As a dentist, you probably invested a lot to ensure your website is searchable, has a practical design, and differentiates you from your competitors in the market.
Now, the question remains, how can you drive traffic to your business digitally?
For many years, we have looked over many dental offices. The shared feeling amongst all dentists is to deal with the new online consumer decision-making process?
What’s the problem, you might ask?
As a patient, you need a new dentist, perhaps because you recently moved to a new city or new part of town. On the other hand, maybe you just switched jobs and your insurance coverage too, which doesn’t include your last dentist.
You’ll go about finding a new dentist through referrals, friends, and family recommendations. Despite trusting your friends, you still want to do your homework and research a bit further to find the PERFECT dental practice for your needs. Especially if you need a specialized service. The more significant the impact, the more you want to search. Just like 77 percent of the population, you land on a search engine like Google or Yelp to find the ultimate solution for your dental needs.
The scenario I took you through happens regularly in modern dentistry. Consumers have become rapidly dependent on their search engines and on the internet. Google trend shows a considerable shift in the number of searches per month on dentist-related keywords across the east coast, south and south west regions of the United States.
You can see how important it is to be visible on the internet. That means making sure your brand appears on the first page of the search engines and having the correct information at the patient’s convenience so they can easily make their decision.
What are some of such information?
- Your primary goal in patient care
- Cost of service
- Whether or not you provide nutritional counseling
- Procedures that can be done in-house vs. the ones that require a referral
- Degree and License information
- Years of practice
- Dental emergency procedures
- Office hours
Whether or not you participate in regular CE courses
Your approaches towards the patient dental anxiety
Availability of such information will benefit both the patient and your business.
What do you think is the most visible and the number one thing a patient looks at before diving into any of that information? If your answer was the online reviews, you guessed correct!
Online review is the digital-first impression of your dental practice. The patients use the trustworthy reviews of your practice to decide whether or not they should give you a call. Especially if they are engaging in a mobile search. This is why online reputation management (ORM) plays a massive role in your business.
What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Have you tried googling yourself? What do you see?
Businesses and people have an online reputation. Online reputation management helps with taking control over the online conversation.
There are a few ways that you can incorporate a solid online reputation management strategy into your practice. By ensuring that you utilize online reviews, social media, SEO, and reputation management tools, you can leave a positive impression on all your current and future customers and create a way to establish a constant 1:1 communication channel with your online visitors.
For this blog, I’ll be focusing on online reviews.
Want to know how to double your online dental reviews? Then keep reading…
7 Tips to Double Your Dental Practice Reviews
Online reviews can be the most effective sales tool in your arsenal. These reviews can reassure hesitant patients, provide additional context about your business. A patient researching for the practice will be able to relate to the reviews that came from other patients and usually even get an answer for some of their concerns or questions before reaching out to you. It creates social proof for your business.
Tip #1 - Give Your Customers Different Ways to Leave a Review
One thing you don’t want to do is to limit your customer’s access to leaving you a review.
Expand their options and provide them with the ability to leave you a review in any means possible. Whether on the website, on Yelp, Google, or on Facebook.
Don’t expect one way to work for everybody because you’ll be surprised.
This is also very dependent on your business and what works best for you. For example, in some industries and B2B businesses, yelp reviews might not work as well as Google reviews.
Some of the websites you can participate in are:
- Google Local
For your website, make sure your review button is visible and accessible. Perhaps at the top near the navigation bar or on the side as the user is scrolling through. You can even create a dynamic pop-up to ask the user to leave you a review as they exit the page after taking a specific action.
The sky is the limit!
Tip #2 - Ask Your Customers Directly To Leave a Review
It is simple, and it always works. Especially if they are happy with the service.
Customers are happy to provide you with their feedback. For example, sending a “thank you” email after a visit to your customer and asking them to leave a review about your service.
Businesses such as Etsy do that after their purchases, and what they saw was 25% of the purchases yielded in a positive review. Make sure it is open-ended or has a short expiration date to allow customers to come back and leave you a review when they have time.
Tip #3 - Make it Easy for Them to Leave a Review
Their review is front and center to the product page. The cards are large enough for the user to quickly review and interact with them, and the user has an option to scroll through the reviews or click on the reviews to see all of them simultaneously.
The “Write a Review” button is easily accessible and is an easy form to fill out. Remember, for the right user experience, you also do not need a massive form with many fields. Instead, try to only capture what is important.
Note: when creating review forms, create validations to ensure the fields like emails and phone numbers are validated; otherwise, the form can easily be subjected to bot attacks. Again, this is something that the developers can help you set up.
You may also have a direct link from your Google and Yelp review pages on your website so the customers can leave you a review on the search engine.
Tip #4 – Incentivize Your Customers for Writing a Review
Incentivize your customers to leave you a review. Remember, you are not offering a bribe to your customers to leave you a positive review. You have to be very clear about that; otherwise, it is wrong and unethical.
It is simply an incentive for ANY kind of review.
If you are sending an email about this, ensure the incentive is applied to the subject line, so the customer knows about it. Otherwise, the intention might not receive much attention or attract respondents.
Types of Incentives:
Discount/ Credits – provide a service discount or a credit. An example of credit can be a $20 Starbucks gift card.
Charitable Donations – Partnering up with a nonprofit is also a cool way to incentivize the customers. Every time that someone leaves a review, your practice can donate an amount to the charity.
Tip #5 – Follow Up on Your Request
Ask for the reviews more than once. Sometimes the timing of your request is not correct, and therefore the customer might not have the time or attention to provide the company with the correct feedback. Always try to follow up at least once more to receive a review.
Tip #6 – Automate, But the Right Way and the Right Time!
The timing is everything! Getting the right timing when asking someone for a review is different from business to business. First, it is essential to know your customers better. Then, segment them into personas that are relatable and identifiable. Finally, look at each segment and review their behavior.
For example: How would your customer between the ages of 25-35 interact with your brand online than someone in another age range? Take a look at the data gathered from your website, email marketing, and social media. Then, compare them to find the right spot.
Along with that consider, why you are asking for the review. Depending on the intent, the timing might also differ.
Immediately after the service or product purchase is completed is the best time to send the email. Request it while it’s fresh.
However, if the patient requires a long time trying out the product, you might want to wait until enough time has elapsed from the completed time to really check the product effects. If you are having a follow-up call with your patient, you can also let them know that the email will be sent to them for a short review, so they can expect it.
Tip #7 – Utilize the Waiting Period
Another way to ask for a review is when the patient is waiting for their service. Especially if they are a happy returning customer, chances are they will be willing to interact with the idea of giving you a great review.
You can do so by creating a QR code that takes them to your Google or Yelp review profiles. You can also use the same display to have them follow you on social media and leave a review on Facebook for you.
Use Online Reputation Management Software
The software allows you to boost your local SEO, increase social proof, create new lead gen funnels on Google My Business (GMB) and ultimately increase your sales.
Customer Experience has The Final Say!
It doesn’t matter what tactic you incorporate in your practice to gain more online reviews if you don’t first focus on the most important thing, a seamless and compelling experience across all your digital assets. Exceptional user experience and excellent customer service are enough to entice your customers to leave you a nice review.