Benefits of Managing Your Online Reputation
Managing your online reputation by minimizing the effect of negative reviews while encouraging more positive assessments can give your practice many advantages.
As a dentist in the digital age, your online reputation is crucial. It reflects the bond of trust between you and your patients and plays a major role in attracting new patients.
While word-of-mouth recommendations from existing clients remain important, the majority of your prospective patients will turn to online reviews when looking for a new dentist.
If these people see positive online evaluations of your practice, it acts as a persuasive marketing tool that can have a big impact on generating new business.
However, some adverse reviews are inevitable and they can seriously damage the way your dental office is perceived.
Overcoming this problem by protecting your online reputation can be time-consuming but it will give your dental office many benefits.
How Online Reputation Management Can Help Your Practice
Effective online reputation management can give your practice multiple advantages, including:
- Making a good first impression. Online reviews are the first port of call for almost three-quarters of patients searching for a new dentist. This makes it imperative to have a strong online reputation with review ratings averaging at least four stars.
- Gaining a higher level of trust among potential patients. A practice with a good online reputation will be trusted more than those with negative feedback that’s not dealt with properly.
- Helping you to stand out from other local dental practices. If other dental offices in your area neglect their online reputation, looking after yours can put you head and shoulders above them in the eyes of potential patients.
- Minimizing the risk of further reputation damage. A poor reputation can be self-perpetuating – bad news travels fast. You can counter this with an efficient online reputation management strategy.
- Improving your online visibility. Favorable reviews on platforms such as Google can help to boost your practice’s ranking in search results. If these reviews are spread across multiple sites, so much the better.
- Increasing revenue by attracting more patients. According to Harvard Business School, every additional one-star rating on Yelp could boost your revenue by as much as nine percent.
Attracting the Right Caliber of Dental Staff
Managing your online reputation can also help you to recruit the best people for your dental team.
As well as your dentistry expertise, the quality of patient support services your office provides is a major factor in attracting and retaining new patients.
A strong online reputation will appeal to prospective employees with high standards of professionalism who’re looking to work for a dental practice with similar values.
How to Build a Strong Online Reputation for Your Dental Office
If your practice enjoys a strong online reputation, it becomes a powerful asset in your digital marketing efforts.
A good online reputation management strategy entails:
- Proactively encouraging positive reviews.
- Monitoring reviews for problems.
- Responding to negative reviews to mitigate reputation damage.
Without these measures, bad reviews can result in a perception among prospective patients that your practice adopts an arrogant approach and ignores the views of its patients.
How to Get More Good Reviews
Getting more good reviews will go a long way in minimizing the effects of bad ones. One way to lessen the impact of unfavorable reviews is to encourage all your patients to post reviews on platforms such as:
- Healthgrades. If a potential patient searches Google for your dental office, your information and patient satisfaction surveys on Healthgrades are likely to be high in the listings. Healthgrades publishes data on over three million U.S. healthcare providers and has amassed more than 100 million users.
- Yelp. Dental patients use Yelp to post reviews and rate practices, so building a strong presence on this social network site can be vital for your dental office. Like Healthgrades, Yelp pages can also rank highly in Google’s organic search results.
- Google. Google reviews can directly boost your overall local SEO (search engine optimization) ranking, making you stand out from the competition. Consistently good feedback can also bring in new patients.
- Facebook. Although people don’t typically search for a dentist on Facebook, a review on this leading social site could work as an indirect referral when people “like” your practice.
You can also encourage patients to leave feedback on the testimonials page of your website.
Research shows that:
- Nearly 70 percent of consumers leave a review when asked to do so.
- 70 percent use online reviews to find a healthcare provider.
- Over 90 percent trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.
Monitoring Online Reviews
You can’t respond to a negative online review if you never see it. Monitoring your reviews allows you to:
- Enhance your insight of how patients perceive your practice.
- Repair the potential damage of adverse comments.
- Promote positive feedback.
Research by the BrightLocal SEO resource in 2017 revealed that nearly all consumers went online to look for local businesses, with almost one-third regarding replies to reviews as an important factor in evaluating a local business.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Failing to respond to adverse reviews can send out the wrong message about your practice – that you don’t care what your patients think.
As well as demonstrating you have the best interests of your patients at heart, responding to a negative review will set you apart from dental offices that ignore damaging feedback. It also gives you the opportunity to show prospective patients that you’re willing to resolve any genuine issues raised by the reviewer.
Need Help with Your Online Reputation?
One of the paramount benefits of a good online reputation for dentists is more trust that results in more patients and increased revenue.
While bad reviews will invariably come your way, and you may also fall victim to fake reviews, the good news is that the right online management reputation-policy can overcome these issues. And, just as reputations can be tarnished, they can also be repaired.
Effective online reputation management isn’t a luxury for a dental office; it’s a necessity. If you need help in managing your practice’s online reputation, DentalROI is here to help – just reach out to us.