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February 2019

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Practice Marketing

Reputation Marketing for Dental Practices: What You Need to Know

When it comes to marketing your dental practice online, your reputation is key. When current or potential patients Google your name, your practice will appear with a certain amount of stars next to it based on your overall patient reviews. A positive star rating is a green flag – it reassures current patients that they already have the best dentist around and encourages potential patients to contact your practice to learn more. However no reviews, or a less than 3-star rating could be a red flag and signal to current patients they may want to look elsewhere for a dentist, and may steer potential new patients away.

So, how can you take control of your dental practice’s online reputation? Read on.

Claim Your Dental Practice’s Business Listings

The first thing you can do is claim your dental practice’s listings on third-party review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Healthgrades. You’ll want to ensure all profiles are completed and optimized with accurate information about your hours, phone number, address, and any other details that can give potential patients a high-level overview about your practice and the services you provide.

Generate More Positive Patient Reviews

The best way to get more positive patient reviews? Ask! Here are a few of our favorite ways to get more reviews online:

  • Follow up with patients via email after their appointment. Not only will the patient appreciate the additional attention and outreach, but it’s a great way to ask if they were pleased with their appointment. If and when they say “yes!” ask if they’d be willing to help you by providing a review for you online. Make sure to include a link to the exact review site that you’d like to have a review left on to make it easier for the patient.
  • Train office staff. As patients leave your practice, train your office staff to ask how their visit was. This way, if they were disappointed with how something went, your office can address the issue right then and there (versus hearing a complaint posted online). And, if the experience was positive, they can quickly follow up with a request to leave a positive review online.
  • Include a link in your signature line. By including something simple like “Enjoying our services? Your feedback is important to us! Please leave us a positive review here.”, in your signature line, you can encourage reviews throughout the day as you email with patients.
  • Add signage in your office. Let patients know you want positive reviews by having signs in your office that politely asks patients to leave a review online. Sometimes you just need to get it on a patient’s radar to leave a review and they will happily oblige!

How Dentists Should Respond to Negative Reviews

If and when you receive a dreaded negative review, the first thing to remember is to always remain calm, even if there’s no truth or validity to it. Take 24 hours if you need to, but make sure to respond within 48 to 72 hours so other viewers can see that you’re actively monitoring online reviews.

Remember, getting a negative review online isn’t the end of the world – most people if they see a genuine and professional response, will understand that things can happen. The most important things you can do are:

  1. Apologize to the reviewer and let them feel heard. Let them know this isn’t a customary experience and you want to make sure that you work toward a successful resolution.
  2. Take it offline as soon as possible. Let the reviewer know that you’ll be reaching out via phone to resolve the matter. This avoids any back-and-forth.
  3. Let them know that their feedback is important and you will strive to ensure it never happens again.

No matter your true feelings, make sure to never place blame publicly, humiliate, swear, or stoop to any level less than a professional response.

Should Dentists Respond to Positive Reviews?

Absolutely! A simple “Thank you so much for your kind feedback!” is always a gracious way to show appreciation for someone taking the time to leave a review about your practice. Plus, it shows that you actively monitor what people are saying about your practice and may prevent someone from leaving a negative review if they know you’ll respond.

Take Control of Your Online Reputation

Want to learn more about ProSites and how we help dental practices monitor their online reputation? Call us at (888) 932-3644 or visit www.ProSites.com. You can also download the Reputation Marketing Toolkit which includes a whitepaper, infographic, and 4 printable signs to encourage online patient reviews today!

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Practice Marketing

25 Things Patients Really Want from Their Dentist

In today’s highly-competitive dental market, standing out from other dental offices is key. We searched the Internet, social forums, asked our peers, and used our own personal experiences to list the top 25 things patients really want from their dentist to help you succeed with a flawless dental marketing strategy.

Patients want their dentists to…

1. Be honest about insurance accepted

It may seem like a no-brainer, but this is a top consideration for patients. The easier your dental office can make things, the better – so list the various insurances you accept on your dental website, talk to patients on the phone about their insurance while making an appointment, and help them get an accurate quote for dental treatment.

2. Offer financing options

A lot of patients want to invest in their oral health but aren’t financially in a spot to pay a lot upfront. If you work with a provider like CareCredit, make it known on your dental website and help patients understand what the steps look like to get approved for financial options. Learn how to simplify patient payments for your dental practice

3. Provide flexible dentist appointments

It may not be the dental marketing strategy you were hoping for, but it could make a difference of a patient choosing your dental practice over another. Find out what hours work best for your patients and do what you can to accommodate; even if this means doing weekends or after hours. Be the dentist that is available 24/7 and easily attract new patients!

4. Offer same-day dentist appointments

If you have a last-minute cancellation from a patient and want to fill the spot, look into using an automated patient communications provider like PracticeMojo where you can send a text to specific groups of patients to let them know you have an opening. Someone who may be scheduled to come in a week or two out may find the last-minute opening a bit more convenient, allowing you to quickly re-arrange and fill any gaps in your schedule.

5. Have excellent online reviews

Potential patients aren’t the only ones looking at your reviews. Current patients will see them too! If they see that you aren’t rated that well on Google or Facebook,  it may make them question their own loyalty to your dental office. Make sure your dental marketing strategy is focused towards generating positive reviews and ask happy patients to share their experience online too! Discover how Prosites can help you with your Social Media Management

6. Respond to online reviews

If a loyal patient takes time to write a positive review, be sure to thank them for their kind words. You don’t have to go over board, but a simple dental marketing practice like this one will gain you more followers. Just send them a note thanking them for their kind online feedback can go a long way! Learn the value of online reviews for dentists.

7. Send appointment reminders

Whether it’s via email, text message, or phone call – make sure to keep your no-show rate low and profitability high with effective patient appointment reminders. Find a provider that can give you flexibility in how you contact patients and the frequency in which you send a reminder before an upcoming appointment for an ideal customer experience. Learn more about how to automate your patient communications with Prosites.

8. Send Newsletters with tips and recommendations

To stay top-of-mind throughout the year, go above and beyond by providing patients helpful recommendations for their dental health. A quarterly or monthly eNewsletter with tips and tricks on how to minimize grinding, teeth stains, and how to keep healthy gums is a great way to build long-term relationships with patients. Learn more about other patient communication methods.

9. Provide incentives for patient referrals

It’s a HUGE compliment if a patient sends their friend and/or family member to your dental practice, and a little token of appreciation can make all the difference! Give patients a small gift card to Starbucks or a dental kit as a way of thanking them for their support.

10. Offer a personalized patient experience

When a patient comes into your dental office, have a sign in their room that says “Welcome, {patient name}” and a small gift-bag with sample size floss and toothpaste to take home. This little extra piece of personalization can mean a lot to a patient and shows that your dental practice goes the extra mile to make patients feel comfortable.

11. Delight patient with appreciation days

Consider holding a day once a month a “surprise patient appreciation day” where you give all patients that day an extra gift; maybe a full-size toothpaste or mouthwash.

12. Have friendly staff

Again, one that seems like a no-brainer, but must be mentioned! Going to the dentist can be a feared experience for many, so the more gentle, personable, and friendly your front-staff can be, the better! Use video marketing as a strategy to highlight your friendly staff and beautiful office so patients feel welcome. 

13. Send follow-up emails with dental treatment plans

A lot of patients won’t remember exactly what was discussed at their appointment, so a friendly follow-up email that recaps everything you discussed can be very helpful in ensuring patients follow-through with their dental treatment. Keep communicating with your patients on a regular basis!

14. Create online forms

Gone are the days where people have a printer easily accessible and remember to bring in their forms before their first appointment. Instead, have a patient portal on your dental website where patients can fill forms out and submit them online before their appointment. Discover how to streamline Patient Onboarding with Prosites Online Forms that are tailored to your dental practice.

15. Run on-time

Everyone has a busy schedule, and no one likes to wait. If you’re running behind, call patients that are scheduled in the day and let them know you’re running ~X minutes behind schedule. Or, make a policy that if a patient is X minutes late, then you’ll need to reschedule. It’s important to be flexible while keeping other patients in mind.

16. Explain procedures to patients 

The more you can describe what a patient is about to experience before a dental procedure, the more at ease they’ll feel with you.

17. Have good entertainment in the waiting area

Yes, most people in your waiting room may probably be on their cell phone. But, for the rare instances, having a few magazines, a TV or a kids room may be a fun change of pace for patients.

18. Build a mobile-friendly website

Most of your website traffic is probably coming from a mobile-device, so make sure the user experience is flawless. This means fast load times, thumb-friendly buttons, and easy to navigate. Learn how Prosites will help you deliver the best website experience to your patients

19. Be confident. You are the expert!

Speak from a place of authority. You’re the dentist so your advice should be clear, easy-to-understand, assertive, yet approachable.

20. Thoughtfully answer any dental questions

While it’s more than easy to be in a rush, make sure your schedule isn’t so packed that patients feel like they don’t have time to ask their dentist any questions. You want to make sure patients are at ease and feel like you care!

21. Build a powerful medical website

Many patients will visit your dental website to learn more about a procedure, so make sure your medical website has enough details on it! Look for a dental marketing company that provides a gorgeous web design with pre-written and/or customizable content so you can easily showcase the plethora of services that you offer. Discover Prosites Dental Website Design Portfolio

22. Provide the best customer service

Whether a patient reaches out on your social media page, leaves a review, sends an email through your medical website, or leaves a voicemail, make sure that your dental office is monitoring all customer contact points to ensure no leads fall through the cracks.

23. Keep contact information up-to-date

One that may seem obvious – but a small miss of changing a phone number or updating an address on your dental website can cause a lot of confusion and frustration among patients.

24. Branding is key!

As technology and automation advance, as do a patient’s expectations of brands and businesses remembering the small things – like their birthday. As a dentist, you should send a postcard, write an email, or provide a simple text message with a birthday greeting with a small incentive. But always remember, branding is key! Discover a wide range of practice dental marketing materials, designed to match your company identity. 

25. Gain patients trust & loyalty

Patients are loyal when they feel their trusted dentist truly cares about them and their dental health and puts their needs first. The more you can continue to create great experiences – before, during, and after – the patient’s appointment, the greater their loyalty will be to your dental office. Learn more about patient loyalty and retention!

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