By now, you understand the importance of managing your online reputation. Negative reviews can be mitigated and handled so they have minimal to no impact on your practice. Not having a robust reputation online at all, though, can be even worse than having negative reviews!
As Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” So to generate, enhance, and maintain your online reputation, use our own tried, tested, and true technique: the “COME ON!” approach.
C is for Consistency
Directly asking patients for online reviews might not be the most comfortable thing in the world. Fret not, though. You needn’t ask every single patient to leave an online review.
The best approach is to take a few minutes during a morning or weekly meeting, before the doors have opened, to identify which patients would be optimal to ask. Then, identify the staff member or doctor with the best relationship with those particular patients to ask for the review.
This is perhaps the most natural and results-producing method of getting these reviews. It helps minimize awkward situations while maximizing the number of favorable reviews.
When you ask with sincerity and openness, you’d be surprised how willing pleased patients are to give back and leave a review as a way of saying thanks. And just like everyone else, your patients might get a bit busy and forgetful, so this little nudge is usually all that’s needed to get the online feedback we want.
O is for Office Signage
In addition to verbal requests, it really does help to have an eye-catching sign at check-in or checkout asking your patients to leave a review. It serves as a nice, simple reminder without having to ask (or in addition to your verbal request).
And with the way smartphones are used to kill time these days, it’s pretty likely that while patients are waiting a few minutes to be called back, they will take that opportunity to write a review. Get creative and put something together that catches their attention.
M is for Making It Easy
There are many ways you can provide your patients with the steps needed to leave an online review on the platforms you’ve targeted as the most relevant to your practice. You can shoot them a text message with a link to the review page of your preferred platform or even send them an email at checkout that directs them to the appropriate page.
Because they are busy, the last thing many of our patients want to do is try to figure out how to leave a review on Google, Facebook, or Yelp. This is why it’s best to simply send them directly to the review pages on these platforms. It eliminates the need to provide verbal step-by-step instructions on how to get to those sites.
E is for Email
Email campaigns are great for many things, including online reputation management. You can use your email campaign to give patients a friendly reminder that if they haven’t already left a review that it would be tremendously appreciated if they did so. Be sure to include instructions or, better yet, links directly to the review pages in the email.
It’s best to send these friendly reminders every so often, though. We don’t want to bombard patients with these messages every month and seem desperate or needy. Also, you can use social media to ask your followers and fans to leave a review. Get creative with the way you ask that’ll be sure to get the best response, in terms of quality and quantity.
O is for Ongoing Monitoring
Online reputation management requires heightened vigilance. You never know when a negative review might strike. If and when this happens, it’s imperative you don’t let it linger.
N is for Never Ignoring a Negative Review
Negative reviews may happen, but they aren’t the end of the world. By constantly monitoring and moderating your reviews, you can publicly respond to any unfavorable ones before any damage is done.
By responding to these reviews, you will prove to potential and current patients alike that you truly care about their experiences and are actively working to resolve any issues they may have had. This way, a negative review becomes something positive, as it allows you to address specific issues in a personal, caring manner for all to see.
Moreover, as long as you are proactive and diligent in asking your patients to leave a positive review, the few perhaps misguided negative ones will be vastly outweighed and overshadowed. In comparison to your vast amount of positive reviews, they’ll appear as mere dismissible outliers.
With over a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Jackie Ulasewich decided to take her passion for the dental business and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency. Since starting her company, Jackie and her team have helped a wide variety of business owners all over the nation focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase their sales through effective marketing campaigns. When she isn’t helping dental practices reach their full potential, she can be found at the beach with her three dogs or immersed in everything food-related with her large Italian family. For more, call (800) 689-6434 or email Jackie@mydentalagency.com.