Dental practices are constantly faced with the challenge of attracting new patients. Marketing efforts, community engagement and social media are a few effective ways practices can get their name out. However, one of the most credible tactics is patient testimonials. According to statistics, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In the crowded dental space, positive reviews can make or break your ability to attract new patients.
So how do you get reviews for your dental practice? It can seem intimidating or nearly impossible to gain reliable and positive evaluations from your patients. However, out of 74% of customers who were asked to provide feedback, 68% were willing to do it. The first, and most important, step is to simply ask.
Read on for additional strategies for increasing the number of reviews for your dental practice.
Make it Easy To Leave Dental Practice Reviews
Patients who write reviews of your dental practice are doing you a service, so it is important to make the process as easy for them as possible. One way to do this is to create multiple platforms for patient commentary. This can include but is not limited to: Facebook, Yelp, Google and a forum on your practice’s website. These platforms serve a dual purpose; the more channels a patient can leave feedback, the more likely they are to share their experience. Having reviews on multiple channels also lends an additional layer of credibility to your practice. You will also want to optimize your website to highlight the testimonials and the review platforms. This allows patients to quickly and easily view and contribute feedback about your practice.
Another way to ease the burden for patients is to reach out where they already have a presence. For instance, asking a patient for a Facebook review through the Facebook Messenger app. If you email them to request feedback, make sure it is as integrated as possible, directly linking to the platform where you want their insight. The less work the patient has to do, the more likely they are to write a review. Whenever possible, asking for feedback or testimonials in person is best, as it adds a level of personalization and genuine connection.
Timing is Everything When Soliciting Reviews
The last thing you want is a negative review of your practice, and if you ask at the wrong moment, that could be exactly what you get. Instead of asking for feedback in the middle of an uncomfortable procedure, try asking after you show them the successful results from their treatment or after they refer another patient to your practice. A referral is a sign that a patient is happy with your services, and would leave a positive review of your practice.
It is also important to think about what will get a patient to write a positive review of your practice. Providing excellent dental services is always a good place to start, but sometimes that alone isn’t enough. One way to encourage patient feedback is to develop an incentive program. Your patients’ time is precious, so providing them with an incentive to spend some of that time writing a review for your practice goes a long way in encouraging them to do so. Incentives can include discount codes, coupons, gift cards, entrance into a bigger contest and more.
The key is to make sure that your patients feel valued, either through exceptional services or incentive programs, for the time they are taking to write your practice a review.
Make the Most of Every Review You Get
Getting reviews of your practice is only the first step. In order to benefit as much as possible from patient feedback and testimonials, there are several actions you can take. The first is to respond to every single review you get, including negative ones. This shows that you take the patient experience at your practice seriously, and want to ensure that every patient has a positive visit. Responses can range from learning how their treatment could have been improved to thanking patients who left positive comments. Demonstrating patient care goes a long way in accruing new patients and retaining current ones.
Another way to make the most of patient comments is to share and highlight positive reviews. Positive feedback can be shared on social media, and given prominent positions on your practice’s website. By strategically positioning positive comments, they can be the first things that potential patients see when they look up your practice. First impressions are important, especially for your business.
Patient reviews are an excellent way to showcase your practice’s dental services and demonstrate care for the patient experience. They are also a vital tool in recruiting new patients.