People crave convenience in today’s world, particularly when they’re looking for services such a dentist. Often, they’ll search out reviews to help guide them through the final decision-making process.
Having a strong online presence is crucial for any type of business, but when it comes to dental practices, it’s paramount. However, in order to leverage positive patient reviews, you first have to learn how to solicit them. This is where a proactive marketing team can come in handy.
Why Patient Reviews Matter For Your Dental Practice
According to a 2022 Healthcare Trends Report, with over 1,000 consumers surveyed, 72% of consumers read online reviews and ratings to help them decide the healthcare provider they choose to book. Likewise, 72% said they prefer to choose a provider with a four- to five-star rating. Also, DentistryIQ states that around 50% of existing patients would actually leave their current network in favor of having a physician with more favorable online reviews. Positive patient reviews help attract new patients to your practice as they search for a new dentist. They help patients gain confidence and trust in your dental practice.
Reviews also serve as a vital Google Search ranking factor. What this means is they help your dental practice show up organically in Google Search through better search engine optimization (SEO). Positive reviews are seen by Google as evidence of your practice’s authority, expertise, and trust. Therefore, having a sizable number of positive reviews will help your practice show up online when a person is searching for a new dentist.
Online reviews also help improve your Local SEO, so the chances of your practice appearing in the Local Pack results greatly improve. The Local Pack consists of the first three businesses that appear in a prospective patient’s Google search query when they search for dentists in their local town.
How to Solicit Better Patient Reviews
Below are five ways for your dental practice to obtain those four or five-star patient reviews:
1. Provide High-Quality Dental Care
You can’t provide poor service and expect to get positive reviews. From the patient’s initial consultation to the quality of care you provide to customer service, it’s essential to ensure they receive outstanding service at your practice. Continual evaluation of your in-house operations and protocols toward good customer service are key to making sure that you’re providing your patients with the best care possible.
2. Promote Positive Patient Reviews
You’ll also want to incorporate positive patient reviews into your marketing plan. You can include them in:
- Radio ads
- Digital ads
- Social media
- Other marketing channels
Doing this not only motivates patients to share positive reviews, but you can also use the reviews to draw new patients into your practice. Think of positive reviews as a type of word-of-mouth marketing. The more you promote them, the more they can add to your success.
3. Make It Simple
To make it simple for dental patients to leave a positive review, particularly a Google review, you need to provide clear and concise instructions. You also need to give them easy access to your Google review page. Include your Google listing link on your dental practice website and in your email signature to allow patients to find it easily.
You can also generate a QR code that will link to your Google review link listing. You can place this code in your practice reception area or waiting room. You might also want to have an accessible in-house tablet or computer for patients to leave in-person reviews. This makes it simple for patients to leave their feedback quickly.
4. Continue to Remind Patients to Leave Reviews
People are busy and often simply forget to provide reviews. There are several ways you can gently remind patients to leave reviews, including:
- In-office: Put up a sign in your dental office that asks patients to leave a review. Have brochures or handouts available with instructions on how to leave reviews.
- Email: Following patient appointments, send out follow-up emails that thank them for coming in and ask them to leave their review. Include your Google Business listing link in the email.
- Over the phone: When you follow up with your patients on the phone, ask them to take a minute to leave a Google review.
- Text message: After their dental appointments, follow up with patients with a text message with a link to your practice’s Google Business listing link.
- Surveys: If you use a dental practice management software that enables patient surveys, take advantage of this. In your survey, ask your patients if they have left or plan on leaving a review of your service.
When leveraging your Google Business Profile listing, be sure that you’re verified. This way, you’ll have the ability to respond to your patients’ reviews.
5. Keep Your Online Reputation Intact
There are pros and cons to having an online presence. While you might be trying to make all your patients happy, you’ll still find there are times when one isn’t satisfied with your services. When this occurs, they may share a negative review, which could potentially hurt your reputation if you don’t respond accordingly.
This is why it’s essential for you to manage your online reputation. Address all reviews immediately, especially bad reviews, since 53% of customers expect their reviews to be responded to within a week. It’s important that you claim your accounts on Google My Business, Yelp, and Healthgrades. This will allow you to respond to negative reviews quickly and maybe even remove them.
Let Market My Market Help You Get More Positive Reviews
The growth of your dental practice relies on providing exceptional customer experience and collecting positive dental reviews. Having a stellar online presence will allow patients to communicate with you and your dental team to see what makes you stand out from the competition. Positive online patient reviews play a substantial role in how potential new patients view your practice and brand. Without a solid and personable online strategy, including leveraging patient reviews, you could potentially lose patients.