Online Reputation Management for Dentists
When you first started your dental practice, your reputation was built on word-of-mouth advertising. You provided the best service possible to your patients, and they told their friends and family. Now, though, the landscape has changed. Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so word-of-mouth advertising isn’t enough. You need to gather positive online reviews so you can keep your waiting room full of patients.
Online reputation management will help you accomplish this. This is the process of monitoring, influencing, and managing your online reputation. Learn how online reputation management works, and contact Accelerate Dental Marketing for help.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Important for Dentists?
You Can Claim Review Site Profiles
You need to generate reviews as part of your online reputation management strategy. You have lots of options for gathering reviews online. Claim your listing on the different review sites, such as Yelp and Google My Business. While you can claim multiple listings, choose one as your main review site. This is where you will direct people to leave reviews. By focusing on a single site, it’s much easier to gather lots of reviews quickly. However, you still want to claim different review site profiles in case any of your patients leave reviews for your practice there.
You Can Gather Reviews with Online Reputation Management
More than 71 percent of dental practices surveyed state that 5 percent or fewer of their patients leave them online reviews. Generating lots of reviews is the first step in reputation management, and it’s also one of the most difficult for dental practices to conquer. If you don’t develop a strategy to get your patients to leave reviews, most won’t do it. In fact, you might discover that the only people who leave reviews unprompted are those who are dissatisfied with your practice. That means if you don’t prompt people to leave reviews, you might only end up with negative reviews. That will hurt your practice.
If you want patients to review your practice, you must ask them. Some dentists ask patients directly, while others prefer to send follow-up text messages or emails. These messages should contain a link to the review site of your choice. This process should be as simple as possible so people can easily review your practice.
You also want the reviews to be positive, so make sure you also provide the best service for each patient. When patients go home happy and then get a link to leave a review, they are likely to sing your praises on the review site.
You Can Monitor Your Reviews
Review monitoring is a critical component of online reputation management. You need to know what people are saying about your practice, whether it is positive or negative. Then, you need to respond to the reviews. Let’s take a closer look at the process for monitoring reviews.
You Can Respond to Positive Reviews
Some dental practices ignore positive reviews. They think the reviews speak for themselves, so they don’t require a response. However, responding to the reviews is a way to show your patients that you care about them and their wellbeing.
You need to respond to positive reviews quickly as part of your online reputation management strategy. The digital world has trained people to expect fast responses, so if you fail to respond quickly, you could annoy the person who left the positive review. Don’t go into treatment details when responding, but you do need to show gratitude. Also, if you have any upcoming contests or promotions, let the reviewer know in your response. This gives extra value to the person who left the review. You can also use your response to advocate for your practice. Ask the reviewer if you can include the review on your website or social media channels.
You Can Respond to Negative Reviews
It’s normal to take it personally when people leave negative reviews but look at it as an opportunity to make things right and earn back that person’s trust. As with positive reviews, you should respond immediately. Ask the patient to call your office to discuss the matter so you can fix the problem. If the patient is satisfied with your response, he or she might update the review or even delete it. Even if the patient doesn’t update or delete the review, people will see that you take negative reviews seriously and try to make it right. When people see that, they will still call your practice and make an appointment.
You Can Weed Out Fraudulent Reviews
You might be surprised by the number of people that leave fake reviews for dental practices. Sometimes, it’s an honest mistake. The name of your practice might be similar to another practice in an area, so you end up with the review. Other times, the reason is far more nefarious. Someone might be trying to tank your practice by leaving bad reviews.
If you think it was an honest mistake, contact the reviewer. Once the person realizes their mistake, they can remove the review. However, if you cannot get the person to remove the review or you think it was done to hurt your practice, you will need to follow the protocol for removing it. Some review sites allow users to flag fraudulent reviews. However, depending on where the review was left, you might have to contact the website. Then, the website will explain what to do to remove the review.
Receiving fraudulent reviews is very irritating, but don’t allow yourself to argue with the reviewer. That will just hurt your practice. Instead, follow the protocol to get it removed and focus on a strong online reputation management program.
You Can Monitor Mentions
Reviews are just one aspect of your online reputation. You also need to monitor mentions across all online channels. You should know every time someone mentions your practice online. Just like reviews, you will find positive and negative mentions. When you monitor your mentions, you can respond to them accordingly. The process is similar to responding to online reviews.
Monitor Your Competitors with Online Reputation Management
Many dentists don’t realize that an effective online reputation management strategy includes monitoring other practices in the area. By monitoring your competitors’ reviews and mentions, you will find out what people like and dislike about their practices. You can also see how your practice stacks up to the competition. If you are lagging, use the information you discover in the competitive analysis to make some changes. Even the smallest changes can improve patient satisfaction. However, if you’re ahead of the pack, keep moving forward, but never stop your online reputation management strategy.
Now is the Time to Create an Online Reputation Management Strategy, Let Us Help!
Online reputation management is an ongoing and time-consuming process. You don’t have the time to treat your patients and manage your online reputation. Fortunately, Accelerate Dental Marketing can handle your online reputation while you care for patients.
We are a dedicated dental marketing agency that specializes in small to medium-sized practices. We have made it our mission to help these practices compete with the big box practices that are trying to take over. Because we understand your practice, we can highlight what makes you special, from the one-on-one service to your skills and experience.
Dental marketing has changed a lot over the years. You might have lagged behind with your marketing efforts, but you can change that today. Contact us for a free website assessment and quote for our online reputation management services.
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