Did you know that 88% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase? You can find an online review for anything these days—movies, washing machines, and yes, even dentists. Chances are, people are already talking about your practice online, and it’s up to you to be proactive in responding to reviewers and encouraging your patients to leave glowing reviews after their visit. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of online reviews for a dental practice, the most popular online review platforms, and how to build and manage an excellent online reputation.
Here are some surprising facts about online reviews:
Statistics show that these numbers will continue to increase over time, meaning that your practice can no longer afford to neglect to build and manage your online reputation. Whether you like it or not, people are probably already writing about your practice online—you just need to know where to look.
The first and most important reviews that people will see for your practice are in the business section of Google. To find this, do a Google search for your practice, and you should see the "three-pack" of businesses on the first page. From there you can go to your website, find directions, and view reviews. Google reviews are hugely influential as one-third of online reviews will appear here. Other review platforms include HealthSoul, Yelp, Facebook and Rate a Dentist.
Now that we've covered the basics of online reviews, here's what you need to do to build a reliable reputation online. It all starts with doing a search for your practice and learning what people are already saying about your business. Managing your online reputation requires a proactive approach. If you can’t take the time to look at reviews at least once a week, we recommend you consult with a professional to monitor and respond to comments.
People will leave negative reviews even if your business was in the right—this is just part of working in the service industry. The best way to handle a negative review is to respond graciously, apologizing for any of the faults the patient discusses in the review and offer to correct the problem if possible. Prospective customers will positively react when they see a business responding to even the most scathing reviews. You can't delete negative reviews, but the surefire way to avoid receiving negative comments is to provide top-notch service and preventing them in the first place.
Much like you would offer benefits to clients that refer a friend, you should also give rewards for people that leave a positive review of your practice. You can do this in the form of discounts, free teeth-whitening, or dental products. People will respond to this, and it's a quick way to boost your positive feedback online. Hopefully, you've found these tips insightful and you feel empowered to request reviews from your upcoming patients!
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