The Importance of Online Reviews for Your Office

How well are you managing your online reputation? The BrightLocal 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed important and undeniable results relevant for dentists.

Here are five takeaways from their report:

1. Consumers read even fewer reviews than they once did before deciding to pick up the phone or call. 40% of consumers read 1-3 reviews before forming an opinion. What does this mean for you? People are not going to balance all of the reviews you have. They will pick a few to read and make a judgement call. Hopefully your reviews represent a mix where the positive will always outnumber the negative, and all are highly informative.

2. 44% of consumers said that reviews older than a month were irrelevant. Your reviews need to be fresh, meaning you need to solicit new reviews from current patients every day. Show your patients how much you value their feedback with incentives like, “Review us on google and get entered into a prize drawing,” or “Get $10 cash at the front desk for reviewing us on Google!” Good, informative reviews are worth paying for.

3. Your reviews have a huge impact on potential customers–the star rating was the #1 tool used by consumers determining the trustworthiness of a business. Only 13% of those surveyed said they would consider a business that had a 1-2 star rating.

4. People put more credibility into online reviews than ever before in determining the trustworthiness of your business. 92% of consumers use online reviews to choose who they will do business with

5. One in three people polled said they had read reviews for dentists and doctors in the last year and 35% of said they had used Google to search for a dentist in the last year. 53% said that a practice’s online reputation “mattered most” when choosing a dentist (only 51% said the same for selecting a restaurant). Simply put: THIS IS AN INDUSTRY WHERE ONLINE REVIEWS MATTER.

Managing your dental practice’s online reputation has become more important than ever. Monitor your recent reviews frequently because prospective patients are reading fewer reviews AND depending on those reviews more to decide if they will schedule an appointment. Your practice’s recent reviews are determining the likelihood that a patient will call, so keep a good watch for any reviews that appear overly negative or damaging to your reputation. ALLOW FOR SOME NEGATIVE REVIEWS. We don’t want people to think you’re working the system or making up fake reviews. People can smell a fake review a mile away, so make sure to solicit reviews from actual patients.

What do I do with this Information?

Your reputation is a valuable asset, and this study demonstrates how much the internet controls your reputation. Do not leave it to chance. Refer to your reviews in staff meetings, solicit reviews from all of your patients, and offer incentives for patients who leave Google or Yelp reviews. Reward your staff for meeting a “Google Review Quota” each month. Print out good reviews and display them in your office breakroom.

Implementing these practices has boosted our number of online reviews exponentially. These days, it’s hard to determine what’s worse—only one bad internet review or no reviews at all. Luckily, by implementing these suggestions and understanding the results of this study, you can control your online reputation. And forming a positive reputation will yield real returns.

For Clients of Platinum Recall, we seek to strengthen patient retention through our dental call center , strengthen purpose within the office through our dental coaching and team training , take a burden off with our dental bookeeping/dental accounting service , provide 24/7 call answering to your patients with our dental phone answering service, exceptional and artistic dental restorations through Platinum Dental lab, and Platinum Stats, which provides your practice valuable insights on areas of improvement and progress.

Why is it so important to garnish online reviews through Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook? Because it will drive strong SEO for your website, build the trust of new patients, and boost your bottom line. Need we say more? With our services and your efforts to solicit patient referrals, we guarantee your practice will be seeing 10-40 patients a month or your money back .

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