Online review sites have dominated the local search results. Nowadays, when someone searches for “Doctors in Generic Neighborhood” they are met with a slew of sites that crowd-source ratings and reviews. This is huge for the dental industry because reviews are one of the largest influences on a potential new patient’s practice choice.
So what does this mean for you? It means you need to start managing your online reputation and building it simultaneously.
Some dentists believe reviews will just happen on their own. This is unfortunately untrue. Only the most enraged (or happiest) patients will post their feelings online, and most people just don’t care enough to express their feelings. People need motivation to post a review online, because it does take a few minutes.
Here’s our fool-proof approach:
1. Survey Patients – Monitor your patients’ feelings by handing out a short survey card after their visit. Ask for their opinion on the level of service, the atmosphere, and anything else relevant to your practice. For your favorite and most-outspoken patients, you can even directly ask them to fill out a review for you before they leave the waiting room.
2. Patient Outreach – This piece of the approach concerns both happy and unhappy patients. For the patients who indicated through their survey card that they strongly approved of your service, reach out to them and offer a small token (free or discounted teeth cleaning, etc.) in exchange for posting a review onto your choice of rating sites.
Don’t worry if you get a significant amount of negative responses, this is actually the first step towards reworking your client relations. (Wouldn’t you rather know about any unhappy patients so you could fix any issues?) Reach out to these patients as well, and instead of asking for a review, just ask them what you could have done better and reassure them you will do everything in your power to remedy the problem in the future.
3. Reputation Management – Monitor your profiles on social media and review websites every month. Make sure to respond to any negative press with a professional, calm demeanor. Do everything in your power to make this patient happy because there are very few ways to remove a poor review.
One additional issue with review sites is that they often have out-dated info. Make sure your phone numbers, address, and website information are correct so that you don’t miss out on any business.
Don’t get caught up in the game of boosting your online reviews without engaging in reputation management. Collecting positive reviews is just one side of the deal — you need to make sure that all your patients are happy or else you’ll lose out on word of mouth referrals. Make a seriously concerted effort to fix any latent problems for patients, past or present.
This overall process will help guarantee that a steady stream of patients flows into your office, but you need to go above and beyond to really beat out the competition.
P.S. Our dental marketing suite can help you with the above — obtaining reviews, and managing your online rep has never been easier. Take a second to check it out. It’s worth it.