When it comes to online reviews, dentists have mixed opinions. Some truly understand their importance and want to get more, while others are a bit more hesitant. They view online profiles and reviews as just another channel they need to monitor, while fearing it opens the door for someone to complain publicly.
The truth is, online reviews are only growing in importance. And, simply not having an online profile to avoid getting reviews is no longer an option. Today, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. If your practice doesn’t have online reviews, it will seem a bit suspicious, and could make potential patients think “what do they have to hide?”
The good news is there’s a lot of opportunity to generate positive reviews. Below are the top ways to encourage positive reviews online with your patients:
1. In office, after their appointment. Once a patient is out of the chair and is checking out, train your front staff to ask them how their appointment went before they leave. This way, if anything was disappointing, you may have the opportunity to address and fix it right then and there, and avoid seeing a negative comment online later. Conversely, if the patient said everything went great at the appointment, this is an opportunity for your front staff to say “I’m so glad you had a good experience. Would you be willing to take a few minutes to leave us a review online?” Most patients will happily oblige.
Tip: You want to make it as easy as possible for patients to leave a review. So, if there’s a specific website or business page where you want a patient to leave their review, make that URL known and easy to locate. If it’s a lengthy URL, we recommend shortening it with bitly.com.
2. Follow-up via email after a patient appointment. Sometimes when a patient is leaving your practice, they’re in a rush to get back to work or cross off the next item on their to-do list. Follow-up with your patient via email (within 24 hours of their appointment) to see how they’re feeling and if they have any questions after their appointment. This is a perfect time to also ask them to leave you a review with something like “Thanks so much for visiting us. We want to provide you with the best service possible. Would you be willing to leave us a review online to help other people see what it’s like to work with us?” As noted above, make sure to include links to the website pages where you prefer the review left.
3. Post signage in your waiting room. Post signage in your waiting room that invites patients to leave a review online, with the URLs listed clearly on the sign. Doing so may encourage long-time, loyal patients to use their time in the waiting room to post a positive review before they even have their appointment.
When requesting an online review in your communications, there are a few golden rules that will increase your response rate:
- Let your patient know that you’re asking for a “favor”
- Help your patient understand how you benefit from this favor (i.e. your review will help new patients see what it’s like to come to our practice)
- Make it easy for the patient to get to leave a review
Subscribe to our blog and receive our upcoming blog post this month which will also cover how to respond to positive and negative online reviews. And, if you haven’t already, take advantage of the ProSites Reputation Marketing feature which helps you showcase your positive reviews directly from your website.