How a Well-Designed Website Can Help Your Dental Practice Thrive

Someone has just moved to a new city and is suddenly experiencing tooth pain that won’t go away. They need to find a new dental clinic, but how do they go about finding one and what criteria do they use?

If they’re like me, the first thing they’ll do is a quick Google search to see what dentistry options are out there. After checking out the websites of a few nearby clinics, they’ll probably book an appointment with the one that looks the most promising.

Once they’ve had a check up and are in the dental practice system, they’ll probably keep going back to this dentist by default unless they are truly unhappy with their service. This means that the clinic they selected online won a new client simply by having an accessible web presence.

Therefore, if you run a dental practice, designing an attractive website needs to be one of your top priorities. Here are a few ways that proper web design can turn digital visitors into real-life patients:

Design: Why it Matters

Making things look good online takes a lot of work and for the practically-minded healthcare professional it can all seem like a lot of extra effort. As long as you have all the necessary information on your website, why should things like videos or search engine results matter?

The truth is that good web design has a profound impact on establishing the trustworthiness and legitimacy of your clinic. A website that is able to quickly establish the credibility of your business through solid organization and attractive visual cues will dramatically improve the chances that increased web traffic will translate into new patients.

Content: How Much is Too Much?

This leads us to another frequently asked question – What kind of content and information should you put up on your website?

While there is no one-size-fits all web design solution, it is important to remember what kinds of information potential patients will be seeking. This includes service hours and location, but also any special services your practice offers.

It’s also important to balance different kinds of content. First time visitors to your website may be put off by large blocks of dense text, so try to incorporate visuals, diagrams, embedded videos and bullet point lists to keep things visually interesting.

Statistics show that engagement tools like video dramatically increase the amount of time users will stay on your site – and increase the likelihood that they will become patients.

In my own experience interacting with patients and clients interested in dental practice management online, creating a website that allows viewers to connect immediately with what is distinct about your service will help win their attention while providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision. This includes portraying a practice personality.

For example, if your practice name is ABC Dental, it is important to let prospective patients know who is behind the name. Make sure to provide detailed profiles of your dentists and at least some background on the rest of the dental team. The way you describe your dental team may have some influence on whether potential patients ultimately decide to check your practice out so give them a good impression of your services!

SEO Ranking: How Do I Get People to Notice My Site?

Setting up a great website is only the first step to attracting traffic. If you want to increase your number of visitors, you need to ensure that your site comes up on the first page of Google search results (try to remember the last time you went to the second page of Google!).

This isn’t always easy, especially if you aren’t regularly updating content. Before hiring a company that specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can take some initial steps toward increasing your Google rankings yourself by including more external links on your web pages and starting a clinic blog that will help you increase the amount of content you are posting – each of which make your site more likely to appear higher in a Google search.

Savvy business owners will also rely on a user-friendly web platform such as WordPress that allows you to easily curate what’s known as meta-data (a secondary language that you post behind the scenes) to heighten the ranking potential of your webpages.

Hidden keywords as well as special titles and descriptions can help your site climb the search engine results page, bringing more users to your site. The science behind it all is easy to learn and articles like this one will help you become SEO-literate in no time.

In summary, think about your clinic site as a way to make a good first digital impression on potential patients. With solid design, awesome content and a strategy to increase your Google rankings, your website can become a serious business booster!

Top 6 Ways Your Dental Clinic Can Cater to Millennials

Much has been written about the ways the Millennial generation is re-shaping the market for everything from taxicabs to diamond rings. But will this generation’s tastes and preferences really affect dental clinics? After all, everyone needs to have their teeth cleaned, right?

While dental clinics do offer a timeless service, I’ve heard a lot of concern from some clinics that are struggling to reach out to younger patients. Millennials approach healthcare in different ways than their parents did, so if you want your dental practice to continue to grow, it is important to find ways to connect with this segment of the market.

Millennials approach healthcare in different ways than their parents did, so if you want your dental practice to continue to grow, it is important to find ways to connect with this segment of the market.

Here are a few ways you can make your clinic more Millennial-friendly:

1. Invest in a Good Website

In order to attract Millennials as patients, you have to connect with them. Unlike their parents, Millennials much prefer being able to explore a dental clinic’s website before they get in touch to book an appointment, so make sure your clinic is searchable online and has an easy-to-navigate website.

And reaching Millennials isn’t just about creating a new public face for your clinic, it also requires a re-imagining of how to explain what services you offer and how you differentiate your practice from others.

2. Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Millennials are natural born web surfers. In fact, because they are so Internet savvy, the digitally-minded Millennial generation relies on very specific keyword searches to locate the products and services they want.

In layman’s terms, SEO is the practice of encouraging Google’s ranking system to place your business higher than your competition in a Google search based on industry terms.

When a Millennial searches for ‘Dentist Toronto’ for example, Google displays links to the web pages it thinks are relevant and authoritative – which is measured mostly by analysing the number and quality of links from other web pages back to yours. Simply put, a person searching for services within your industry is more likely to find your homepage the more frequently other reliable web pages (including other pages on your own site!) are linking back to it.

Once they find your site, remember that Millennials want a variety of engaging content that is informative and emotive. Research shows most Millennial purchasing decisions are based on an emotional connection rather than a logical one. Furthermore, your site’s content should not be preachy, overly long or boring – if it is you’ll lose their interest. So, try to offer vibrant, fun content rather than a lecture on dental hygiene!

3. Update Your Social Media Marketing

As the following video explains, successfully marketing to Millennials requires different strategies and a different emphasis compared to marketing to Baby Boomers.

If you want to reach this segment of the population, simply tweaking your current advertising strategy will not be enough: you need to target Millennials specifically, and the best way to do that is by increasing your social media presence and strategically using tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

When it comes to reaching the under-forty market, no marketing tool is going to be quite as effective as social media, and paid social media marketing campaigns can be a huge boon to dental clinics that are trying to reach new patients.

4. Expand Your Digital Services

It’s also a good idea to make the scheduling, appointment confirmation and billing experiences as seamless as possible. Millennials like to request visits and confirm appointments online rather than in-person and they will prefer that bills and statements be available from a patient portal. Using practice management software with these capabilities makes it easy for dental offices to meet these expectations.

5. Recognize the Challenges They Face

As the American Dental Association has noted, only thirty percent of Millennials report having gone to the dentist in the past year, which is seven points below the national average. There are several factors driving this trend, but one of the most significant is the fact that Millennials are often not insured at the same rate as previous generations.

In order to attract (and more importantly, keep) Millennials as patients, you need to understand that broader economic forces are making it harder for them to afford regular care, and be sympathetic to this fact.

As Gary Radz noted in a piece he wrote for Dental Economics, Millennials aren’t kids anymore: as they begin to enter middle age and raise families of their own, they are becoming a key demographic for all healthcare-related businesses. And, the reality is that if you want to reach this growing market you need to do so on Millennials’ terms.

6. Don’t Expect Them to Pick Up the Phone

One of the key challenges for healthcare businesses today is figuring out how to adjust service to varying customer expectations. Older patients tend to prefer phone calls and paper, whereas younger patients prefer text and email attachments.

Attracting Millennials while keeping your older patients happy means tailoring service to individual customer preferences, which is why we’ve designed the ABELDent platform to make customization easy, so you can keep detailed notes on how each patient prefers to be contacted.

Millennials are the first generation of digital natives, so earning their trust and meeting them on their turf will require investing in new marketing strategies and new software. If you want to make your clinic more appealing to this audience, check out ABELDent’s dental management software to learn how it can help you achieve that goal.

Why You Should Work Harder to Manage Your Dental Clinic Reviews

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.

Automating Patient Communication for your Dental Practice: A Smart Business Decision

In recent years, my experience has been that the dental industry has shifted to a more value-based and patient-centered care model. This transition has made improving the patient experience a major focus for many dental practices. Implementing automated communication by way of automated email, texts and patient portals is a great way to achieve this objective since it provides convenience and time savings for patients that ultimately lead to increased patient satisfaction. The added benefit for dental practices is streamlined patient communications and more efficient practice administration.

But Will Patients Embrace Automated Communication from You?

For many (including your patients), checking their mobile device is the last thing they do at night and the first thing they do in the morning. In fact, smartphone owners report using their device more frequently today for mobile email and texting than to actually make phone calls. Furthermore, 97% of mobile users will read a text within 15 minutes of receipt and 84% will respond within one hour (Neilsen Mobile survey). 

Although open rates for emails are reported to be much lower than texts, they are on average, still a respectable 22% https://www.textanywhere.net/faq/what-is-the-average-sms-marketing-open-rate. However, you could expect your own email open rates to be significantly higher since your patients can identify you as the source of their messages.  

So automation of messaging that caters to convenience has become the communication standard for today’s marketing and consumer-focused organizations. It helps build one-on-one relationships with existing and new clients (or in this case patients), providing personalized options and direct connections. Since it offers quick, easy solutions to day-to-day routines and tasks, it’s the perfect “A click-and-it’s-done” tool for a busy dental practice (or one looking to get busier with more patients!)

Appointment Reminders/Confirmation

The most common message type sent by dental practices is appointment notifications, confirmation requests and outstanding treatment notices. As an example, with a keystroke, the software application sends individual “request for confirmation” messages for a selected group of patients using the preferred communication method/s of each individual (text or email).  Message recipients can respond using their smart phone, notebook or computer and in many cases, automatically update their e-calendars. With fully integrated systems, patient responses automatically update the affected data fields within the practice management software such as scheduled appointments now showing as confirmed. In short, there is a tremendous time and cost savings opportunity when managing appointments.

Validation

A User Study recently conducted by ABELDent confirmed similar time/cost savings as suggested above. One Office Manager reported that by changing telephone appointment confirmation and patient information requests to a methodical, automated SMS approach, she saved at least 25 hours per month (approx. 300 hours/year). That’s over $7,500 in annualized savings based on average dental practice labour costs. This real life example does not even factor reduced no shows or consider the more revenue-producing initiatives that she was able to undertake using those recovered hours. https://www.abelsoft.com/dental-software/Products/online-dental-appointment-scheduling-software

Patient Portals – Electronic Communication Facilitator

Patient portals are the preferred conduit to send potentially sensitive automated messages as they provide encryption protection and data does not need to be stored anywhere during transmission. Patient portals also provide a secure online website that gives patients convenient 24-hour access to specific information (as determined by the dental practice). Put another way, patient portals enable individuals to carry out an array of tasks that previously had to be completed either via telephone or during an in person visit.  It’s a smart next step in giving your practice the platform and the power to move towards increased patient engagement

Josh Gray, vice president, Athena Research, says online access translates into patient retention and financial rewards: “If you can get a patient on a portal, they’re 13 percent more likely to return. The value of the patient who returns is eight to 20 percent higher.”

https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/patient-portals-saving-medical-practices-overhead-improving-collections-managers-say

Patient Portal screen allowing secure patient access to personal information

Conclusion 

Automated patient communication portals are a way to give your dental practice a more dynamic, modern edge while also enabling you to realize administrative efficiencies, cost savings, reduced no-shows and increased patient growth. Since portals cater to patient comfort and convenience by utilizing familiar mobile technology, they are rapidly becoming the preferred method for both patients and healthcare providers to exchange select information. User interfaces and data security measures also ensure that unauthorized data changes, patient confidentiality and data breaches are not a concern.

In most cases, the preferred patient portal solution is one included as a component of dental practices management software due to tighter integration between the two applications and in many cases, lower cost. In a business model where client communication can extend to six or nine-month intervals, it only makes sense to take advantage of a quick, convenient and welcome opportunity to build better relationships with your patients.

Mission, Vision and Value Statements: The Foundation for Achieving Your Practice Objectives

Two years ago I posted the blog Are you Living the Vision, Mission and Values of your Dental Practice?. Today’s blog expands on the theme and helps you answer that question by proving examples of mission, vision and values statements that you can use for your own practice. Once established, you’ll see how they form the foundation for prioritizing your core practice objectives. In a future post, I will show you how to measure your progress in achieving these objectives by using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) derived from practice management software.

Let’s start with your mission statement. It is a concise summary of why you are in business, what makes you unique and the value your practice provides to those you serve. Here’s an example. “ABC Dental is committed to providing our patients with the highest quality dental care in the most comfortable and stress-free environment possible.”

Next, your vision statement adds the “how” of the business and the means of defining success. Without a solid plan that supports the practice values, it is likely to remain just a vision. A vision statement example is, “To operate an efficient, profitable and satisfying practice based on proven management principles”.

Finally, your value statements – they serve as everyday guides for long-term practice success. Here are some examples to consider:

Value Proposition Examples Value Proposition Statements
Quality We provide exceptional dental care and service for maximum value.                             
Commitment We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our patients’ lives.
Full Disclosure We provide a full explanation of all treatment options and the consequences of non-treatment.
Integrity We are personally accountable for delivering on our commitments.
Respect We value our employees, encourage their development and reward their performance.

Once you develop your mission, vision and value statements, you can use them to prioritize the following measurable core practice objectives. Working with dental practices over the years has given me the opportunity to observe their importance:

1. Quality of care

Your commitment to provide high-quality service and achieve patient satisfaction should remain one of your primary objectives. Qualitative Measures: A large number of positive reviews and patient referrals and a high re-appointment and patient retention rate are all indications that you are delivering what you promised.

2. Patient growth

Net patient growth (new patients, fewer lost patients) is vital for any practice. External marketing strategies for attracting new patients and internal marketing for patient retention and referrals are the key to achieve this objective. Qualitative Measures: Net new patients (New patients minus patients lost over the same time period).

3. Production growth

To increase production revenue in the absence of patient growth, unscheduled prescribed treatment and outstanding recalls needs to be diligently tracked. Qualitative Measures: Production per unit of time, average production per patient, average production per appointment, treatment plan conversion rate and percentage of patients on regular recall.

4. Practice sustainability

Too much practice overhead reduces profit margins, whereas too little overhead will choke your practice growth. Consider every major spending decision from a return-on-investment perspective if profitability is one of your main goals. Qualitative Measures: Practice break even point and patient retention rate.

5. Low-stress environment

In many cases, inefficient business systems can be a source of dental practice stress. By implementing well-designed operational systems, improving your practice’s performance becomes easier and more productive, resulting in less stress. Qualitative Measures: Patient wait times, rate of missed appointments and cancellations, operatory downtime and number of patient complaints.

6. Professional satisfaction

Reflecting on why you wanted to become a dentist and what type of dentistry you like to do will help determine where professional satisfaction fits in when prioritizing your objectives. Qualitative Measures: Dental procedure composition and number of positive reviews.

To conclude, effectively using your practice management system to track your progress can help you identify problems before it is too late to recover. It is important to involve the entire dental team when developing your practice statements and objectives. You are all stakeholders and, to achieve practice objectives, everyone needs to participate in improving upon any identified deficiencies.

Your Unique Value Proposition: The Key to Practice Differentiation

Here’s a little experiment to try: open up Google maps on your browser and type “dental practice” or “dentist” into the search box. If you live in a medium-to-large sized city – or even if you live near one – you’ll likely see dozens of little flags popping up, each of them indicating a particular clinic.

Patients today have many options, and if you want to increase the number of patients choosing your practice over the others, you need to think carefully about what makes your clinic different from all the others.

In business-speak, this is called the “Unique Value Proposition” or UVP. A UVP is what distinguishes you from the competition and it’s what keeps patients coming back even if another clinic might be more conveniently located. In fact, if your UVP is compelling enough, it will inspire patients to go out of their way to visit you.

I’ve written about the importance of a well-articulated UVP in the past, but today I wanted to explore some of the specific things to keep in mind when crafting your UVP and communicating it to your staff.

1. A Good UVP Solves a Problem

The first point to make about a UVP is also one of the most obvious: a good UVP tells a patient how you can solve a particular problem that they have. For example, if they are afraid of going to the dentist your UVP should explain how your clinic offers the friendliest, gentlest service in your region.

2. Make Sure You Communicate a Specific Value

As marketing expert Olga Mizrahi explains in this video, your UVP should emphasize the unique quality that places you above the competition – it isn’t about where you’re better, it’s about where you’re the best.

This isn’t always easy to do, and one of the reasons why identifying your UVP is a valuable process is because it can also help you set goals around how you can improve your dental practice management.

As an example, if you believe your UVP is convenience you should ask yourself and your staff whether you are doing everything you can to offer the greatest convenience possible to your clients.  Are you using cutting-edge tools like ABELDent patient reminder software to make it easier for patients to confirm, change, request or be reminded about required appointments?

It’s important to remember that your UVP needs to be backed up by concrete examples that illustrate what makes you better than the competition. 

3. Appeal to Your Patients: Keep it Simple!

A common problem that many businesses (not just dental practices) face when going through visioning exercises is boiling ideas down into clear, accessible language. If your UVP isn’t simple and easy for your patients to understand, then it’s probably not going to keep them coming back.

As noted earlier, the best UVP solves a problem, so when it comes to communicating your UVP to your patients, you should focus on the way your clinic makes their lives easier. If your UVP is about the quality of personalized care you offer, then emphasizing how that makes a difference is important.

Ideally, you will want to avoid both being too vague or too specific. ABELDent software includes a lot of advanced patient communication tools. This allows clinics that use our software to keep track of each patient’s particular preferences and needs and have quick access to this information during the point of patient contact. But when communicating this as a UVP, it is important not to get bogged down in the details. Instead, emphasize the fact that your clinic uses preferred communication tools like text and email to make sure you never lose track of an appointment.

4. Remind Them Why They Love You

At the end of the day, a UVP exists to remind your patients (and yourself) what makes you different from the competition and to explain in concrete terms why this is.

For example, at ABELDent we understand that there are other kinds of dental software clinics can use so we strive to show our customers how ABELDent dental software provides a more integrated, extensive and usable platform – one that can be tailored to their specific needs. A good UVP should make a clear case as to why your clinic’s services are unique and special.

Because a UVP is about articulating what makes you different there is always a chance that, during the process of mapping out your UVP, you will conclude that your practice isn’t doing enough to separate itself from the competition. If this happens, don’t be afraid to adopt a new plan that will help your dental clinic stand out from the crowd and give your staff the motivation to strive to offer the best service possible!

Good Reviews are Key to a Successful Practice: Here’s How You Can Get More of Them

Imagine you’ve just moved to a new town: there are many things you will need to take care of in the first few weeks, but finding new service providers like bankers, lawyers, doctors, and dentists who you can trust to take care of your financial and healthcare needs will be one of the most important. So, what do you do? 

For most of us, the answer is simple – go online, and start looking at reviews. Websites like Yelp Google Reviews, Facebook and Ratemds.com (for healthcare providers) are a great way to find out what other peoples’ experiences have been like, and they can save us a lot of time and trouble when it comes to locating the best service providers for our needs.      

As a business owner, I know first hand just how important reviews can be for dental clinics that want to grow their patient base. If potential clients can go online and see that real people have appreciated the service they received, it makes them feel a lot more comfortable about trying it out for themselves. I know I always feel better about checking out a new dental practice if I can see what other people are saying about it first! 

While all service providers should be aware of the importance of good reviews, there are even more reasons why those responsible for dental practice management need to take this kind of customer feedback especially seriously.  

Most dentists and dental hygienists care deeply for their patients and will bend over backward to make their experience more comfortable, but research suggests that large numbers of adults routinely avoid having their teeth checked due to fears of going to the dentist. Having lots of good reviews is one important step toward helping patients feel more comfortable visiting your clinic.

But how can you increase the number of good reviews you get? This week, I’ve provided a few ways you can make the most of online reviews.

Good Service = Good Reviews

When it comes to making your patients feel welcomed, comfortable and cared for, there really are no shortcuts. If your clinic isn’t offering patients a personalized experience that lets them know you take their health and well being seriously, no amount of marketing is going to make up for that.

But improving patient experience isn’t just about treating them as gently and empathetically as possible when they’re in the dentist’s chair. Remember, your patient’s experience begins the moment they pick up the phone or send an email to request an appointment: if you want to make a good impression, you need to make sure that patients feel comfortable and in control from the beginning.

Appointment Scheduling Software Can Help

One easy way to improve your patients’ overall experience is to use practice management software that remembers and easily finds a patient’s preferred appointment time. It’s also helpful to patients if the software can locate patients who want to come in earlier if a preferred time opens up.  

Patient Portals also give patients an easy way to participate in the management of the dental care when it comes to managing appointments, reviewing their personal health information record, and responding to post-visit surveys. And because it includes options that allow patients to refer new patients to the practice, it makes word-of-mouth recommendations that much easier. 

5 Steps Worth Taking to Increase Review Numbers

While good service is essential, it isn’t everything. If you don’t have any reviews, you may need to jump-start the process yourself. Here are a few things you can do to get started:

1. Ask Your Regulars to Submit a Review

If you have patients who have been with you for a long time, ask if they would be willing to contribute a review. This is the best way to build momentum initially.

2. Provide Patients Guidance for Reviewing

Recommend review platforms that don’t require payment from you in order to receive positive reviews since their credibility is naturally suspect. Also, choose sites that allow you to respond to the review if possible, particularly to address negative comments. Recommend sites that have a large user base since more people will see your patients’ reviews and keep track of which sites provide the best results. This way you can narrow down the recommended sites over time and build a significant review base per site.    

3. Use Social Media as an Outreach Tool

Increasingly, social media is becoming a major way that people connect to and discuss their experiences with healthcare services, and there are lots of resources that can help you use social media to spread the word about your dental practice. Or better yet, read our post on Facebook groups to learn how easy it is to get started.

4. Thank Your Reviewers

Gratitude is a powerful motivator, and reaching out to reviewers who comment positively is a great way to ensure they keep spreading the news. For those who leave negative comments, it’s a good way to address concerns and make people feel heard. 

5. Track Patient Satisfaction

Most practice management software (including ABELDent) gives you the ability to use “Flags” that you can designate to define particular patient profiles.  Use one to indicate your estimation of the patient’s level of satisfaction with your services. This makes it easier to target highly satisfied patients that are most likely to give you a positive review. Use another flag to indicate patients that have provided a review to avoid unnecessary solicitation.

Finally, it is important to remember that, as you increase the number of overall reviews, you’ll inevitably increase the chances of getting a bad review. When this happens, don’t sweat it: if people on the whole are positive about your clinic, a couple of negative reviews will only confirm the authenticity of the positive reviews. 

In a media-saturated world, one good word from an existing patient to a potential one is worth dozens of paid advertisements. Make sure your dental clinic is capitalizing on the power of positive reviews!