In today’s digital age, businesses are built online. Dentistry is no exception. Word of mouth referrals and traditional advertising are good starting points but crafting an online presence and positive reputation through patient reviews is really key to your success.
Everyone reads online reviews using Google, Facebook, Yelp, and even specialized platforms to learn more about where they are spending their time and hard earned money, whether that be before a nice dinner or a dental appointment. The world of patient reviews has transformed how people make decisions including how they choose their dental care providers.
This blog aims to explore the remarkable influence patient reviews wield in the world of dentistry. Discover the platforms where testimonials hold the most sway and learn about online algorithms that make you more easily accessible.
We’ll delve deep into how patient reviews empower both your practice and those you care for. Help current and prospective patients feel heard and use reviews to guide them in making informed decisions regarding their oral health.
Dentists can harness the power of patient reviews to foster truth and facilitate growth. Learn invaluable insights on soliciting and managing patient feedback, cultivating a strong online presence, and ultimately fostering a thriving dental practice. All with the help of patient reviews. Here’s how!
#1: Find powerful platforms
The biggest online platforms you should be familiar with for patient reviews are Google Reviews, Facebook, and Yelp. Healthcare specific platforms like ZocDoc are also important ways that patients find and learn more about you.
Google is especially important because that’s usually where people start when they are trying to get more information online. You really want to appear within the first few hits or ideally, at the very least, as an option on the first page of results. Studies show that over 90 percent of Google users stick to the first page! If your practice isn’t included in early results, you’re missing out on a lot of attention!
Recent reviews really help you appear higher up in search engine rankings. Google places higher value on reviews that have been made in recent days and months – and so do your patients. Potential patients will gloss over reviews that are years old or much more than a few months out of date. That’s why you should ask your current patients to please review your services after every visit. Stay fresh in their mind by asking promptly after they are in your office. This ask could be part of a follow-up appointment or its very own message.
Your ask for positive patient reviews can come in a variety of ways:
- Provide a scannable QR code that takes them directly to review sites you want to appear on the most.
- Send an email with links to review sites
- Text links to those who prefer to communicate over SMS
Yelp is another popular choice for finding patient reviews, but can be a bit more controversial. The platform was under FTC scrutiny for potentially hiding popular reviews unless businesses spend advertising dollars on their site. They also have a policy saying that business owners can’t ask directly for reviews and should instead display Yelp branded stickers in high traffic areas to indirectly encourage customers to visit the site.
Whether or not you decide to pursue Yelp as your main online presence, it’s important to stay informed about what people are saying. That will give your invaluable information on what you’re doing right and things that need to change.
In general, having good search engine optimization practices and recently generated reviews should help you climb the ranks in Google—which is really the most powerful platform for patient reviews and your virtual visibility.
You can also respond to reviews on Google, showing your patients that you care about their concerns and are actively working to address them. Remain polite, professional, and problem-solving oriented in all your interactions. Other people can see what you say back to reviewers on Google so use the opportunity to further craft your positive online self!
#2: Why Patient Reviews Matter
We’ve covered where to get patient reviews but how about the why? Patient reviews matter significantly for dentists. They serve as a critical barometer of your practice’s reputation and the quality of care that your team provides.
Here’s why reviews are invaluable and what you can do with the information you’ve worked so hard to receive:
- Trust & credibility. Positive reviews instill trust in potential patients. They provide social proof that the dentist is skilled, trustworthy, and can be relied upon for their oral health needs.
- Growth & improvement. Constructive feedback from patients’ reviews offers dentists a roadmap for continuous improvement. Identifying areas of concern allows dentists to address shortcomings, enhance patient experience, and deliver higher-quality care.
- Increased visibility & new patients. A high number of positive reviews, especially on platforms like Google, can boost search rankings and attract more potential patients. More reviews makes it easier to find you!
- Put your patients first. Patient reviews provide insight into patients’ perspectives and preferences.
Dentists can use this information to tailor their services to better meet patient needs.
By listening to patient feedback, dentists can enhance their practice’s reputation, attract new patients, and ensure they deliver the best possible care. These reviews are not just an online presence but a valuable source of data that can drive excellence in dental healthcare.
#3: Understanding & Using The Information
Use online reviews from patients to derive valuable insights and to make data-driven improvements in your practice. Learning how to effectively analyze and understand online reviews may take some trial and error or a little help from marketing experts. There are a lot of online tutorials and educational material you can consult as you learn to better understand the reviews you receive.
By using a feedback survey you can also get to negative information before it even makes it to a public platform. When you receive reviews internally to begin with, your practice is able to address any issues head on through a conversation and purposeful changes. This method is best practice for increasing your number of public positive feedback and decreasing negative reviews. Plus, it helps you improve!
- Aggregate the information. Simply collect and consolidate reviews from Google, Yelp, Facebook, and any other speciality sites that your patients might use. Putting everything in one place streamlines the information.
- Categorize. Pinpoint common themes or topics and sort your reviews under these categories. Wait times, staff friendliness, billing process, and quality of care could be some potential categories for you to consider. Once your reviews are organized you’ll be able to identify recurring issues or strengths that are at play.
- Sentiment analysis. Technology can help you determine the general feeling of reviews. Get an overview of patient satisfaction among your reviewers when you use free or low-cost online tools to see if your reviews are overall positive, negative, or neutral.
- Identify trends. This can go hand in hand with your categorization process. Zoom in on consistent mentions of great service or identify recurring complaints. This helps prioritize improvement areas and encourages you to do more of what people like.
- Benchmark. Compare and contrast your practice’s reviews to successful competitors or to popular industry standards. This can help you sort out areas that need attention and get inspiration on how to improve.
- Set goals by implementing changes. Use all this info in a tangible way! Create specific and measurable goals for your team. Implement the changes you need to address issues you find in reviews and track your progress, goals, and changed behavior over time. All while keeping a close eye on online reviews!
Analyzing reviews is a dynamic process that should allow your practice to better understand patient perspectives, needs, and desires. This info can help you make the informed decisions that continuously enhance your practice’s performance. Patient satisfaction follows you understanding patient reviews and helps your practice thrive!
Where Intiveo Comes In
Intiveo’s customizable software can help you do the hardest part of this process—getting the reviews! User-friendly automated messaging and review prompts can be tailored to general and specific practice’s needs.
Best of all, you can set it and forget it for the most part. This frees up time for your team to focus on understanding reviews and implementing the changes necessary for improvement.
Learn more about how Intiveo can help you receive patient reviews and discover what to do with the wealth of newfound information when you book a meeting today. We’re here to support you in your patient reviews journey!