Keep a strong focus on customer service, and give your patients a reason to leave 5-star reviews.
It has long been said that word of mouth is the best advertisement. That hasn’t changed in the digital age. In fact, personal testimonials are more influential than ever, because today’s patients have many more options to spread the word. Yelp, Facebook, and Google are just a few of the nearly endless options for patients to share their experiences.
Numbers you should know
Just how influential are online reviews? Consider these enlightening statistics:
Encouraging positive reviews
An unhappy patient is more likely to leave a review or post on social media than a happy one is. To increase your overall rating, you need more happy patients to take action. The easiest way to get reviews is simply to ask.
Decide which review site or sites you prefer, and create easy-to-follow instructions for your patients. This can be included in pre-printed handouts that you distribute in your office, or send by email. You can also discuss reviews during a post-treatment follow up call, or in your regular newsletter. In addition to garnering more feedback, this will help direct patients to your review site of choice.
Responding to negative reviews
You’ve received a bad review. Now what? First off, don’t panic. It won’t necessarily harm your reputation. In fact, many people suspect falsified or censored reviews when they see a company that has only 5-star ratings. However, if the first thing someone sees is a complaint, or you have a high number of them, your reputation will suffer. What should you do?
Managing patient feedback
A negative review can adorn your profile for weeks or months before you even notice it. Similarly, you might not know if you are getting any reviews at all. It is important to develop a strategy, and make use of various software and tools available.
Begin by registering and completing your professional profile on all applicable review websites and social platforms. Look for options to receive alerts for new reviews, mentions, or messages. Social media management software can automate much of this, by aggregating tags, posts, mentions, and other engagement on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
You can also use reputation management software or services to help track review-specific platforms.
On a final note, don’t forget the golden rule of reputation building. Keep a strong focus on customer service, and give your patients a reason to leave 5-star reviews.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education, and the online reputations of dentists. With a team of 140+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps dentists who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.