Home Pediatric Dentistry Let’s Give ‘em Something to Talk About: How to Get More Patient Reviews

Let’s Give ‘em Something to Talk About: How to Get More Patient Reviews

by adminjay




Rave reviews are hands down the best dental marketing for your office, but many practices seem to be frustrated about getting them consistently, especially when your automated requests start to get ignored.

The first (and biggest) problem is that dentists and team members simply fail to ask patients for feedback. But if you do that and it still doesn’t work, maybe you just didn’t really give them a reason to be impressed.

The question you need to ask yourself is—how good is your patient experience? To get a glowing review, you have to do just about everything right, and doing even one thing noticeably wrong can not only prevent a positive review but can even trigger a negative one.

Nailing your new patient experience is well worth the effort, and basically turns into free advertising if you get ALL of it right. Here are some of the things people will be most likely to point out about you when their friends or family members are looking for a new dentist.

YOUR FRIENDLY AND WELCOMING STAFF

First impressions definitely matter to new patients. When someone walks in the door that you don’t recognize and it’s right at the time you’re expecting a new patient, stand up from the desk and walk around/introduce yourself.

HOW CLEAN AND MODERN YOUR OFFICE IS

This goes without saying, but women will notice every little detail, like chipped paint, stains on the rugs, mismatched light bulbs on the ceiling, and even a slightly crooked picture. Details matter. Bring in a trusted friend to do a walk-through with bright pink sticky notes to attach to problem areas.

THE WAY YOU CLEARLY COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PATIENTS

Unfortunately, patients do not understand how dental insurance works. Most think of it just like their medical insurance, with nearly bottomless coverage and nominal co-pays. When you use language like “out of network,” your patients don’t realize that they may need to pay you before they get reimbursed. Imagine you are trying to explain this to your 85-year-old grandmother. How would you simplify it and slow it down so she could understand?

RESPECT THEIR TIME

While it may be best practice for you to see a new patient for a 2-hour comprehensive exam before they can even get near a hygienist, it’s a hard sell to get a patient to come back for a second appointment for their prophy. That’s two separate appointments and two times that the patient has to take off work. I’ve seen more negative reviews about this approach than you would expect. If the patient is relatively young or has been seen by another dentist in the past year or two, current advice says to schedule that patient with hygiene first, and then schedule the exam. Bonus: If you’re a practice that has a tendency to run late, schedule your new patient blocks for first thing in the morning and right after lunch, when you’ll nearly be able to guarantee an on-time appointment.

PAINLESS PROCEDURES, COMPASSIONATE CARE

New patients should be scheduled with your gentlest hygienist. Patient anxiety is often higher until they get to know your office, and any level of discomfort is more likely to be exaggerated. Schedule new patients with your most empathetic, personable hygienist and block 5-10 extra minutes in your schedule to make room for questions. To really dial up your customer service, call every patient who has received an injection that day to ask how they are doing.

PUMP UP THE COMFORT

To combat new patient anxiety, offer blankets, pillows, noise-canceling headphones to block out the drill, and other comforting aids to help make your patients feel more relaxed in the chair.

BEING EXACTLY WHAT THEY EXPECTED… AND MORE

Lastly, you have to live up to your branding. If your website tells patients to expect on-time appointments, make sure you run on time. If you talk about your friendly team and 5-star service, live up to the hype. Authenticity, consistency, and predictability are key to keeping patients HAPPY!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Xaña Winans is the CEO and founder of Golden Proportions Marketing, dedicated to the growth of dental practices. Her agency provides goal driven, full service solutions including branding, dental website design, advertising, and digital marketing. Visit goldenproportions.com to learn more.

Xaña is a board member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and has been awarded a Fellowship in the International Academy of Dental Facial Aesthetics. She lectures and publishes regularly about dental marketing.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock.com.



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