As more and more patients turn to the Internet to look for service providers, online customer reviews are becoming increasingly more important for dentists and dental clinics. As a result, dentists are looking for ways to increase the numbers of online customer reviews related to their practices. While unhappy patients seem more than willing to go online and voice their opinions, motivating satisfied, contented clients to post reviews can be more difficult. There are, however, several ways to encourage these patients to post their reviews online where future patients will see them. Here are the top
five secrets for getting your patients to post their positive reviews about your practice:
1. Take advantage of social networking.
If your practice does not already have a Facebook or Twitter account, now is a good time to open one. Patients who may be resistant to posting on your website may be willing to visit your Facebook page, where open discussion seems more natural. Younger, tech-savvy patients are especially more likely to use Facebook or Twitter to offer quick reviews.
2. Use a written reminder.
When a patient arrives at the desk following an appointment, hand them a printed patient review card with instructions detailing how to find your site on Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites. Also include information about any merchant review sites where reviews can be posted, like Yelp, FourSquare and MerchantCircle. Let them know
their reviews will help new patients feel secure about the services your practice offers, and be sure to tell them how much you appreciate their time and effort.
3. Go digital.
Send a follow-up email following an appointment to thank the patient for his or her business, remind the patient to call your office if they have any questions or concerns regarding their appointment, and directing them to a site where they can leave a review of their experiences. By providing a clickable link in the email, this option also allows you
to determine which site receives their review.
4. Address negative reviews immediately.
Let unhappy patients know their concerns are important, and take steps to make sure issues are resolved quickly. In many cases, these patients will amend their reviews to make them positive.
5. Make it worth their while.
Offering something in return for reviews shows patients you value their time. While you should never offer bribes to encourage good reviews specifically, offering a discount on a future service for patients who leave reviews – good or bad – is a nearly foolproof way to ensure they will review their visit.
Online reviews are especially important for businesses serving a local market. Getting patients to leave reviews can take some time, but usually it is well worth the effort. Using these tips will help your practice receive more reviews and increase your practice’s visibility.
Matt Solic is the online marketing manager for the Dr. Drosu Dental Centre a Canadian clinic whose Calgary dentists provide a wide range of general dentistry services.