Starting a new dental practice can be difficult, but you can do things to help your practice stand out from your competitors.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective marketing methods is to make sure your patients leave online reviews.
While it might sound trite, online views are an effective strategy to attract more clients to your dental clinic and have proven to be extremely useful at converting potential clients.
90 percent of potential customers read at least one online review before deciding to visit a business.
With this in mind, it’s critical that you ask your patients to leave a review when their appointment is complete.
Get more online reviews by:
- asking them verbally
- giving them a business card with info on it
- add it to your email signature
- include it on their receipt/invoice
Some dentists even offer rewards or a discount to patients who leave a review.
Whatever you do, it’s essential to ask your patients to leave a review because if you don’t ask, they won’t.
In fact, according to Podium, 77 percent of customers would leave a review for a business if the business asked them to.
The key to getting patients to leave a review is making it as painless and straightforward as possible.
Asking a customer to jump through hoops to find your listing and leave you a review diminishes the chances they will take the time to do it.
One way to do this is by including a hyperlink that patients can click on when you send them invoices, emails, or newsletters. Another way is to make the website easy to remember, such as www.yourdomain.com/reviewus
I would also suggest setting up a hub for linking to all the pages patients that can use to leave a review for you. A hub creates a central location to link all the review platforms essential to your business.
The key is to make it as convenient as possible. When you make leaving reviews convenient for your customers, the higher the likelihood they will leave a review for your practice. Remember, patient reviews will increase your conversion rate and grow your business.
What is social proof, and why is it important?
Reviews are important because they are a form of social proof, which is the concept that people will follow other people’s actions.
For example, if a potential patient is looking for a new dental practice, a series of positive reviews will likely help them decide to book an appointment with you.
On the flip side, if you have many negative reviews, you will likely lose that potential patient because they won’t want to risk it. In the case of receiving a bad review it is always best to reply to it so others can see you looking to rectify the problem or in some cases to tell your side of the story. A negative review with no reply from the business shows apathy from the business and readers will assume the reviewers word is the truth as the business has not denied it or looked to make it better.
Consumers today pay more attention to reviews than anything else, and more specifically, Google reviews. That’s because Google is where 90 percent of mobile searches happen.
To gain more reviews, there are a few simple steps you can take:
- Ask your patients for up to leave reviews
- Add reminders to your email signature
- Encourage staff to ask happy patients to leave a review as they leave
- Use a service such as Podium to automate the process and make mobile reviews easier
- Respond to all negative reviews from your Google My Business Account.
While the last point might be difficult to swallow, it’s essential you respond to negative reviews because 30 percent of consumers pay attention to how you handle negative reviews when deciding if they’re going to do business with you or not.
To learn more about Google My Business and Search Engine Optimization, make sure you read my previous blog post titled: Dental Practice Local SEO: Google My Business.
The post provides practical advice to improve your online marketing. It also gives a brief overview of Google Search and Google Maps to help you improve your dental practice’s online visibility.
To learn more about how to increase patient reviews dramatically, make sure to download the first chapter of my book DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams. The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into creating a successful dental practice.