Online reviews are one of the best ways to convince potential patients to choose your dental practice. In fact, according to results from a survey conducted by DentaVox, 86% of patients checked online reviews before choosing their last dentist (source). In addition, Online Dentist Reviews Survey found that 60% of respondents chose to visit the dental practice in person after reading reviews with positive feedback.
Positive online reviews for dentists are, without a doubt, an essential part of your overall marketing strategy.
In order to begin building a positive online reputation for your dental practice, here are 5 steps to increase online reviews:
1. CREATE A GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE
Your Google Business profile is the house where all your Google reviews live as well as the rest of your business information. While other review platforms are important, Google is arguably the most important review platform on the internet today.
✓ Once your Google Business profile is established, patients can immediately begin leaving reviews of your dental practice!
2. PERSONALLY ASK FOR PATIENT REVIEWS
If you are new to online reviews, one of the best methods is to personally ask your patients to leave your dental office a review. This can be done via email by one of your front desk staff or by the dentist. When sending a personal review request, be sure to include the direct link to your review request form as provided by Google.
Keep your email request short and to the point. Most people understand the value of online reviews and are happy to leave a review for any business where they have received a positive experience. And always remember to thank your patients in advance!
‼ Keep in mind that only patients Google accounts can leave a review on Google, which is why the next point is really important...
3. COLLECT THREE ADDITIONAL ACCOUNTS TO COLLECT REVIEWS
In addition to Google, you should also create a Facebook account, Apple Maps listing and Yelp account. Facebook allows businesses to collect and display reviews as a part of their social media platform, and also provides a natural opportunity to earn organic referrals as reviews are posted both on your account as well as the reviewer’s account. Yelp has a unique value in that Yelp reviews are automatically displayed in Apple Maps alongside your Apple Maps listing.
What if you don’t have an Apple Maps account? Not to worry. Similar to Google, Apple Maps may already have a listing created for your dental practice by sourcing your business information from other databases. The next step is to claim your Apple Maps listing in order to have direct access to your information and to keep it current and accurate. You’ll need an Apple ID to claim your listing, so you may need to create one if you don’t already have one.
+ While not as robust of a platform as Google Business profile, Apple Maps and Siri are still relevant sources of information for many potential patients. So you want to be sure to cover all your bases by having the right accounts set up to receive and display your 5-star reviews.
4. AUTOMATE YOUR REVIEW REQUESTS
Once your accounts are set-up, begin to automate your review requests with the software of your choice. While personal requests are highly effective and generally have a higher completion rate, many dental offices don’t have the staff or time available to dedicate to personal texts or emails asking for reviews. This is why review request automation is so helpful.
Many practice management software's have built-in review request tools similar to automated appointment reminders. Keep in mind that automated review requests are not the same as a reputation management software, which keeps negative feedback in a private dashboard while directing patients with 4 or 5-star feedback to the public review platforms such as Google, Facebook and Yelp. Check with your account manager or administrator to see what features are available to your practice.
✓ At Edify Dental Marketing, we offer a Patient Connect Platform that can easily automate your online review process, book appointments using their phone, send automated appointment reminders, and more!
5. PROVIDE A REVIEW-WORTHY EXPERIENCE
Positive reviews are driven by positive experiences. Dental offices are known for inducing anxiety, so the best possible approach to gaining 5-star reviews is to surprise your patients with a truly comfortable dental visit. Offer online scheduling, registration and intake forms. Set-up email automation and appointment reminders. Coach your front office staff on phone etiquette and in-person greetings. Put your patients first from start to finish. Offer every patient a positive experience and seamless patient journey, and they will become your best advocates!
❝ "The best advertising you can have is a loyal customer (or patient) spreading the word about how incredible your business is."
-Shep Hyken (parenthesis added)