Cialdini’s Principle of Consensus for Dental Practices
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Patient Attraction Episode 1114
This is the last of a series of podcasts in which I’ve looked at how dentists can apply Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence to get more new patients. Today’s podcast is on a subject near and dear to my heart – Consensus, or social proof, as it’s also called. Social proof is a powerful recruitment tool for dentists who want more new patients … if it’s handled right. Online reputation management is absolutely essential these days, because a handful of negative reviews can cause you to lose patients you’d otherwise get. After the break, I’ll be back to tell you how to make social proof work for you rather than against you. Stay tuned.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I’m Colin Receveur, CEO of SmartBox.
– As the saying goes these days, if you’re not on Google, you’re nowhere.
– Getting found online is crucial because that’s where more than 90 percent of prospects begin their search for a dentist.
– But when prospects find you, what will they see people saying about you and your practice?
– Patient reviews on your website, on Yelp, on Google +, and on other review sites constitute social proof.
– Enough very positive reviews, and prospects will take that as confirmation that you’re the right dentist for them.
– But online reputations these days are measured in fractions of stars.
– Most review sites offer reviewers the chance to assign a star rating, usually from 1 to 5.
– It takes very few 1-star ratings to knock down your overall rating.
– And when prospects can choose between a 5-star dentist and 4.2-star dentist, which do you think they’ll select?
– Many prospects don’t even read the reviews if the dentist’s rating is too low.
– But a low rating is usually accompanied by negative reviews.
– And when your prospects read those reviews, they’ll definitely click away and choose another dentist.
– Dentists who ignore their online reviews and ratings are asking for trouble.
– And yet, all too many of them do.
– Managing your online reputation is essential, but it’s also an enormous time suck.
– There are ways to make the job of overseeing your reviews easier.
– You can set Google My Business to notify you automatically when a new review is posted.
– You can do the same for Yelp and other review sites.
– I recommend enabling those notifications, because a large part of recruiting patients online is interacting with them.
– Be sure to thank everyone who leaves a positive review.
– And emphasize that everyone who visits your practice can expect the same good experience.
– But even more important is dealing with negative reviews.
– You simply can’t afford to let those remain unaddressed.
– But you also can’t afford knee-jerk reactions online.
– Since bad online reviews can be personal, it’s often best to let someone else respond.
– And you need to have a carefully considered plan in place before anyone from your practice addresses the review.
– If at all possible, try to take the conversation offline.
– If you can resolve the issue with the unhappy patient, consider asking them to post a retraction online.
– So, interact with admirers and minimize the damage from disgruntled posters.
– But the very best way to maximize your star rating is to request reviews from your patients.
– The timing on asking is a bit sensitive.
– If someone has been in the chair for an hour and still has a numb jaw when they’re walking out, that may not be the best time.
– But you should have a follow-up system in place for every patient.
– The more positive social proof you can present, the more new patients you can expect to schedule an appointment.
– SmartBox dentists don’t have to spend hours after the workday managing their online reputations.
– We include advanced, comprehensive online reputation management services as part of our industry-leading Patient Attraction System™.
– SmartBox helps more than 550 dentists on 3 continents get more and better patients.
– If you’d like to focus on seeing patients and making money rather than dealing with online reviews, here’s a suggestion.
– Visit smartboxdental.com and reserve your free Practice Discovery Session™.
– We’ll show you a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or even triple your practice.
– And before I sign off today, let me wish everybody a very happy and prosperous New Year.
– Join me for our next podcast.
– Until then, keep moving forward.