Aside from providing excellent service, building a strong and stable online reputation through reviews and referrals from customers is one of the main foundations of a successful business. And, just like any other business establishment, getting online reviews and knowing how to properly manage them can help in the development and growth of your dental office.
Most dentists often neglect the importance of reviews, especially since many of them rely on direct referrals to gain new patients. However, what many of them don’t realize is that reviews posted online can do a lot more than word-of-mouth referrals. After all, in today’s digital world where almost everyone is connected, your online reputation serves as a vital aspect that will determine the success of your business.
Despite the importance of having an online presence, not many dentists are capitalizing on this opportunity. In fact, the majority of dental professionals, or about 54%, do not even have a registered email account for their office. Also, due to the lack of an online reputation, about 51% do not appear on Google Analytics.
The most effective way to gain reviews from patients is by establishing an online presence. This can be accomplished through various means such as setting up Facebook and Google+ accounts, managing a blog, or creating a website for your dental office. Aside from these, there are also other websites in Australia that are dedicated to providing consumers with an avenue to post their reviews about various local establishments. Some of these are Product Review, Choice, Word of Mouth and Yelp, which became available in Australia in 2011.
Creating accounts with these various sites will help boost your dental office’s operations as having a well-managed online reputation creates the opportunity to reach out to more people and potential patients.
After establishing an online presence, the next step is to reach out to patients in order to get reviews. Although you can rely on consumer-focused websites such as those mentioned above to accomplish this, probably the most effective way to gain reviews is by engaging patients directly. One way to do this is by leaving out a laptop or tablet computer in the reception area. Through this device, which is preferably connected to the Internet, you or a staff member can ask patients to leave reviews about their experience on their social media accounts. The best time to do so is before or after their scheduled appointments.
Another way is to engage patients through social media posts. Aside from sharing informative and entertaining content to followers, it is also ideal to ask what they think about the dental office’s services from time to time.
Of course, not every review will be positive. From time to time, there will be negative reviews criticizing minor to major aspects of the operation such as the cleanliness of the clinic, the demeanour of the staff members and the overall patient care experience. If the website or account you are using allows you to respond to comments or reviews, it’s highly advisable to leave a response to inform reviewers that you value their feedback and are doing everything that your office can to improve its service. In other words, it’s best to consider bad reviews as constructive criticism in order to know which aspects of your dental office’s operations you need to improve.
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