When families look for a new dental service provider in today's digital environment, one of the first places they look is online. They may ask for input from their social media network, or they may look to dental review sites for insights on potential dental partners. As a dental professional, you know that positive reviews on these sites can be a powerful force and are a proven marketing strategy in building a patient base. But how do you go about motivating satisfied patients to provide those reviews?
The first step, of course, is to make positive reviews a priority. Every dental team member must be on board with the goal of achieving superior service and dental care that are necessary to impress patients. The next step is to turn that patient satisfaction into action.
Here are five secrets that will help generate great dental patient reviews online:
1. Be selective
It is really not helpful to ask every single patient to provide a practice review every time he/she visits. Look at the patients listed on your schedule for the week and at the procedures they are undergoing. Seek out a variety of procedures such as cleaning and examination, dental crowns, braces, or mini dental implants. Also try to make sure you include a variety of patients that are representative of your patient base. Then make it a point to ask these specific patients to write a review on the services they receive that day. Keep track of who you ask so that you are not imposing on the same patients at every visit.
2. Make it easy
Train your team members to ask for a review right after the appointment so that all the details and provider names are fresh in the patient’s mind. Perhaps you can offer instant online access while they are still in the office, or provide a business-card reminder with the names of the most popular review sites to give them a starting point. If the patient doesn’t want to go online, ask for their comments and get permission to publish their reviews yourself.
3. Provide some review points
When asking for the review, be sure to let the patient know what kind of information might be helpful. Have your team member suggest such talking points like:
- what the patient liked best about the experience
- how the staff members made them feel
- why they like coming to your dental practice
Even though you are providing context, don't overstate what they should write about. You want their review to be authentic to their experience and what they feel is important.
4. Build on positive reviews
Look at the review sites to find what patients actually post about your practice. Ask for their permission to report their comments on your website and social media platforms. Highlight them in your instagram stories with a picture of them in your practice. For patients who love your practice, do a featured post about them and ask them to share it on their social media platforms as well.
5. Analyze everything
Incorporate positive online reviews as a practice Key Performance Indicator, or KPI. This demonstrates the importance placed on providing high levels of service and implementing a system that motivates patients to action. Track how many requests were made, and how many responses were received so that you can continue to work with your team to improve your results.