The classic phrase “word of mouth” in marketing has been around for decades. But with the digital age in full swing, does “word of mouth” still work in getting business for dental practices?
The short answer is yes, but they’re more commonly known as testimonial reviews. Testimonial reviews can boost or lower a business’s standing. We found 94% of patients use online reviews to evaluate providers, and 72% look at reviews as their first step to finding a new provider or to confirm practice credentials.
As the digital age continues to skyrocket, having a virtual presence is a must for all businesses! Social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram are two of the accounts to kick off your digital presence. Potential patients today search for clinics or certain procedures like ‘invisalign’ online, allowing them to read or write reviews of different businesses online.
So, why do Online Testimonial Reviews matter for your dental practice?
1. Promotes Digital Visibility & Awareness
Let’s face it, you’re not the only dental practice in your area, there are a lot of competitors! So there’s a lot of factors that a potential client is considering before setting foot in your clinic. One thing that can improve your foot traffic would be having positive reviews and taking time to review them. Patient reviews are not paid, so a lot of potential clients trust reviews from other patients. They also value how you take action on the negative reviews.
2. Imperative to reel in new patients
The online reviews that you have on your Facebook, Instagram or Google determine the future of your business ranking in the digital world. Having online reviews either repels or reels in potential patients. Most of the time, reviews contain positive and negative testimonials and this is what drives the patient’s decision. When they see more positive reviews on your digital platforms, they are more likely to become your patient.
3. Lets you know what patients think about your business
Knowing what a patient experienced or how they feel about your business is a good thing to know to better your practice. Positive reviews let you know that you’re doing a good job on the services that you offer, and negative reviews give you an opportunity to further improve your business.
Here’s a few do’s and don’ts for testimonial reviews
- Make sure that you are visible in all the relevant places
You need to ensure that you are in a number of different platforms that offers reviews such as Yelp, Google and social websites like Facebook and Instagram.
- Establish a post-dental visit review process for your patients
After every patient visit, ask them how their experience was at your clinic. Patients value the fact that you care about how they feel about their experience. After talking about their experience, you can take that chance to encourage them to write a review on your Yelp, Facebook or Google.
- Read ALL of your reviews
When receiving reviews from your patients, it’s important to acknowledge all of them. All positive and negative reviews are to be recognised. This is how you establish credibility and trust with your patients.
- Don’t write fake reviews
This is a big NO! Writing fake reviews is unethical and can make your practice look phony and untrustworthy. If a patient isn’t happy with your service, you must acknowledge it and deliver better next time.
- Don’t write reviews on behalf of your patients
Another thing that you mustn’t do! If they didn’t bother to write a review on your platform then that’s fine. There will be more patients coming your way!
- Don’t ‘Review-gate’
Be careful of ‘review gating’. This is a process where you only offer the chance to review if your patient has already offered a positive response to a survey. This is a common practice, but it involves a risk of being banned by Google, so you need to take care. If you are currently using “review gates” feel free to call us, and find out if you are at risk.
PS. Here’s the easiest way to acquire new patients, engage and retain existing patients.
If you want continuous business growth, better leads for your dental practice and would like to know more about this or other topics, book a call with one of our senior digital strategists.
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Thanks for reading, catch you on the next one!