How Online Reviews Can Make or Break Your Dental Practice

With all the buzz and feedback we’ve gotten from our last dental internet marketing article, we’ve decided to expand on another important aspect of online marketing: Reviews.

I think everyone knows how important reviews are these days. They say the best advertising is free advertising and referrals. A good review is a combination, the best of both worlds.

A bad review, however, can tarnish your name and brand and send potential patients running!

Having no reviews isn’t as harmful as having bad reviews, but if your competitor has reviews and you don’t, guess where the patient is going to go?

Sites like Yelp and Google+ (Formerly Google Places) let anyone post reviews of local businesses. Thousands of people go to these sites every day to decide which dentist to use. The goal for your dental office should be to get as many great reviews in as many places as you can, so no matter where potential patients look, they will see good things about your practice.

So how do you get reviews, and how do you make sure they’re good reviews?

Step 1: Ensure your dental practice is top notch.
Be the best you can be and you are bound to get some good reviews eventually. On the converse, if patients leave unsatisfied, they are never too busy to write a bad review and tarnish your online reputation.

Step 2: Ask politely.
Happy patients will go home and go on with their lives. As a friendly reminder, ask the patient for a review as they leave the office! If they are not technologically savvy, have a guide for how to leave reviews on Google+, Facebook, Yelp or your website! Stay away from giving away items for good reviews. It’s unethical and presents your brand as less legitimate. Keep in mind, its up to the patient to leave a review and most will not leave reviews on all 3 sites!

Step 3: Publicize your reviews
So you have your reviews aggregated on one site. Great! Now what? Make sure people see them! Develop a system that gets patients to write reviews and distributes them all over the internet. For patients who do not want to create a Google+/Facebook/Social Media account, Solutionreach’s SmileReminders has a built in review system that is based from the patients email! Even better, it pushes those reviews to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platform. Want to learn more about SmileReminders? Contact Amanda Stark.

Food for Thought: You can’t please everyone.
Even if you provide the best dentistry experience possible, some people have bad days. Not all your reviews will be 5-stars and not everyone will leave happy. Even if you receive a few bad reviews, its not the end of the world! Having some bad reviews make your business look more authentic. I personally read the bad reviews first just to have of “the worst experience possible”.