If you’re a dentist, you know how important it is that your patients trust you, especially if they haven’t met you yet. And, online reviews have a significant impact on whether they choose you or the competitor.
In this post, we’ll share the importance of dental reputation management and the impact online reviews have on your business.
Dentistry IQ outlines the five categories of information new patients look for when choosing a dentist.
1. Overall quality of patient care
Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is the single most critical element in patient care, but bedside manner, staff friendliness, how easy it is to schedule an appointment and payment options also matter.
2. Average overall rating from all posted reviews
The number of 5-star reviews matters, but so does the overall average star rating.
3. Clinic wait times
It goes without saying that busy patients today don’t want to wait in the office for even a minute before being seen.
4. Dentist’s Background
Here again, not just any demographics will do. The most effective patient online review will include information about the dentist’s years of experience, certifications, age, academic credentials and gender.
5. Clinic and staff photos
Friendliness, cleanliness, a waiting area for kids to play – these are all important features to showcase in photos.
The Impact of a Negative Online Patient Review
While it could be said that the easiest route towards reversing a negative patient review is not to get one in the first place, there can be situations where a patient simply sees things differently from you and your staff.
In other words, negative reviews happen to every dentist at some time during their practice years. So, while striving to minimize this type of review is admirable, completely eliminating them is not likely to be possible.
What should you do when that inevitable poor review does finally arrive? The first step in damage control is actually to know what NOT to do, as this Washington Post article highlights.
You don’t want to inadvertently reveal confidential or private patient details online even if your intention is to explain your perspective to the patient. First, this can be a violation of HIPAA privacy laws. Second, this approach is more likely to generate fresh resentment rather than ease the sting of a bad experience.
So then what can you do?
The first thing to do is to calm down before you respond. Then, carefully craft a generic yet compassionate response. Something like “We are sorry to hear you had a less than satisfactory experience. Someone from our office will reach out to you directly to discuss.”
This takes the rest of the discussion OFFLINE – a must – and gives you the chance to connect privately one-to-one with the reviewer to see if there is anything that can be done to turn that bad review into a good review.
If the answer is “no,” at least other patients see that your dental practice is responsive to all types of online reviews.
If the answer is “yes,” there is always a chance that reviewer will return and revise their review to share how your practice corrected the issue that prompted the first poor review.
Interested in increasing your online reviews?
Request your 2-week trial of Rize Reviews today! We’ll do all the work and make you look really good. Some features include:
Acquiring Online Reviews
Our dentist reputation management tool incorporates a customizable mobile-friendly feedback request flow that guides the customer through the entire process of leaving positive reviews for your dental practice.
Requesting Online Reviews
Easily create a custom email or SMS drip campaign, set up an in-office kiosk with patient-facing opt-in forms, handout printed review cards, or add the Rize Reviews widget to your email signature or website.
Monitor Online Reviews
Rize Reviews allows dentists to monitor their reputation with our online reporting dashboard as well as the ability to receive instant review alerts, delivered to your inbox, from over 100 review sites.
Interested? Read the full features list »