Why it’s time to stop running from online reviews
Amy Jones talks about why she believes online reviews are so important for practices and how to start embracing them
No one likes receiving a bad review. Dental Design works with hundreds of dentists and dental practices and have found this topic to come up time and time again.
The feedback we mostly hear from our clients regarding negative reviews is: ‘I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing!’
This is entirely understandable – dentists are extremely busy, working in a stressful environment with more than enough to occupy them. What’s more, as with many dilemmas, when you don’t know the best way to deal with something, it feels safer to ignore it.
At Dental Design, the team believes that online reviews for dental practices are extremely important. There is a stack of data available about the influence that online reviews have on consumer behaviour. Recommendations (or otherwise) for where to shop, eat and stay are available in a few clicks, and we all read them.
According to the website learn.g2crowd.com, a massive 95% of shoppers read online reviews; with another source stating how 93% of local consumers use them to determine if a local business is any good. Also, www.invespcro.com states that 88% of a sample surveyed said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Removing the fear
The modern dental patient is internet savvy, smart and knows just where to look in order to find out more about your practice. The management of your online reputation really is key to your long-term success.
Dental Design wants to take the fear out of online reviews, so let the team take care of them for you! We don’t want dentists to think: ‘I don’t know how to deal with this, so therefore it doesn’t matter’ or wonder what might be out there, but have no idea where to start. We want dental practices to embrace online reviews, be aware that they exist and, if they’re negative, manage them efficiently.
A bad review isn’t the end of the world, and giving an emotional, heat-of-the-moment answer to an angry, unhappy patient isn’t effective either. A bad review can often be turned into a positive with the right response, which is what Dental Design can help you do.
Once we have alerted you to it, we will advise on the right reply, which may be as simple as explaining to the patient the unforeseen circumstances that meant their appointment had to be pushed back.
Good reviews can flush out a bad one too. This goes back to today’s smart and discerning patients – one poor review in a sea of positive will stand out and, with common sense, a patient will be able to decide how much importance they should give to it.
Reviews are essential from a business perspective. Fresh, positive reviews can improve your search engine ranking and boost your online presence, which is vital for inspiring patient confidence and attracting new people.
To this end, review management is already included in Dental Design’s package of services to existing clients and we’ll be launching a fantastic new system, the Easyreview, at the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show, co-located with Dental Technology Showcase, in May.
Dental practices need to know what their patients are saying, whether it’s good or bad. Monitoring reviews and responding accordingly is not just about managing your online reputation either. It’s a way to engage with your patients and show them that you are listening, which should always be at the heart of a patient-focused service.