Reviews are important. Really important.
As George Washington once said: “With public opinion on our side, we can do anything. Without it, nothing.”
Think about it – before you buy something from Amazon, what’s the first thing you check? ….Reviews!
Whilst you’re running your dental practice, your focus is constantly on caring for patients, learning new procedures, and managing the day-to-day operations of your business. Quite rightly.
The last thing you should have to worry about is online dental practice reviews.
Yet unfortunately – you need to start.
Online reviews of your practice are a cornerstone in building your reputation.
Put simply, online reviews tell the world what your current patients think of you.
If your online reviews are positive and people are saying kind things about your practice, that’s great news! Your patients are helping to establish a positive online reputation for your practice.
According to a Zendesk survey, 90% of participants claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decision, and 86% said their decision was influenced by negative reviews.
If your online reviews are negative, quite frankly they can destroy your reputation – and fast. Think about it, you’ve spent all that time and effort getting a prospective patient to discover your practice, to know who you are and trust you, then you lose them at the last hurdle because you don’t have a decent online reputation, or you have a bad one that is not being managed correctly!
This is why it’s so important to not only monitor and manage your online reviews, but collect and showcase the reviews from happy patients, and address negative reviews from unhappy patients (keep reading – we’ll get to this).
By doing this, it builds trust with prospective patients and promotes your practice online.
However, the importance of reviews does not just stop there.
Online reviews are an essential part of increasing your overall dental website ranking on search engines. This is important because the higher your website ranks, the more visitors, i.e. traffic, your website receives.
Now for the best bit – the more traffic your website gets the more people are likely to convert into your patients. More patients = more revenue for your practice! Get it?
Here’s how it works:
Search engines like Google understand the importance of providing its users (your prospective patients) with quality websites.
So, if your website has one hundred 4 and 5 star reviews, search engines take note of your positive online reputation, meaning your website will rank higher on its search pages.
91% of Google’s users don’t go further than the first page of Google, so you need to make sure you’re on it.
So, clearly reviews are important. The big question now is how do you get them?
Keep reading to discover 5 ways to obtain dental practice reviews from your patients.
Believe it or not, many patients will leave you a review if… you just ask for one.
So do it.
Every time you finish an appointment with another happy patient, ask them to go online and leave you a review!
It’s really that easy…
If you’re not asking in person, then design a system that sends your patients a follow up email straight after they’ve left your practice, whilst their experience is still fresh in their minds.
Ask them how their experience was today, and direct them to your review links. Once they click on the links they will be taken to review sites to review your practice.
Here’s an example:
TIP: Have someone from your practice regularly check your review links to ensure they are not broken.
Sounds quite straightforward doesn’t it? It is, so long as you do it at the right time.
There’s nothing worse than checking your inbox to see a review request email from a service you received 3 weeks ago. No, I can’t remember the name of the guy who changed my tyre.
First and foremost, if you expect to get positive dental practice reviews, you have to give your patients the best service possible.
This might sound obvious, but it is what motivates patients to actually take the time to write a review for you.
Until you’ve mastered going above and beyond for your patients, getting quality reviews probably isn’t going to happen.
Sure, you may have everything set up to collect dental practice reviews (we’ll get to that in a minute!) but if your services are just average, your reviews will also probably be average. That’s not enough to make your dental website stand out against your competitors.
Think about the following questions that will help you provide the best experience for your patients…
…you get the gist?
Many patients don’t have the time to stick around after their appointment to leave you a handwritten review – and even if they did, although it looks lovely in your waiting room, a handwritten review guest book does nothing to help your dental website rank online.
That’s why it’s so important for you to take action and sign up your practice to multiple online review sites.
Doing this makes it easy for your patients to go home and review your practice when it’s convenient for them. You also benefit from the online review. It’s a win-win situation.
There’s loads of review sites out there that you can use. Spend 5 minutes researching which ones you think are most relevant to you and your customers.
Here are a few examples of what review pages will look like…
We recommend sending your patients a follow up email asking them to leave you an online review. Make sure the This email contains links to the review sites so they can easily leave a review!.
Want more tips on how to increase your dental site rankings? Download our 21-Point Dental Website Checklist to Increase Website Conversions and Generate More Patients for Your Practice.
It’s very common to have patients that love your practice, but lack the motivation to leave you a review.
I suppose you can’t blame them. Who wants to sit down and write a review after having a root canal procedure?
That’s why it’s important to find ways to motivate your patients to leave you reviews post procedure.
One of the best ways to motivate your patients is to offer them an incentive… Who doesn’t love a freebie?
How generous you want to be here is really up to you (from a free dental check or discount voucher, to a travel sized tooth brushing kit) but, knowing your patients, think of things that are really going to inspire them to leave that all important review.
You may be missing out on receiving reviews simply because your patients don’t have working Internet at home. Or perhaps, they don’t have a computer or tablet?
The easiest way to combat this problem is to offer the technology and assistance necessary to leave reviews to your patients whilst they are still in your practice.
How about setting up a tablet in the waiting room that patients can use in between treatments, or whilst they wait for their appointment?
Even better still, if your time and resources allow, it’s also a good idea to have a staff member available to assist patients that need help navigating the process of leaving a review.
Again, why not offer them an ‘in practice review incentive’? If they leave a review whilst they wait, they receive:
Well, it’s time to put them to work.
Reviews collected on review sites are already hard at work helping your website pop up in search rankings. The more positive reviews you have, the better your website looks online.
Of course, when you have positive reviews, you want to make sure you add them to your website. New patients who visit your site are going to want to know what other patients think of your practice.
We recommend placing them in your header, footer, or in side bars.
Here’s an example of someone who integrated their reviews and star rating into the footer of their website.
Depending on what website platform you use, there are widgets that can help you share your online reviews on your website.
You can also use your reviews as testimonials. To do that, just copy/paste the review with your patient’s name and add it into your dental website.
Check it out…
Collecting dental practice reviews is very important for the success of your dental digital marketing strategy, so don’t forget to do it!
The only downside of regularly asking your patients for reviews is that it may well generate the occasional negative one.
If this happens, don’t panic!
Firstly, we advise that you reach out to the patient that left the negative review and see what you could have done to make their experience better.
Then, doing the following things might help them to consider actually removing the negative review. …
If you can get an unhappy patient to delete their negative review, (despite whether they come back to your practice or not), that’s great. If not, future patients will see your honest and genuine response.
Not sure what else your practice is missing? I encourage you to download our 21-Point Dental Website Checklist to Increase Website Conversions and Generate More Patients for Your Practice.
This checklist will give you a solid overview of what needs to be included in your dental website and digital marketing strategy.