Reviews are more than “nice to have”; they are vital to attracting new, quality patients. According to Capterra, “88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” It is not effective to rely solely on referrals and push reviews to the wayside. Take advantage of these tips and begin constructing positive growth for your dental practice.
1. Start the conversation. Use reciprocity, a concept coined by social scientist Dr. Robert Cialdini in Influence at Work, to your advantage. Reciprocity is the “the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit”. Open the door for reciprocity by following these steps when a patient thanks you or a staff member for great service. (1) Appreciate and acknowledge the compliment. (2) Use this “moment of power” to give the ask. Helping the patient feel comfortable and open when talking with you and your staff is the initial step before receiving amazing reviews.
2. Give the ask. Use the “moment of power” to say, “Your welcome for [service]. We would love for you to leave a review about your experience at [office name] on [preferred review site]. Can you do that? Lucent Spot creates custom review cards to further encourage reviews. See tip 7 for more information.
3. Don’t write the review for them. Businesses cannot control reviews. Furthermore, a few negative reviews increase the credibility of all of the reviews. It may be nerve-racking to read a negative dental review, but enlist this criticism as a growth tooth. Bottom line, focus on RECEIVING reviews, not just POSITIVE reviews.
Thank, Respond and/or Redirect
4. Be thankful. The core of social media is to set-in-motion user-generated content to increase brand recall in your area and enhance your practice’s brand image. Progress this goal by responding positively and thankfully to reviewers. Refer to tip 9 to learn how to reply to a review.
5. Avoid the “Rant Response”. Occasionally, your office will receive a negative review. Never write a nasty comment. This is the opportunity for your office to show professionalism and a consistent brand message.
6. Redirect. If negative reviews have merit, address the concerns in a reasonable way, off of the review platform. Politely ask the reviewer to call your office or email you directly.
Take It Up a Notch
7. Follow-up text messages, e-mails, or direct mailers. Ask for a review with the most effective communication channel between you and your patients. If you send out direct-mailers, mail a postcard asking for a review on a specific platform (i.e. Google or Yelp). For text message and e-mail communication, include the link to your review page.
8. Post in-office signs. While patients wait in the lobby or in the op room, post a sign at eye level, asking them to “Review us on Google”. Signs can range from a printed 8×10 page in a frame to custom canvas wall decor. Patients are more likely to leave a review if your sign appears preplanned and professional.
9. Sincerity is certain. It may be efficient to copy and paste a scripted response; however, this will develop an intimate and long-lasting relationship with your patient. It is reasonable to plan parts of your response but necessary to respond to their specific comment.
Work Toward Master Status
10. Verify your business. When you register for Google My Business, you can control the information that appears on the sidebar of Google about your office. For example, upload new photos, change your hours, and add announcements. This is also how you can respond to Google reviews. Click for more information on how it works.
11. Incentivize. Never buy reviews. Patients can detect bought reviews which will deter from your credibility. On the other hand, incentives are a great way to increase genuine dental reviews. Giveaways are the most effective implementation of incentives for reviews. Offer gift card to a patient who reviews your office in the next week, two weeks, or month. Additional incentives are points, instant wins, and coupons.
12. Add a link on your website. Incorporate a graphic or tab on your website with a link to your preferred review website. When patients visit your website they are automatically reminded to write a review.
Let’s Do This!
Patient reviews are a sure fire way to engage existing patients and acquire perspective patients.
Lucent Spot can help you gain, genuine, quality, managed reviews that are optimized, sincere, and effective in generating new patients for your practice.
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