Most dental professionals prefer to focus on providing a great service… not marketing.
That’s great — from a patient service point of view. Your patients probably love you for exactly that… but the issue is that great service does not always equate to a thriving practice. Now, let me clarify, this is a key piece of running a successful practice — but unfortunately, marketing is often the driving factor behind generating growth for your practice (for better or worse).
This causes a common misunderstanding in most dental marketing strategies: A focus on patient satisfaction, without leveraging that great service for practice growth. Essentially, you need to learn how to leverage the amazing service that you are providing for effective online marketing.
Why should you bother getting reviews?
Without patient reviews, people searching for local dental practices will not be *compelled* to check out your practice. If a competing practice has more positive reviews than you, it is very likely that they will get the new patient. This comes down to social proof — essentially, people tend to make decisions that other people have made before them (because people tend to ‘follow the crowd’).
You need to take advantage of this marketing tenet — by leveraging your best patients, and getting them to post about their great experiences with your practice on online dental practice review websites, forums, and other communities. This way your practice will receive a massive boost in traffic/reputation/authority, and will have a much easier time getting new patients.
Get Started With Online Reviews, Receive Instant Gratification
If you start leveraging your great patient service today — you will see an (almost instant) increase in your online presence. Here’s how you do that:
Step 1) Talk, email, or connect with your best patients… and offer them a special deal.
Make sure that the special deal is actually valuable to them — remember they’re your best patients (whether that means the patients with the best satisfaction, or just the ones that have been coming to your practice for the longest time) — so even if you are technically losing a bit of profit by giving them a great deal… it’s worth it. You want to demonstrate that you value *their* patronage first and foremost, and then you can effectively ask for something in return.
Step 2) Ask these same patients (who want to take advantage of the special offer) to write you an *honest* review
You should make the process as easy as possible. Streamline it — whether you are executing this marketing strategy through email (send direct links to relevant review websites, this gives you control over where the reviews are placed), in person (give them a little card or paper with the same information), or some other medium.
Tip: Test whether asking for a review, or requiring a review to take advantage of the special deal, converts better. You might be surprised that sometimes taking the “soft-sell” approach will work best.
Step 3) Watch as online reviews for your practice pour in.
One of the huge benefits here is that your best patients are the ones taking advantage of this offer. So you first are offering them value, and making them happy (and reiterating why they love your practice), then asking for a small action in return. They’ll be happy to return the favor and really explain why they love your practice.
This will translate into a massive boost in online authority for your dental practice.
Now do you understand why online reviews are so important for dental practices?