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Asking Patients for Reviews — 4 Best Practices

In our modern day and age, if people can’t find your practice online, they might not find it at all. 


Our mouths are one of the first things people notice about us, so it makes sense that when it comes to choosing a dentist, people can be pretty particular—they want to make sure they’re leaving their pearly whites in the right hands. That’s why building trust is crucial for dental practices. 

So how do you gain the trust of potential patients in a world that is full of competition? The answer is simple: You need online reviews. According to research, reviews influence 88% of consumers in discovering a local business. Reviews are crucial to strengthening your online reputation and establishing credibility. Furthermore, they improve your local search ranking, which is key to getting found online. 

4 Review Collection Best Practices

We get it—if you’re new to the world of online reputation building, collecting reviews and building a 5-star online reputation can be easier said than done. In this article, we’ll go over 4 best practices that will help you generate more reviews and lead your practice down the path to stardom. 

  1. Timing is everything

Most patients will be happy to leave a review for your practice, but you have to be willing to ask them to do it. The key here is getting the timing right. Try to find natural touch points along the customer journey to ask for a review. Some examples of good times to ask include: 

  • At the end of an appointment. 
  • When collecting payment (whether in person or via text).
  • While scheduling any follow-up care. 

Basically, you don’t want to wait for days after a patient has left your office. By sending a review request immediately after an appointment or interaction, you ensure that the service they received from you is top of mind, and you’ll be more likely to get a response. 

  1. The more, the merrier

When it comes to reviews, quantity matters. Having a lot of reviews helps boost local search engine optimization (SEO) and improves your overall star rating on Google. So, don’t cherry-pick and only ask the people who seem to be your most satisfied patients. Cast a wide net and ask everyone who visits your office for a review. Chances are, most patients will be satisfied with their experience and give your practice a positive rating. 

And remember, try not to be intimidated by negative reviews. If you get a less-than-stellar review—it happens to the best of us—try to see it as an opportunity to improve. By responding to negative reviews and implementing changes based on feedback where necessary, you can turn unhappy patients into some of your biggest advocates. 

  1. Make it a team effort

Building a 5-star online reputation is a big job—and you shouldn’t do it alone. Team involvement can make a major impact when collecting reviews from patients. You should bake asking for reviews into the daily to-do lists of everyone on your team. It might not come naturally at first, but with practice, you’ll find that asking for reviews becomes second nature. 

Asking for reviews in person adds a personal touch to the patient experience, increasing their likelihood to leave a review. Try encouraging your staff to mention the importance of reviews for your business any time they interact with a patient. 

Another idea? Make it fun by having a competition to see who can collect the most reviews. You might even give the winner a prize to boost the stakes. But the real prize will be the long-term impact of those positive reviews on your practice.  

Creating a review-based culture can even help you boost morale. No one likes to work hard without seeing the fruits of their labor. Try sharing positive reviews in team meetings to remind everyone why their work matters.

  1. Remove Friction From The Process

Customers are less likely to leave you a review if the process isn’t quick and convenient, so we’d recommend reaching out to customers where they’re at by asking for reviews via text. Research shows that: 

  • 90% of consumers prefer interacting with businesses over text.
  • Texting boasts a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook. Texting saves time for everyone. 
  • 2/3 of consumers think texting makes working with a local business more convenient. 

When sending a review request via text, there are a few best practices to keep in mind: 

  1.  Address the patient by name. Personalization goes a long way! 
  2. Explain why their review matters. Their feedback helps you provide a better experience for them. 
  3. Include a link to make leaving a review quick and easy. 

If you’re still not quite sure how to word your request, here’s a template you can use: 

Hi [customer name], thank you for choosing [location name] for your dental needs. Your feedback helps us provide the best service possible. Please consider leaving a review on Google about your experience: [link]


Get Better Dental Reviews With Podium

When it comes to building a stellar online reputation, having the right tools in your toolkit can make all the difference. Podium helps dental practices like yours improve their online reputation, simplify patient communication, and grow. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your practice collect 15x the reviews that traditional platforms produce, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues. 

With Podium’s integration in Open Dental, once the Podium bridge is enabled, it will pull data right out of the software and automate this process for maximum efficiency.

Want to learn more? Start a Free Trial today to see how our cloud-based platform can help your practice take its online reputation to the next level. 

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