A trip to a new dentist – known to make even the toughest of the tough tremble in fear. The uncertainty about what to expect can be stressful. The good news? By capitalizing on the power of the internet, you can actually gain a leg-up on your competition and have your phone ringing with new patients.
Whom to entrust with providing dental care is something the general public at-large is particularly picky about, and not without reason – an unpleasant experience at the dentist isn’t soon forgotten.
Online reviews can have a huge impact on new patient flow – positively or negatively
You may have heard the old saying: “a satisfied customer will tell 10 people, a dissatisfied one will tell 100” – on the web that dissatisfied patient could “tell” thousands.
Reviews from your existing patients tell your potential new patients the level of service you provide and whether you can be trusted with taking care of their pearly whites. Unfortunately, this is a two way street: a bad review can cost you new patients and even if untrue, can potentially destroy your image in the eyes of the public.
Good service and clear communication are the key factors in preventing negative reviews. When a potential patient is considering coming to you, they will likely want to hear about what experiences other people have had – which is where the internet comes in. With just a few clicks, a person can go from “I wonder which dentist to choose” to “this place seems great!” Reading other people’s reviews often generates an opinion, before ever stepping foot in your office.
Be proactive in gathering reviews
Keeping this in mind, you want people who stumble upon reviews of your office to be overwhelmed by an irresistible temptation to become your patient. This can easily be done by getting past and existing patients to advertise for you, so to speak. If they’ve had a positive experience at your office, what harm is there in asking for a 2-3 sentence review of your services? After every appointment, make it a point to ask for the review – soon enough, you’ll start to see your patient base grow.
Obviously, if your patients write positive reviews, you need them to be featured in places where others will actually see – and read – them. Reviews scattered on multiple review sites will cover a lot of ground, but for maximum effectiveness, it’s imperative to put special emphasis on Google, since that’s where a majority of the population will begin their search for a new dentist. Reviews directly on Google Places are highlighted, and attract a lot more attention than reviews on other sites.
With the number of consumers searching for local businesses online, there’s no better time than the present to start using this to your benefit by ensuring that your practice is ahead of the rest with high quality, plentiful reviews.
Remember, it’s the reviews that tell people about the quality of your service, so the better they are, the higher the likelihood people will choose you as their next dentist.
Contact us to learn about our Reviews Accelerator program.
If you discover a negative review, read our blog post about how dentists should handle negative online reviews.