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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!