Online reviews can be a powerful tool for dental practices looking to grow their customer base and increase their bottom line. According to research by DentaVox, 86% of patients check online reviews before choosing a dentist. And not only do online reviews give potential customers the information they need to make an informed decision about their next dentist, but they also provide tangible benefits to the practices themselves, including increased local visibility, improved credibility, and more.
In this article, we’ll go over why online reviews are crucial for dental practices and we’ll share some tips to help you collect more reviews and grow your practice’s online presence.
How Online Reviews Benefit Dental Practices
So you’ve been told that reviews are important, but what, exactly, can they do for your dental practice? Let’s go over some of the main benefits.
→ Increased Visibility and Clicks
It’s a well-known fact that the top organic search results on Google receive the majority of clicks. One way to propel your business to the top of the search results is through 5-star reviews. There’s no arguing it; putting effort into getting high-quality reviews can really pay off for your practice.
→ Improved Credibility
72% of people say positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Online reviews give potential customers an honest look at what it is like to receive care from your practice. Positive reviews can help build up credibility for your practice and increase customer trust in the quality of care they’ll receive when they come in for an appointment. This not only helps convince potential customers that you’re worth visiting, but it also encourages existing ones to keep coming back as well.
→ Better Reputation
Having a good reputation among customers is essential for any business and this is especially true in the healthcare industry. Having a lot of good reviews is a green flag to potential patients. On the other hand, a few bad reviews can cause serious damage to your reputation. That being said, if you respond quickly and appropriately to negative feedback—whether it’s by addressing customer concerns or offering a solution—this too can help build customer trust in your practice and shape how others perceive you online.
→ Enhanced Loyalty
In addition to increasing visibility and credibility, online reviews can also be used as an effective tool for improving customer loyalty. Positive feedback from current patients serves as a form of social proof that encourages others considering care at your practice to book an appointment. Furthermore, responding promptly and properly with thank you messages or special offers for those who leave positive feedback will further solidify relationships between you and existing patients and make them even more likely to recommend you to their friends and family members.
→ More Efficient Marketing Opportunities
Online reviews provide valuable insights into what resonates with your target audience and what areas could use improvement—both from an operational standpoint and a marketing perspective. By monitoring customer feedback on popular review sites, dental practices can gain insight into how their services are perceived by patients and determine if there are any issues that need addressing or areas where additional services might be needed. This information can then be used as part of an effective marketing plan tailored specifically for local audiences.
5 Tips for Collecting Reviews
Reviews are essential if you want a thriving practice. But how do you get them? The good news is that the more you ingrain review collection into your daily processes, the easier it becomes. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Ask For Them Directly
The best way to get more reviews is simply to ask for them—it really is that simple. Studies show that 77% of people are willing to leave an online review if asked to do so. You can encourage past patients to leave an honest assessment of their experience with your practice through emails, text messages, or even flyers at the office.
- Offer Incentives
Incentivization is another proven way to increase the number of online testimonials. While you can’t incentivize people to leave positive reviews, you can encourage them to leave honest ones. Incentives might be anything from a discount on teeth whitening to a free cleaning or entry in a giveaway.
- Respond to Every Review
Another great way to garner more reviews is by taking the time to respond personally and promptly whenever someone leaves feedback on one of your pages or websites. Not only does this show your patients that you value their opinion, but also encourages other people who see the review (and your response) to leave feedback too.
- Make Leaving the Review Easy
People are busy, and they’ll be much less likely to leave you a review if it’s going to require a significant time investment. When you ask for reviews via text or email, be sure to provide a link so all the recipient has to do is tap their screen, write their review, and click publish.
- Invest in Tools to Streamline the Process
Review collection doesn’t have to drain all of your time and resources. There are plenty of software tools out there that make requesting—and responding to—reviews a breeze. By investing in the right review collection software, you can automate the review collection process and build a 5-star reputation in no time.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your online presence with plenty of quality reviews. It takes some effort and commitment, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Start Collecting Reviews with Podium
The key to improving your online reputation without wasting time or resources is having the right tools in your toolkit. Podium helps dental practices like yours collect reviews, keep patient interactions organized, boost revenue, and more.
And with Podium’s integration in Open Dental, once you enable the Podium bridge, you’ll be able to automate the review collection process and grow your online presence with ease.
Want to learn more? Start a free trial today to see how Podium can help take your practice to the next level.