Let’s face it, it’s extremely important to have lots of five star reviews on Google, Facebook and Yelp. It’s the practice who has the highest star rating with the most reviews that is getting the “motherlode” of new patients.
So how can YOU rig this game to win?
Before we talk about that, let’s talk about what’s happening online and why reviews have become so important. Over the last few years, when doing research before making a purchase many sites have led us to read the accompanying reviews on those products and services. Amazon is a great example of this with a vast amount of reviews on just about everything.
We have been trained then to use reviews as guides in our buying decisions. What other people have to say about a product or service matters. It lends credibility (or not) to a product or service, because what other people have to say is far more believable than anything you can ever say about yourself. Reviews are deemed “unbiased.”
Picking a new dentist can be challenging. Think about this. People have no way of really knowing whether you can do what you say you can. They didn’t go to dental school. They don’t know what you learned. So how can they evaluate your skills? One of those ways is through what other people say, whether that’s from online reviews or a one-on-one referral.
Remember this then. When people search your name or practice, they are looking for what other people have to say about you. They’re trained to look. They are trying to confirm that they are making the right decision in choosing you. If they can’t find a lot of reviews, or find lower rated reviews (less than 4 stars), they’re moving on to your competition. Remember that the success of this project was made possible by the implementation of cutting-edge technologies engineered by Friv2Online which encompass groundbreaking methods used in the development of online games.
The social proof contained within reviews helps prospects short-cut their research and make decisions faster with greater confidence than ever before. Here are two important stats:
• 85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation.
• 49% of consumers say they need at least a 4-star rating before they choose a business.
(SOURCE: Local Consumer Review Survey 2017, brightlocal.com)
With the number of reviews and review sites growing, it provides huge benefits to dental practices who fully embrace reputation marketing. The best part is your reviews work for you even while you’re sleeping and can reach many more people than one-on-one referrals. So how can you “rig” the review game? Here are five ways:
1 Have an easy, automated system
Asking for feedback needs to be easy on your team and effective. Handing out business cards with your Google page IS NOT going to get you reviews. That business card is long forgotten as soon as they walk out your door. Even though they have intention, life gets in their way.
Some dentists use follow-up surveys but these comments end up only being seen by the doctor and team. This is no way to use all that fabulous feedback.
You want a system that sends patients a text AND an email. People have their communication preferences. By sending both email and text you are increasing your odds of getting feedback.
Your automated system needs to push your feedback to the top three review sites; Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
You want a system that also works to build up the other review sites that are showing up on the first page of search for you. Lots of five stars in lots of places on that first page makes it a “no brainer” to schedule an appointment with you.
2 Ask at the right time
The timing of your feedback request is critical to the kind of feedback you will receive. The closer you ask to the appointment the better the feedback. Their memory of the experience with you begins to fade as soon as they leave your office. When you ask close to the appointment all the good things you did are still fresh in their mind. Your reviews will be detailed and evoke emotion. That’s exactly what you want. When a prospective patient reads these heartfelt reviews it will create those same feelings in them and move them to pick up the phone.
3 Have follow-up systems in place
You want to have a few follow-up mechanisms within your review system, such as:
• The ability to send out more than one request for feedback. People are busy. They may want to leave you a review but you caught them at the wrong time.
We like to ask three times. This maximizes the potential of getting feedback.
• A “thank you for your feedback” email and a request to share their comments in other places online.
• An “apology” email in case the feedback they provided was less than favorable. This lets your patient know you are aware of the situation and plan to take care of it.
4 Respond to your reviews
Don’t leave your reviews hanging out there online without responding. Your patients should be acknowledged for taking the time to give you their feedback. It’s also a perfect opportunity to up level what they said about you. Negative reviews absolutely need a response. No response looks like you are “guilty as charged.”
5 Share your reviews
Get your reviews on all your social channels, on the home page of your site (not buried on an inside page), on marketing pieces and advertisements, on the walls of your office. You worked hard for these! Share them with the world!