Dentistry is one of those professions where reputation means everything. No matter how good you are as a dentist, if the general public looks at you unfavorably, your new patient numbers are going to suffer. Online reviews are the #1 way your reputation can be either damaged or improved.
Even if negative opinions posted through online reviews are unfounded, your practice’s reputation in your local community could mean the difference between having a successful dental practice and having one that suffers from year to year.
With this in mind, do online reviews really matter? The short answer is YES!
More than 70% of all consumers trust online reviews as much (or more!) than they do personal recommendations.
Nearly 9 out of 10 people will call the dental practice with a 5 star Google review first. New patients want a doctor with this type of online reputation.
Prospective patients trust online reviews when choosing a dentist, so how can you make sure your practice’s reviews are sending the right message? Before we move into how to ask patients for reviews, let’s take a moment to lay the groundwork for success.
Take a look at your dental practice and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a strategy in place to ask patients to give you reviews?
- Are you monitoring your existing reviews on a monthly basis?
- Do you have any negative reviews and if you do, have you responded to them?
Online reviews can be one of the most powerful tools available to attract new patients to your practice. Patient reviews can affect your dental practice in the following ways:
- Reviews actively help you and your staff engage with and understand your patient’s needs.
- Google, Yelp & Facebook reviews improve your practice’s visibility and ranking online in search results.
- Online reviews automatically build trust with potential new patients by using your reputation to actively market your practice online.
This is an example of the reviews that display when you search for this dentist using Google. Dr. Pinsky with State of the Art Dental Group is a client of Firegang Dental Marketing and actively has a 4.6 rating on Google with a total of 44 reviews.
How To Ask Patients For Reviews
If your staff isn’t used to asking patients for reviews, the process might seem awkward. That’s why we’ve provided 4 tips you can use to make it easy for your staff and your patients.
- Only choose 1-2 of your BEST patients each day to ask for a review.
- Create and post a QR code in your office. Patients can scan it with their smartphones to leave a Google review right away.
- Add a review link or button to follow-up emails you send every patient.
- Add a “Review Us” page to your practice’s website.
Learn exactly how you can get patients to leave online reviews in our BRAND NEW guide!
Get Your Online Reviews In Front Of Potential New Patients
Many dental marketing companies are telling you to get reviews on what we call “second tier sites” like Demandforce, Lighthouse and Solutionreach…
This just isn’t the right way to get your reviews seen! Reviews need to be posted where patients are searching for dentists. We like to call these sites “The Big Three”, also known as Google, Yelp & Facebook.
When you look for a reputable business online, what’s your go-to search method? I guarantee your answer isn’t a third-party review site. The same is true for dental practices. People aren’t going to those third-party sites to look for your practice, so why waste time having reviews posted on them?
Your practice’s online review plan doesn’t need to be complicated. All you need are effective ways to ask for reviews, a system in place to monitor your current reviews and respond to any negative reviews in a timely manner.
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Implement Small Changes In Your Practice That Yield Big Results
Starting a new system like monitoring and encouraging online reviews can seem daunting. Below are a few tips we like to give our clients to make it easy to take charge of their online reputation.
- Ask one member of your front office staff to Google the practice every day. If patients leave reviews on Yelp, go ahead and make sure someone checks that site as well. If they see any negative reviews, have them bring it to your attention immediately.
- Set up a Google Alert designed to email a member of your front office staff anytime your dental practice’s name is mentioned online.
- Add a “Review Us” page on your website where you can collect them for potential patients to see. You can use the same page to share instructions on how each patient can easily leave their own review.
Many of our clients have a “Review Us” page on their website that allows patients to easily publish a review on a variety of platforms as well as view other patient reviews. Magic Smiles is a client of Firegang Dental Marketing.
This article was originally posted in Sept. 2016 and has been updated to include the latest information and resources.
P.S. – If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out The Ultimate Guide To Facebook Ads to learn how you can use Facebook to attract new patients!