The online reviews of your dental patients are a critical factor in the profitability of your practice. The more you have, the higher your practice will rank in search engine results, and the higher you rank in search engine results, the more prospective patients will find out about you.
Sounds simple enough. So, what can you do to encourage your current patients to leave you an online review?
Many small businesses take the direct approach. Retail outlets, in particular, are known for this. How many times have you been handed a receipt, with a URL highlighted in yellow? The clerk asks you to visit the site and leave your comments.
For a dental practice, it isn’t that simple, due to the nature of daily operations.
Survey after survey has borne out the importance of positive online reviews. The vast majority of people responding to these surveys acknowledge that positive reviews influence their decision on whether to buy a certain product, eat at a certain restaurant – or visit a particular dental practice.
- Ninety percent read them before visiting a business
- Eighty-eight percent trust them as much as personal recommendations
- Seventy-two percent are more likely to trust a business with positive reviews
But you can’t hand a patient a receipt with yellow highlights on it. Or can you?
Well, maybe not a receipt with yellow highlights. But whenever you finish an appointment, especially with one that has gone well, you can ask the patient to go online and leave a review.
If you don’t care for the direct approach (we don’t) then there are alternatives.
- Followup Email. Send patients a post-apppointment email that asks how their experience was. Include a link to review sites, and ask them for their comments. The key here is to send this email within a day or so of the appointment.
- Make the process easy. Even if it only takes a few minutes, you’re asking patients to take the time to go online and say nice things about you. Keep your post-appointment email short and to the point, and remember to say thank-you!
- Choose wisely. There are tons of review sites out there. The inclincation may be to go straight to Yelp, but don’t forget Google My Business, Healthgrades, Zocdoc, or Dentistry.com.
All of this flows, of course, from the exceptional care you provide. That helps give your patients the incentive they need.
When you ask your patients for reviews, you always run the risk of a patient writing a negative one. Positive reviews are important, but as we have noted elsewhere on this blog, you can benefit from the occasional negative comment.
Too many positive reviews may not seem right. For one thing, nobody’s perfect. For another, if you see nothing but positive reviews it could suggest the numbers are cooked.
Don’t fret the occasional bad review. They’re inevitable.
Does all this sound complicated? ProspectaMarketing is an experienced Internet marketing firm specializing in dental practices. We use the tools of Internet search marketing to help you reach key prospects who are looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.