September 14, 2020
by Oral Health
Communication is key if you want to develop long lasting relationships with your patients. Good communication can be accomplished by taking the time to speak with patients during their appointments and conducting follow-up phone calls. Using social media is also a new way to communicate. Once a relationship is formed with your patients, you may decide to ask them to leave a positive online review for your practice. In fact, 44% of patients say they would consider leaving an online review for their dentist simply if they were asked to!
Another important statistic to look at is that 65% of patients agree they look for online reviews when searching for a dentist online. Online reviews and social media are the new version of word-of-mouth marketing. Patients tend to feel most confident making decisions if they can see a recommendation from a friend or peer. Yet only 30% of dentists believe in the importance of online reviews. Since patients are looking for the reviews, you should make the effort to ensure the reviews they see are positive and accurate. You can do this by using the power of asking your patients when they visit for an appointment. Don’t be shy! Over ½ of patients would be happy to leave an online review if they had a good experience.
Another important reason to encourage patients to leave their feedback, is that you can learn and grow as a dentist or, more importantly, as a business owner. If you receive a positive review, it will help you to be aware of what you and your staff are doing right. In the case of a negative review, this will allow you to see what weaknesses there might be at your office, which provides you the opportunity to reflect and make any changes you see fit. You have a busy schedule and it is understandable that occasionally things can slip through the cracks. Here are some ways you can ask patients to leave a review:
Ask them directly: At the end of an appointment, you can mention it directly to them on their way out.
Post signs in your office: Hanging up signs with a brief message encouraging them to leave an online review and where to do it will put the idea in their minds, or reinforce it if you mentioned it previously.
Social media: If you have a social media presence, you can make encouraging posts for patients with a direct link for them to click, which will make it easier for them to leave the review.
Text messaging: If you already have a text messaging program set up at your practice, you can send out a friendly reminder to patients to leave you a review, including the direct link.
Whichever way you choose to do it, asking patients to leave you an online review can be extremely beneficial. Most patients are happy to do it; they just need to be asked!
As seen in the print issue of Oral Health September 2020
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