When it comes to choosing a dental clinic, patients have a lot of options. Even people who don’t live in a large city probably have at least a few clinics within easy travelling distance, and this means that patients are in a good position to weigh the pros and cons of different dental service providers before making their choice. Increasingly, they are relying on reviews written by other patients to help them make an informed decision.
Reviews have always been important, but websites like Yelp have made it easier than ever before for ordinary people to critique the services they use, which in turn has made consumer reviews an essential part of all kinds of industries.
According to recent data, ninety percent of consumers consult reviews before trying a new product or service, and a recent survey conducted by Search Engine Land suggests that a whopping 72% of consumers place as much value on online reviews as they do on recommendations from friends and family.
Many of the dental clinic operators I talk to have expressed concern about this aspect of business marketing – you can roll out a new advertising campaign, and invest money in digital and social media advertising, but how do you make sure that your clinic is getting positive patient reviews?
While there is no way to guarantee that you only get good reviews, as I have discussed before on this blog, there are a few things you can do to improve your odds. Here are three strategies that can help your clinic cultivate and manage online reviews most effectively.
Make it Easy
While most people consult online reviews before they visit a service provider, the number who actually post a comment themselves is significantly lower – and unfortunately, people are more likely to leave a review if they have had a negative experience compared to if they have had a positive one.
This means that you need to make it as easy as possible for people to leave reviews (especially positive ones), as this will increase the likelihood that people who had a pleasant experience will be moved to comment.
Reviews not only build your clinic’s credibility, but they also pave the way for new customers to find you online, which is why it pays to invest in software that can help you manage and encourage patient engagement.
The right review management platform will provide your practice with a simple, straightforward, and unobtrusive way to ask and remind your customers to leave a review on the sites that matter most to you.
This type of software allows you to not only amplify the voice of the patients who love what you do, but also offers you a way to reach unhappy patients in an effort to improve their overall brand experience.
Best of all, review management software will allow you to monitor your reviews and share the best ones on your site and on social media.
Ensure the Best Possible Service Experience
Naturally, if you want positive reviews from your patients, you’ll need to give them something to be positive about! This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the important role a good receptionist can play in making patients feel welcome and valued, but they are also ideally positioned to encourage your patients to share their experience online.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure your receptionists are encouraging patients to write reviews and provide public feedback about their experience with your clinic.
Good service isn’t only about reception, of course, and another good way to make sure your patients leave your clinic with a smile on their face is by using cutting edge dental management software to facilitate a smooth experience booking appointments and receiving notifications. A dental management platform designed to meet these needs can also help you remind patients that they have the option to review once they’ve gotten home.
Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Reviews
In a blog post for Entrepreneur.com, Toby Nwazor distinguishes between bad reviews and negative reviews. If a patient leaves a positive but vague comment like “the service was good,” this doesn’t really provide potential patients with any helpful information about your dental clinic.
A negative review that criticizes specific aspects of your service, on the other hand, can be extremely helpful insofar as it tells you where you need to improve.
Even the best clinics will get negative feedback from time to time, but the important thing is to not run away from the criticism. Instead, use it to improve your service, and take the opportunity to engage constructively with your patients.
In terms of spreading the word about the superior service your clinic provides, good reviews have become the new coin of the realm. But if you really want to increase the number of positive reviews you are getting, you need to increase the number of reviews you’re getting, period.
Making it easy for people to review your clinic and responding constructively to negative feedback are practical strategies you can implement today to help increase patient engagement.