December 19, 2016
by Jackson Hadley, My Social Practice
Your practice needs online reviews to build organic, word-of-mouth marketing, but asking patients to write one can be difficult. Implement these simple tips with your team and you’ll be able to confidently and comfortably invite patients to become advocates for your practice by leaving a review.
A recent study reported that over 90 percent of consumers now rely on online reviews to help them decide between local businesses. And when potential patients look your practice up on Google, Facebook, or Yelp, reviews are the first thing they see. If it’s so crucial, why then do so few practices have a strong online reviews presence?
The answer isn’t complicated: asking for reviews can be hard. Perhaps your team members may not want to take any more of a patient’s time after an appointment. Maybe they’re afraid of appearing pushy or straining the relationship, or maybe they simply don’t know how to bring it up. In any case, once a patient walks out the door, you’ve largely missed your chance to get a review from them. You need a plan to get patients to write a review from their phone while still in your practice.
Here are 7 simple ways you can more effectively acquire patient reviews:
1. Make it easy for patients to find you and leave a review where they want. Maintain updated business listings on at least Google, Facebook and Yelp. Include links to your reviews pages in newsletters, printed materials, thank you emails and other communications.
2. DON’T ask every patient for a review! In your team huddle each morning, pull up the schedule and see who is coming in. Identify one or two of your patients who love your practice and you suspect would be happy to leave you a review.
3. Train your whole team, but make specific assignments. Don’t set your team up to fail by saying “OK everyone, we need to get out there today and ask for lots of reviews!” Instead, decide together who will be asking for reviews that day and have them report on how it goes. You know which team members have the closest relationships with each patient. Set them up for success!
4. Set a goal and frame your request for reviews around it. Instead of asking for a review, ask your patients for “help in reaching your practice’s reviews goal.” Context matters! Just this small change makes it easier for team members to bring it up.
5. Offer an incentive—not to patients, but to your team. We’ve found in hundreds of cases that patients don’t need a reward to give a review. Offering an incentive to your team members, however, will help them remember to ask for reviews along with all the other things they have to do. Consider giving out individual prizes per review and team rewards as your practice reaches reviews milestones!
6. Launch an official reviews campaign. Schedule team meeting time specifically for talking about reviews progress and brainstorming ideas. Announce your reviews goal in your practice with posters, cards, buttons, and handouts.
7. Just ask — and be transparent. You know how crucial honest feedback and reviews are for building your practice. Let patients know how much you rely on reviews to improve your service and find more great patients like them. Remember, if you’re not asking for reviews, chances are you’ll only get one when a customer is unhappy!
Note: When patients write a review in your practice, ask them to first disconnect their phone from your practice’s WiFi network. Google and other services may notice multiple reviews coming from your practice’s IP address, and they may be flagged as illegitimate.
Once you have a steady supply of reviews, check out our blog post on how to use their full potential in your marketing efforts.
Generate Reviews, Grow Your Practice
The importance of positive patient reviews in dental marketing can’t be overstated. More and more people are turning to Google, Facebook, and Yelp to find the best-rated businesses in their area, and reviews play a large part in who they ultimately decide to call.
With a consistent, coordinated effort from your whole team, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can build a strong base of positive reviews — improving your local SEO, attracting new patients, and boosting retention.
About the Author
Jackson Hadley is a marketing strategist with My Social Practice, which provides a complete social media marketing solution for dental, orthodontic and optometric practices. A public relations specialist, Jackson combines the advertising and trust-building aspects of social media to help businesses connect authentically with their communities.
Excellent article! Thanks! This will help us!
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