Dentists With The Most Reviews Get Ahead of the Competition
Reviews aren’t everything, but in an industry as saturated as that of dental hygiene and orthodontics, they cannot be ignored. To put your dental office ahead of the competition, you need to approach your marketing in ways your competitors aren’t. What it takes is the right systems, the right set up and the right messaging. With these simple strategies, you will know how to grow and get more reviews for your dental office, improve your processes, see where you’re wasting time or money, and help you automate a lot of the work.
How to Request Reviews and Who to Request Them From
Sure anyone can get more reviews for a dental office by simply asking all of their patients to leave a review online, but that’s not always effective and it invites all reviewers, both positive and negative. Not only is there the issue of how to request the reviews, but there’s also the issue of who to request them from. Let’s discuss them individually and then see how they come together.
Looking to get more positive reviews for your dental office while improving your patient experience?
The Best Ways to Request Reviews
There are several ways to request reviews for your dental practice. Some are more automated and easier than others, but each has its own benefits. Here are some of the most common listed in order of effort required.
Asking for a review verbally before the patient leaves the office
This option is the most time intensive and difficult to track. It’s basically, the old-school method since it used to be one of the only choices available. The benefit is that you’re asking each patient face-to-face, which makes it personal and easy to tweak the wording on the fly. The downside is that it’s not very effective.
Asking for a review with a review request card
Many dentists choose this method because it’s a hands-off option with little need for technology. This can be used in conjunction with the verbal review request as well. The best option is to print the review link on the back of your appointment follow up cards for a better chance of people holding on to them long enough to leave you a review. The downside is that it requires a good deal of effort on the patient’s part since they have to read the card, hold on to it, type in the review URL, and then leave the online review.
Asking for a review using an in-office tablet
For this, you’re going to need to use a reputation management system that works with a tablet. The good part is that you can actually see who sits down to leave the review in your office. The bad news is that not many patients are willing to sit around in a dental office one minute longer than they have to, so your success rate is pretty low. Also, it’s not on their device, it’s yours which could make patients skeptical of what’s being done with their review or information.
Asking for a review with a text request
A text message, aka SMS message, is a great option to get more reviews for a dentist or orthodontist. Not only do most patients have a smartphone, these days they are attached to them at the hip, or rather the hand. Most of us check our phone everytime it makes a sound, which means your patients will almost certainly see your request. There isn’t much of a downside to this one, except you probably won’t be able to set this up on your own.
Who to Request Reviews From
When you’re deciding how to request online reviews you need to also consider who you want to get reviews from. You don’t want to end up begging your most frustrated patients to leave you online reviews, or you are going to be left with more reputation management issues than you started with. So how do you determine which patients to ask?
Ask pre-screening questions
Not sure who’s happy and who isn’t? Even if you think you know, you’re probably mistaken, at least some of the time. The first step is to find out what your patients actually thought about their visit. This can be done in conjunction with a text message review request.
It’s surprisingly straightforward. Ask a few quick and simple questions that your patients can answer from their phones. Then, if the answers are positive, send them a link to your review site. Another benefit is that you can use the pre-screening questions to see who’s unhappy and why so you can identify and address issues and work toward improving your patient experience.
For more on strategies and tips to get more online reviews for your dental practice, check out our article The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting More Patient Reviews.
Reviews are great, but there are more marketing strategies you need to consider in order to really grow your dental practice.
So now, let’s talk about some of the tactics you can use in combination with your plans for expanding your reviews to build the best overall marketing strategy possible.
Focusing on Google Maps Can Improve Reviews and SEO
From a digital perspective, one of the most important things for your online marketing is to get ranked on Google Places when people search for you. When it comes to reviews, every patient that can’t find you easily on Google is a lost opportunity for a good review.
Remember, patients don’t think about the technical terminology the same way you do. Make sure to help them by using layman’s terms on your website so you rank for what they are searching for. Include keyword terms like the name of your practice, your location, procedures and services you offer, and the names of your dental hygienists.
If you want to know if you are showing up for a specific search term, just go to Google Maps in a Google Chrome Incognito window and search away.
At the top of the page, you should see a map of local providers. Getting to the top of this list can be the difference between success and failure. Remember, Google is going to show what is most relevant, so make sure you have the right content on your site to get to the top of Google Maps.
If you’re not at the top, make sure to click the ‘More Places’ link at the bottom and see if you’re on the full list. There are a lot of resources online to show you how to reach the top of this list.
Use Social Media to Build a Following and Grow Your Reviews
If you’re looking to get more reviews for a dental office, social media is the place to be. Showing your customer base that you are real people creates a story and personality and it gives them a place to communicate with you. The easiest place to build a community following is social media, and particularly through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Starting a Facebook page only takes a few minutes. Create A Business Page on Facebook, log in, and start adding posts. Some things that you may want to show the world:
- Patient testimonials as text and pictures or as videos.
- Employee of The Month.
- Accreditation, awards, and special recognition.
- A video walkthrough of your practice, showing the waiting room, exam rooms, and the staff. You can do this on your iPhone or Android, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.
While you’re setting everything up, make sure to add to your Facebook page:
- Address – it will automatically show a map to your location for your audience here.
- Website Link
- Hours of Operation – A lot of people look at Facebook first to check business hours.
- A picture of your facility – Showing the front of your facility as the main image can make it a lot easier for people to find you.
- Links to other important information such as pricing, other locations, the patient and provider portals, patient forms, etc.
Don’t forget, Facebook reviews are ultra-valuable to your dental marketing efforts. Requesting Facebook reviews is going to help you grow your social community and credibility with current and potential new patients.
Keep Your Focus Local
Make the biggest impact on growing your dental practice marketing by focusing on where you have the greatest impact. This is especially important if you’re using paid online advertisements. Patients typically only travel a few miles for dental or orthodontic appointments, so focus on your region. By tracking exactly what zip codes people are coming from, you can tailor your marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness.
The big question we so often hear is, “How do I do that?”
Here is a little bit of the secret sauce:
- Use the data you have. Assess the locations of the patients you currently have in your scheduling software.
- Create a map report that shows the zip code or address of each of your patients.
- Find the specifics. Look at neighborhoods, schools, and businesses in these areas.
Once you have the data, you can determine how to reach out.
You might consider things like:
- Post specials and updates on Private Facebook Neighborhood Groups or on your blog.
- Sponsor after-school events for the top school or schools in the area.
- Run Facebook ads targeted to people in your area.
There are tons of ways to target the right people once you know who they are. Find what works best for you and stick with it.
Grow Your Referrals
Referrals from existing patients and other doctors and dental professionals are very valuable to any dental practice. Here are a few of the many methods of growing your dental referrals.
Consistent Patient Outreach
The easiest way to get new patients is to keep existing patients happy. So, make sure you keep in touch with your patients. Sign up for an email marketing tool such as MailChimp or Drip.co, put together an automated set of emails that go out to new customers or patients starting a week after their visit.
But, what should you send them? Read on!
Educate Your Patients
The key is to find the information that is valuable to your patients and send content on a regular schedule. Focus on important information about their health, articles about what’s new and upcoming at your office, as well as promotions and news to be shared with friends, and you could be looking at a pretty substantial increase in ROI.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Professional Referrals
A lot of dentists think it’s a bit of a waste of time to build professional relationships with other dentists in hopes of gaining patient referrals from them. But don’t discount professional referrals so fast! Sure other dentists are the competition, but what happens when a patient moves across town, or their insurance changes, or they need a specialist.
There are a lot of situations that could leave a patient unable or unwilling to continue care with their current dental office. In the cases where patients are asking their dentists “Now what am I suppose to do?” you could be the answer, but only if you’ve built up your professional relationships.
There Are a Lot of Ways To Get More Reviews For a Dental Office and Grow Your Practice
In the world of dental and orthodontic care, competition is steep. Marketing and reputation management strategies are crucial to building, and even maintaining your patient base. Follow these steps to get more reviews for your dental office and target your marketing to get more patients, improve your retention rates, and keep your patients happy.
Could you use some new patients?