Managing Review Sites: What All Dentists Need to Know

Whether you love it or hate it, the reality is that patient reviews are a significant factor in potential new patients’ decision on which dentist to choose. Consequently, it is vital for you to monitor and manage your online reviews, and to encourage satisfied patients to write reviews. Here is what you need to know.

Major Review Sites

To manage your patient reviews, you first need to know where they are. Your practice is likely listed on some of these sites already, while others require you to take active steps to create a listing. Search each site to see if your dental practice is there, and then update any inaccurate information such as your business name, address, or phone number. For sites where you are not yet listed, create a listing as soon as possible. Major review sites include:

Yelp: Yelp covers all types of businesses and service professionals, and it is currently considered a market leader in review sites. Make sure you have an accurate, up to date listing, as many of your patients and prospects will naturally gravitate there.

Angie’s List: Angie’s List charges a small monthly fee to see your reviews. This charge is generally worth it, though, as the site has positioned itself as an excellent place to find trustworthy professionals in many different service categories.

Google: Google’s My Business pages are an interesting hybrid. Reviews from other sites are regularly aggregated there, and users can also write reviews directly on your page. It is absolutely vital to claim your page and ensure that your business information is accurate. Since so many people start with a Google search, reviews on your Google My Business page can make or break your quest to attract new patients.

Of course, there are numerous other review sites as well. Run a quick Google search to find those that seem relevant to your practice and your geographic location. Besides correcting inaccurate information, consider uploading photos to each listing to provide more insight into your practice.

Getting Reviews

The best way to get reviews is simply to ask for them. Consider offering your existing patients a small incentive, such as a free toothbrush or a few dollars off the next cleaning, in exchange for a review. Be sure to provide specific instructions on which review site(s) you prefer and how to go about leaving a review.

Managing Bad Reviews

No matter how hard you try, you cannot satisfy everyone. Sooner or later, you will receive a negative review. The best way to manage it is to face it head on with diplomacy, concern, and tact. Publicly respond to the review. Ask for clarification if needed, but be careful not to come across as confrontational. Apologize for the situation and offer a resolution.

You do not need to engage with someone hostile or offer rewards that far outweigh the severity of the patient’s experience, but a genuine apology and attempt to resolve will go a long way toward influencing the opinions of others who read the review, if not the person who left it. No matter how tempting it may be, never attempt to remove a negative review except in the most extreme cases.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

The Key to Great Dental Testimonials is Connecting them to Your Brand

In your marketing it’s always good to have patient testimonials. But it’s even more important to have testimonials that speak to potential new patients.

Consider the testimonial that goes something like this. “I came to your office today with an emergency and they got me in right away. I really appreciated it.”

That’s nice.

How about this one?

“Every time I come to the doctor’s office the team members are friendly, the service is good and I enjoy coming back.”

That’s also nice. What’s not nice is that they just sit there. They validate a current patients’ decision to choose you for a dentist but do little to motivate new patients to come to your door or pick up the phone.

A consultant named Ron Sheetz once told me that what’s needed in a good testimonial is a message that connects with people. Everyone knows that you can stage or arrange for a good testimonial. But you can’t do that with a ‘real’ one.

What’s a real one? One that tells a story that pulls the potential client in and creates an identification with the message.

Here’s an example:.

“Before Dr. Smith, I was always been terrified of the dentist. Clammy hands, lump in my throat, sweat on my forehead, all of it. It started when I was ten and the dentist told me pulling the tooth wouldn’t hurt me. He might have been right in most cases, but this tooth was impacted. The pain jolted me almost out of the chair. He laughed it off and told me it wasn’t that bad. But it was. Dr. Smith doesn’t laugh. He knows exactly what it’s like to be afraid!”

Better, right? You can see yourself in that chair, in that situation. It’s probably happened to many of us. Because this dentist is showcasing this story in their marketing shows that they know what it’s like to be in that chair.

That, my friends, makes all the difference.

People assume you have the skills to do dental care. What they want to know is that you also have the touch to do human care. To empathize and see yourself in their position.  

That is the crucial difference between telling a potential client that you know how to do your job and letting them know that you understand and can empathize.

If your marketing materials have the standard kind of testimonial, that’s fine. But if you’re looking to create a testimonial with impact, consider what your clients are looking for in a dentist and then ask for testimonials with a bit more meat on them.