolutely. Um, and you're right.

Things have changed significantly when we first started, or when I first started out working with you. Um, honestly, most of our clients had so many positive things. All of their patients had positive things to say about them. Um. In the past three years, we have all been living through COVID, and it has significantly changed the, the types of feedback and reviews that our clients are receiving.

Um, anxiety levels were super high, patients did not have patience, um, they were nitpicking on everything, and I saw practices who literally had never seen a negative comment come through in like, five, six years we've been working together, all of a sudden start receiving negative comments, two, (00:04:00) three times a month.

Um, so this is concerning for, for practices, you know, the, your reputation online means a lot. Prospective patients are going there. Referring doctors are looking at it. Um, it's your name, it's your name out there. So there has really been a spike in negativity and how we, how we work to combat it. Um, and I can talk a little bit about some of those strategies.

One of them is really hoping to collect private feedback and talk to your patients as much as possible. Um, it's also asking as much as you can. Um, And from as many people as you can. Another strategy that's changed, um, is we used to try to separate all of our reviews. So get reviews on all of the different platforms so that when someone did a Google search under your name, all of these different sites showed up with lots of different reviews.

Um, over the years we have, things have changed. Um, Google is king. We need to focus our time on Google. It's the thing that shows up. Most people are using a Google search engine. Even if you're (00:05:00) using Bing, Google usually often still comes up. People are going there. They're looking at it. It's front and center.

So we have changed from spreading out the love of those reviews to really focusing in on Google. It's also part of an integrated SEO strategy. That's really important for us that people in practice to provide our clients. Building those reviews helps your Google business presence show up. That are online in organic search results, um, and it really presents a strong front for you.

So we're really focusing in only on Google these days. Um, I often get questions, why not Facebook? Um, in the past year, Facebook has downgraded their, the value that they put on reviews. Um, often pages just disappear and clients freak out. Where did all my reviews come? Facebook decided they didn't matter anymore.

It's a lot of hard work that you've put in. Um, I don't think Google is going to do that anytime soon. So we're really focusing in there. Um, but speaking of Facebook and Meta and your socials, something else that's changed in the past few years is that (00:06:00) the, your review takes in a lot of different factors.

It's not just your star rating. It isn't just based off of the number of five star reviews you have. It's also based off of your geographic area, how many other people are there. Um, The density. It's also focused on the socials. If someone comments negatively on a social post, the algorithms pick that up.

So we're keeping an eye on that. For our clients, we monitor their social feeds. If something negative comes up, we hide it, um, so that it's not out front and center. And for that reason, monitoring is just as important as building the reviews. We want to make sure that there's not negativity going out there.

Um, and if there is that we, that we work towards it. 

(00:06:41) Amy Epstein: So it's, you know, it's a related question, but so how does, do those changes in the approach and the strategy to reputation management actually affect the way that, uh, that really you have. Uh, tailored the people in practice program, the reputation management program to to (00:07:00) help clients like what, what changes have been implemented recently?

(00:07:03) Jessie Pressman: Yeah, that's a great question. Um, One of the things, again, coming through COVID is we used to ask in person at the appointment for feedback or for a review. And we would hand patients an iPad and we would tell practices the best way to get someone to leave you a review is to ask them. Give them a personal ask.

They don't want to say no to you. If they're happy, they're going to do it. They need to be asked if they're happy. Happy people don't just leave reviews on their own. They have to be asked. It's the negative people who are like, I'm angry I'm gonna go leave you a review So we used to have that personal ask in the practice now We really recommend hooking into your automated post appointment messages We also recommend asking every single patient Every single time.

Um, I often have practices come to me and say, really, people are going to get annoyed. They get so many text messages every single appointment. And the answer is always yes. A people are used to getting the text (00:08:00) messages. They don't want them. They ignore them. Um, but the people who are having an experience with you, you never know what that experience is going to be on a given day.

And you want to be able to capture that information from them. Um, Additionally, we like to cut through the noise. So we switched from focusing on email as a follow up to text messaging. So we really recommend using SMS whenever possible. 

(00:08:26) Amy Epstein: So you have been managing reputations of orthodontists for a long time.

Um, can you, uh, sort of give an example or a story of a client that you've worked with and how the management of the reputation, you know, resulted in, uh, you know, some sort of improvement or resolution of an issue. 

(00:08:49) Jessie Pressman: Sure, absolutely. Um, there are so many stories over the years, um, from, from people feeling like they were harassed in an office to, (00:09:00) like, these are the big ones that we really need to focus in on, um, to, That person was rude to me at the front desk, and I'm sure, you know, there's all sorts in between.

Um, but one example that happened recently is we had a practice receive a three star review complaining that the parents weren't involved enough in their kid's treatment, um, and the progress reports. They were like, you're telling a 13 year old. It goes in one ear and out the other. I'm the parent. I need to know what's happening with my kid.

I really don't like that. It's not good. Because we had an immediate alert on the practice, our patient cue system sends immediate alerts when something negative comes through. Also when something positive, but we really care about those negative ones because we want to make sure they're addressed. So that alert came through to the practice and they were able to respond really fast with a comprehensive progress report on the patient, a promise to include the parent in upcoming visits by booking the patient's appointments in their private room, making sure that it was quiet atmosphere so they could have a conversation with the parent.

They really honed in on what That that parent was (00:10:00) asking for. They were like, we hear you, we're acknowledging that you are not liking something within our treatment process and we're, we're going to do something to rectify it. That's not always possible, but here it really was. Um, and the patient was so pleased that they offered to take down that negative rating for us.

That's a huge win. Win practice was alerted patients happy. They got what they wanted. Review came down 

(00:10:24) Dr. Leon Klempner: and you know, um, Um, I battled with my staff for years because I knew how important reviews were and. I couldn't get them to consistently ask patients, they were just either embarrassed, they felt they were begging, and we'd have huddles, and we'd have meetings, and we'd have incentives, and nothing really worked.

Um, so, you know, at people in practice, we've developed some software called patient queue, which kind of helps automate. Some of that review process. And as a result, we've been able to catch a lot of (00:11:00) negative sentiment. Um, but every practice is going to get a negative review at some point. It's inevitable.

So tell me, could you share a little bit, uh, about how we would counsel one of our clients when they do get a negative Google review? 

(00:11:19) Jessie Pressman: First thing I do is read through it. And then pick up the phone, because there is always another side to the story. Um, so I want to hear from, from my practice, from my doctors, what actually happened on the ground.

What is their perspective of what's going on? See how it matches. I also recommend, particularly for practices who have not received negativity in the past, I remind them that it happens to everyone. You're right, it's inevitable. Um, And it's really hard not to take it personally, especially for practices where your name is on the practice.

Um, it's really, really hard not to take it personally. You're doing everything you can to ensure a great experience for your patients. And this feels like someone (00:12:00) slapping you in the face. So I really tried to take a step backwards, think through it. There is no blanket response. To be honest, I would love to be like, yes, here's your magic bullet.

Respond to this way every time, but every situation is a little bit different. Um, People are different, how practice is handled, things are a little bit different, um, that said, I would say 99 percent of the time, my first recommendation is to have a conversation offline, pick up the phone, talk to that patient.

They are reaching out and yelling online because they want to be heard. And if they can be heard by the practice that actually frustrated them, so much better than hearing from like the pile on of anybody else. So take it offline, have a conversation and the conversation goes something like, I saw the review, I wanted to make sure that you received a response and I wanted to hear more from you.

This is a chance for me to improve. Please let me, please talk to me about what's going on. Let them feel (00:13:00) heard. You don't even have to solve the issue, but allowing them to feel heard is. Just so important. Um, we often talk about collecting feedback as a way to understand what's happening in the practice.

And I would say 99 percent of the time when someone gets a phone call, a personal phone call from a doctor at the practice, they don't go on to leave a negative review. Um, they, they really did just want to be heard. Um, So that said, we don't always have a great conversation. Sometimes it's fabulous.

Sometimes the person takes down the review, right? Like we just talked about a situation like that. Um, but sometimes that's not the case. Or sometimes you're like, I can't, I can't touch this. I can't do it. And you want to respond online. So if you have to write something, my general guideline is to keep it super simple and try to take it offline.

So, A generalized statement would be, it sounds like there's been a misunderstanding. Please give us a ring at phone number so that we can discuss it further. It (00:14:00) shows any prospective patient or anybody looking at reviews that you care about something negative that's gone up. You care about how you're seen, um, but it takes that conversation again offline.

Now, I do want to note that it's really important not to apologize in that message. It is our gut response. We want to say, I'm so sorry that that happened. Don't do it. Um, It really is like the toughest thing that I deal with with clients. Um, but it can be seen as an admission of liability or guilt. God forbid it came to a court case.

Um, we've seen that. It can be misconstrued that way. Um, and if you haven't listened to the golden age podcast with guest Trey Lawrence, who's the general counsel at AO, I highly recommend it. Um, we were already following many of his guidelines, um, and guidance. Um, and it's really just a, it's a good listen.

It's like the first 20, maybe 15 minutes of, of the episode itself. Um, and he's got some really great pointers on this. 

(00:14:58) Dr. Leon Klempner: It's funny because, uh, I (00:15:00) remember During that podcast, I, you know, I asked him, I says, well, what's wrong with saying that I'm sorry about the way you feel? Right? Because you're not really admitting anything.

And just like Jesse just said, he said, don't do that. You know, in a court of law, I don't know, whatever. So anyway, so, so what I'm hearing from you is. Get it offline, um, and, and, and deal with it on a 1 to 1 basis, but so meanwhile, you have this negative review hanging out there on Google, right? So new patients do see it.

Everybody does see it. Um, do you. Do you ever recommend, do you ever recommend not putting a response or should you always put something in there? I 

(00:15:48) Jessie Pressman: do at times recommend not responding. Um, as I said before, I think it's important to show that you care often. Um, and a response does that. It does take the (00:16:00) conversation offline.

That said, there are some reviews that are bonkers. They're just, they're crazy pants, right? You look at that review and as like a normal person pursuing, perusing the internet, you're like, wow, there's three paragraphs in this. There's capital letters and screaming. The grammar is all over the place. The person is clearly having a rant, um, in cases like that, um, if it is not showing up as relevant in your Google reviews, I often recommend not responding publicly.

And the reason I do that is because if it's not showing up as relevant, there's no reason to give the algorithm any reason to think that it is. You don't want to give it any additional credence, um, or raise it to, to that level of visibility. The other reason is that you don't want to start something with someone who is going to have left that type of review.

There's a good chance they're going to want a back and forth. Um, and you don't want (00:17:00) that. You don't want it online. You don't want it offline. You just don't want to deal with it. Um, So, so there's that. But also, again, anybody who's coming to you, the types of patients that you want to have at your practice are going to look at that, maybe skim it and think that person is bonkers.

Just move on. They're like, okay, that person was having a real bad day. I'm going to go and read the other reviews. Sometimes there's like three star reviews and often or four star. You're my favorite. Four star reviews kill me because they're like, I love this practice so much, but they were running late today.

Four stars. Kills me. Every time. Um, so, you know, in those you can obviously, you know, respond, but in the ones where, where they're really just off the rails, I do recommend not typically responding. Um, the other thing you can do, um, is that. For some of those reviews that are off the walls, or if they are calling out someone specifically, (00:18:00) um, you can flag it.

So you can go through your business manager and flag it to Google and say, I'm reporting this review. Now, this is not a straight shot. Google is, I'm sure, bombarded with lots of companies saying, this review is false, this review is false, this review is false. So don't overuse it. Um, but You do have a shot at getting it removed, um, and some of those rules are they don't like harassment and bullying, so if someone in your practice is called out by name, um, your front desk person, they were so rude, Krista said, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you can flag that as harassment.

Sometimes it'll get taken down more often than not, um, If it's your name, if you're the doctor in the practice, they see that as synonymous with the practice, so that's not really a way to get something taken down. Um, but it's worth a shot if you see it. Um, I also often get, uh, clients coming to me and saying, I don't know this person.

Or, oh, that's actually the practice down the street that has a (00:19:00) similar name. You can flag it as not this business. It's harder to prove, so it doesn't always go through, but it's worth a shot, um, if you do that.

So do you have 

(00:19:13) Amy Epstein: any, you know, just all the things that have changed over the last couple of years, any like pro tips that if you're, if you don't have a system in place or if you don't have a, a marketing agency helping you to manage all this stuff, like what, what kind of pro tips can we offer orthodontists?

(00:19:31) Jessie Pressman: Yeah. Some pro tips. If you are. I mean. First of all, if you're seeing negativity, I do think it's worth finding a system and putting it in place. Obviously, I think that our patient queue system is excellent, um, but there are other systems out there that you can look at. Um, it's really important to make sure they're HIPAA compliant, um, because you are gathering patient data.

Uh, so stay HIPAA compliant. Um, If you can collect feedback as a first round, sort of see what people are saying, do that for a period (00:20:00) of time before you necessarily just start asking for reviews, particularly, like I said, if you're seeing negativity, um, another pro tip, respond to the positive reviews.

People love getting a response from you as a practice. It looks fabulous for prospective patients that are coming and looking at your page. Also, it's great for SEO. Again, we want to make sure that that is integrated into any marketing that we do. Um, and that really helps raise the profile. And then I did just say, but to To double down on it, really watch out for HIPAA violations.

It's not just about how you collect the data, but it's also about how you respond to those reviews, um, really can be tricky. If you're responding to negative reviews, you want to like say, no, you didn't pay that bill. We tried to do that. That's a HIPAA violation. Don't talk about it. Um, we actually try to say super, super safe when we're doing it for our clients, so we don't use names.

We don't use treatment details, we don't use financial details, nothing that can be construed as PHI. It sounds really innocuous, their (00:21:00) name is on the review. Sarah left you a review. Thanks so much Sarah! I'm sure that's fine, but we are just, we want to be super safe, play it super safe, nothing that can be construed as PHI.

Um, so really just watch out for HIPAA violations. I 

(00:21:13) Narrator: mean, 

(00:21:16) Dr. Leon Klempner: that's a really important point because, um, the penalties are huge and, you know, one other thing I would add to that is that if you do get a negative review, uh, it's an emotional trigger and don't respond at that point. Take a breather, wait a day.

Think about it. Uh, you know, if you, if you're dealing with a rep, a rep management company that can help you. Uh, you know, bounce it off of them, but, uh, don't knee jerk react to what's said and then, uh, end up regretting it because once it goes out, it goes out and, um, you (00:22:00) know, the, the, the other thing that I would just add.

As well from my own personal experience is that, you know, when I first started in practice, um, you know, we didn't do anything digitally, so I would do surveys, you know, and I, and they fill it out in the waiting room and then, and I'd get it back and, you know, let's say I'd get a hundred or 200. 190 of the 200 were like, you're great.

We love you. We love you. Love you. And I wouldn't even read the ones that were like five star. I would just like go down, go through them. And when I saw one that gave me criticism, I would stop and I would read it. And. This is the value of collecting the feedback. You're only as good as your last interaction.

That's another thing, you know, people think, well, I've already got feedback at the beginning of treatment. I don't need to get feedback again. Well, you know what? You're only as good as your last interaction. So it's important to learn from it. And, and to me, it's almost, it's the equivalent of (00:23:00) having a quality management system where, where you could take.

What negative feedback you do get, and if there's validity to it, there's validity to it. You know, you need to address it and you have an opportunity to do so. Yeah, so, um, great, great tips. 

(00:23:15) Jessie Pressman: Yeah, and I mean, that just reminded me also of how important it is to ask throughout the treatment process. Um, we have some practices who come to us and they ask, Oh, can we only do it at the consult?

And it braces off. Sure. But as Leon said, every interaction, you're only as good as the last one and you want to make sure that the entire treatment process goes well. 

(00:23:36) Amy Epstein: Absolutely. Well, Jesse, thank you for sharing your tips with us today. We appreciate you being here on our podcast. If any listeners want to ask you any follow up questions, what's the best way that they should 

(00:23:51) Jessie Pressman: They can reach me at Jesse, J E S S I E at pplpractice.

com. I would love to answer any questions, um, help (00:24:00) consult through whether our services are a fit, um, and what types of things we can do for practice, particularly on the reputation front. 

(00:24:09) Amy Epstein: Thanks again, Jesse. You're so welcome. You can subscribe or download other episodes of the golden age of orthodontics on Apple podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, and watch us on YouTube, uh, or wherever you get podcasts.

And if you enjoyed this episode, we'd appreciate you telling a colleague about it. For more information on the marketing and growth consulting that we do, the three of us here right now at people in practice, visit pplpractice. com. 

(00:24:39) Dr. Leon Klempner: Thank you so much for joining us. Um, this episode is sponsored by dental monitoring.

Keep in mind that our target target audience, the moms, um, are digital natives and they respond best to a digital workflow. Um, patients will often comment. Inpatient reviews that they (00:25:00) appreciate the time savings and communication benefits that a product like dental monitoring provides. So if you're considering using dental monitoring in your practice, like to take advantage of a special offer, go to our partners page at pplpractice.com. And remember for forward thinking orthos, it has never.

(00:25:29) Narrator: Thank you for tuning in to The Golden Age of Orthodontics. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or visit our website at thegoldenageoforthodontics. com for direct links to both the audio and video versions of this episode.

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