Reputation Marketing for Dentists

How To Win At The New Word-of-Mouth Marketing Game

It’s an online world, and dental practice reviews and ratings are the new word-of-mouth advertising. People overwhelmingly report that they trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend or a coworker.

You can’t take it for granted that your patients will post reviews of your practice or that those
reviews will be uniformly positive. Dentist reputation management is crucial to your success.

Your Reputation Consists Of Glows And Stars…

Positive (glowing) reviews of you and your practice give prospects good reasons to choose you rather than a competitor. The same is true of the “star” rating system that most review sites employ. But while it’s okay to get a few reviews that aren’t singing your praises to the high heavens, getting a few 4-star or even 3-star ratings can make a significant difference in prospects’ decision-making.

The more ratings you have, the less the impact of a single low star rating. But if you have a dozen ratings, and a disgruntled patient gives you a single star, that takes your overall rating down considerably. And when prospects are looking for a dentist, one of the first things they’ll look at is your practice’s rating versus your competitors.

And if your overall rating is 4.2 versus a competitor’s 4.9, you’d better give your prospects very good reasons to choose you.

…And Public Black Eyes, Which You Can’t Afford

Reputation management is about more than getting great reviews. Clearly, you need those, but sad fact is that one strongly negative review can have greater impact than ten glowing reviews – particularly if it’s not addressed. The longer that negative review remains online, the more prospects it may influence to choose another dentist.

Too many dental practices take one of two paths in dealing with negative reviews. There’s the “head in the sand” option where bad reviews are simply ignored. And then there’s the “scorched earth” policy of getting into an online debate with detractors. That rarely ends well for the dentist.

Reputation Management Needs A System

Your online reputation is too important to your success to leave to chance. Dental practices have to take proactive steps to maximize positive reviews and minimize the damage of negative reviews.

Reputation monitoring and management is typically assigned as an additional duty to an already busy staff member. Reviews aren’t always posted during working hours, however, so there will almost certainly be times when a negative review languishes online without being addressed.

It’s vital to have a clear and detailed internal policy for handling reviews, positive and negative. Acknowledging positive reviews and thanking the reviewers in a timely fashion is always well-received.

reviews usually require a different approach than engaging online. You can invite disgruntled posters to contact your practice directly to discuss the issue, but that’s typically where online interaction should stop. There’s too great a chance of the conversation devolving into a shouting match or blame game… where everybody can read it.

You probably won’t be able to determine who posted anonymous negative reviews. But when you can identify the poster, make every effort to reach out offline, whether over the phone, by email, or text message.

It’s not uncommon for negative reviews to emerge from misunderstandings or unmet expectations. Those misunderstandings can be clarified and unmet expectations can drive improvements in your practice.

Like all things non-dentistry, reputation management and monitoring can eat up a great deal of time. For dental practices of all sizes, there’s a new, state-of-the-art alternative.

SmartBox’s Rave™ Reputation Management System

Rave™ takes the hit-or-miss out of getting dental reviews. By automatically sending an SMS review request message (or an email, if desired) to every patient’s cell phone, Rave helps dentists get every possible review. And your positive reviews are automatically promoted to Google, Facebook Twitter, as well as your website. Search engine “crawlers” find those reviews and boost your ranking on organic search.

Rave™ also provides email alerts whenever a new review is posted. You’ll know at once when a negative review is posted. Take advantage of the one-touch “respond” option to begin dealing with the unhappy patient or prospect. Rave integrates with your practice management system with no effect on system performance.

Get Rave™ Reviews

You can win at the new online word-of-mouth marketing game and spend less time doing it with Rave™ . For more information about this milestone in dentist reputation management, call one of our Digital Practice Consultants at (866) 731-1776 today.