In this 6-minute read:
- Claim your Google My Business listing
- Encourage more online patient reviews
- Do everything you can to delight your patients
- Respond to all reviews
- Don’t incentivize patients to leave reviews
- Try reputation management software
Reviews are critical to gaining new customers in this digital age. With 86% of consumers reading reviews for businesses before making a decision, it’s important to make sure your dental practice has good online reviews.
Google is the first place you want to focus your review efforts. Google holds more than 90% of the search engine market share, meaning it is the first place most people go when they are searching for new services—like a dentist.
Claim your dental practice’s Google My Business listing
Before you can start getting patient reviews on Google, you need to make sure your practice has a Google My Business listing. This will allow you to show up in local search results when customers search for your practice by name and also on Google maps.
Do a quick Google search for your practice to see if you already have a Google listing out there. If you do, take the steps that you need to claim it so that you can manage and update your listing.
If you don’t find a listing for your practice, then take the steps that you need to create a new one.
Check out our guide: How to claim your Google Business listing
Encourage your patients to leave Google reviews
Once your dental practice’s Google My Business listing is in place and claimed, you can start getting patient reviews.
The thing with online reviews is that your happy patients aren’t always going to think to leave a review. They might be happy with the service you provide, but they never go online to say anything about it.
And unhappy patients are much more likely to share their bad experiences than happy patients are to share the good ones. That’s why it’s so important to encourage your satisfied patients to leave your practice reviews.
Here are a few ways you can get more Google reviews for your dental practice.
1. Ask patients for reviews
Provide stellar service, and then ask your patients for a review. Find the opportune moments when they are happy with their visit, and make the ask.
Train your office staff to look for the right moments to ask your patients for reviews. Since they will likely be the last person the patient sees during their visit, your office staff can test the waters to see how the patient feels about their appointment and then they can ask for a review if it seems like a good time.
2. Place “Rate us on Google” signs throughout your office
Let your patients know that you would like their feedback on Google by placing “rate us on Google” signs strategically throughout your office. The front door and checkout desk are the best places for this.
3. Send links to your patients
One effective way of getting new Google reviews is to send text or email invitations to your patients to remind them that you’d like to hear their feedback. You can include a link that takes them directly to your Google listing to leave a review. This is a great follow up after asking your patients if they’d be willing to leave your practice a review.
There are also plenty of reputation management solutions that will help automate the process of sending links to your patients.
Do everything you can to delight your patients
Let’s face it; dental work is never fun. But if you can go the extra mile to make it a less stressful, more enjoyable experience, that can go a long way toward “delighting” your patients. If you simply provide good service as expected, you may not get many reviews.
Think about ways you can make your office more pleasing, entertaining, calming, and enjoyable. Perhaps provide cucumber water in the waiting room, and update your tattered old magazines. WIFI is a must, and make sure your staff members have all committed to making every patient and family member feel special.
Respond to reviews and improve where needed
Once you’ve found the best method for getting new Google reviews, the next step is to respond to those reviews.
Womply’s research shows that people will spend up to 49% more money at businesses that reply to the reviews they get online.
Start by making a goal to respond to each review within a day or two of receiving it. This shows that you are responsive and care about what your patients are saying. d
If people are researching your dental practice and see that you haven’t responded to any of your reviews, or, even worse, that you’ve taken 6 months to respond to a patient review, that doesn’t look good for you.
You don’t have to spend a ton of time coming up with great, unique responses to every review. For all of your positive reviews, just give a brief “thank you” message to acknowledge that you saw it.
If you ever receive a negative review, however, you may want to spend a little more time crafting a response. First, see if you can personally discuss the issues mentioned in the review with the patient that left it. This may result in them changing their review or taking it down.
Then, if the review doesn’t get changed or removed, make sure to leave a professional and polite response that acknowledges any issues that they mentioned. It looks much better to people researching your practice if it seems that you at least tried to resolve the issue.
Go deeper: How to respond to negative reviews
Should I offer rewards for reviews or buy positive reviews?
Other than showing gratitude and thanking your patients, do not ever offer any kind of reward or incentives for positive reviews on your Google listing.
Bribing or paying for reviews is highly against Google’s policies and can result in unfortunate consequences for your Google listing. If Google caught wind that you were paying for reviews, they may delete all of your reviews or penalize your Google My Business listing by removing it from the search results.
Neither of those consequences is worth the risk.
If you’re having a hard time getting new Google reviews for your dental practice, one thing you can try is incentivizing your staff members to encourage more customer reviews–like asking your patients for them or sending out review invitations.
Set a goal with your staff members to receive 3 to 5 new reviews each month, and when you achieve that goal, throw a pizza party or buy lunch for everyone. Sometimes the hardest part about implementing new review strategies is getting your staff members on board. This can help with that.
Try reputation management software
A great way to save your staff members’ time and increase your practice’s revenue is to use reputation management software to help send review invitations.
Several reputation management solutions offer automated features to send out review invitations, and for some, you can even set up automated responses for your reviews so you can focus on running your practice.
Another awesome feature that most reputation management services offer is the ability to segment out the happy reviewers from those that are upset with their experience. The happy patients will get sent to Google to leave their positive feedback while the unhappy patients will be provided with a more private solution to discuss their experience with you.
Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!