There is no need to convince that online reviews play a crucial role in businesses nowadays. Numbers speak for themselves: 85% of dental patients look at the opinions on the Internet and consider them an important factor while choosing a dentist.
The actual question is how to ensure that your practice has positive feedback which is visible to everyone. The simple answer is just ask! After all, 72% of those who were invited to share an opinion have done so. Putting this request in a subtle and unobtrusive manner may be a challenge. Here are some simple and effective methods to make this task easier for you.
Inquire about the experience right after the appointment
A few more minutes of attention after the procedure will significantly improve patients’ overall opinion. Request feedback in the exam room or have your staff make friendly conversations with patients at the end of their appointments. A simple “How was your visit today?” can prompt somebody to comment on their experience.
If a customer answers with praise, it’s a perfect moment to invite them to write a public review. The employee may politely suggest sharing their opinion on specific sites. Asking in person can give better results than other methods, as the people will feel obligated to comply with what they said.
You can also use a tablet in-clinic to collect feedback right after the appointment. Instead of risking that people will forget to write an online review, front desk staff might point to the device with a quick survey. Ratings gathered this way can be published on the Internet. Alternatively, the staff can hand a tablet to long-term patients while they are waiting for their turn.
Post-visit talks are great for dealing with negative reviews. Such comments can be discussed right away, or written down and properly addressed. This way you may avoid unfavorable online opinions.
Let patients know their feedback matters
People want their actions to have an impact on reality. Emphasize that reviews help your practice develop and provide a better quality of care. You don’t have to say those things in person, however. Posters seem to be a good idea here.
Place them in visible spots, such as vis-a-vis to the waiting room’s chairs, on an exit door, or close to the coat hanger. Make patients feel appreciated by stating, for example: “Thanks to your opinion, we can improve!” or “Help us grow further!”
In addition, you can put a Google logo with your office’s rating and add a simple CTA, such as “Share your opinion with us” or “Review us on Google.” Download stickers, posters, and other materials for free from the Google My Business Marketing Kit website. The signs can be easily customized for your business.
Print the links on things that customers take home
Add a little annotation on appointment cards or take-home instructions. People tend to keep these papers for a long time and put them in visible places, such as a desk or calendar. They are also likely to look at them multiple times to check a date or guidelines.
That makes it a good place for a reminder about leaving an online review. Polite call-to-action combined with adequate links will seem natural and not pushy. Consider adding the QR code to the review form to make the process easier for smartphone users.
Put a form on your website
If somebody visits your practice’s website, that means they either know your clinic or are searching for a dentist. It’s a great occasion to both collect and display reviews. Place the rating form in a visible place and add a call-to-action, encouraging visitors to share their thoughts. You can also link to specific review pages where you want to develop your profile.
The survey can have a dental theme. The healthy smile symbol is a positive opinion, fillings mean there’s room for improvements, and decay that the visit was unsatisfactory. You might refer to oral hygiene by saying: “Completing the survey will take you no longer than brushing your teeth.” To comply with this promise, ask no more than 5 to 10 questions.
Make a request on social media
Social media hold a fair amount of opinions which are often the first ones that prospective patients see. But it’s also a platform where you can easily share suggestions with multiple people connected to your practice.
Don’t hesitate to repeat the request from time to time and try less conventional posts that followers will be happy to engage with. For example, make a mini-series about dental procedures or office staff, encouraging patients to describe their experience in your clinic. You can use those comments on your website, and thanks to reactions, your profile will be more visible.
Send targeted emails
Day after the appointment, send each patient a “How was your visit?” email, politely inviting them to share their opinion. Start with thanking them for choosing your practice and offer phone consultations in case of concerns. Then suggest leaving the review, and provide links to designated sites and social media. It’s good to personalize emails by including the patient’s first name, date of the appointment, and the dentist’s surname.
Make the process as quick and convenient as possible. Since the message recipient is already using a computer or a smartphone, there’s a chance that they will write a few words right away. If not, schedule a follow-up 3 days later.
Writing online reviews is a common thing, and so is asking for feedback. Encourage your patients on a regular basis to share their thoughts, and soon it will become instinctive for you. Using a variety of methods will help you reach diverse groups of people. With a little work, your online reputation will be thriving in no time!
About the Author
Simon Nowak is CEO and founder of Authority Dental. He is an online entrepreneur with a strong background in web marketing and strategy. His professional experience includes projects both for his own company as well as leading dental networks across America. Simon specializes in developing and implementing communication campaigns, including media outreach, website content creation, and search engine optimization. He is also a demanding leader, skilled in recruiting and team management