For a dentist to attract new patients easily, they need to work on gaining positive 5 star reviews from patients. Word of mouth has traditionally been one of the top methods for business growth, as a true time tested and proven approach. This is true on many levels and obviously depends on patients receiving quality care and treatment, so that they may feel inclined to recommend a dentist or practice to friends, family and colleagues.
So the first step is to ensure a practice is delivering the best possible care and service, and that there is a feedback mechanism and complaints policy to deal with any patient complaints. Indeed listening to feedback is important in order to diffuse any situations which may lead to negative feedback.
In terms of gaining new reviews this is very straight forward. A process needs to be designed and implemented which allows practices to gain new reviews, and for those to be visible online in order to attract new patients on a wider level. While patients can email reviews to the practice, or write them on a piece of paper, the impact will be limited. This is because reviews need to have a wider reach in order to attract patients. Therefore if a practice simply places reviews on their website and in their practice waiting rooms, the reach will not be broad enough.
The key decision is to determine which review platform will be used. Of course patients are free to write and share a review or comment anywhere, but the main channel chosen by the practice is vital. In terms of search and organic practice growth, Google would be the channel of choice. This is because the reviews will be visible when new patients are searching for a practice or for certain treatments such as Invisalign Fort Wayne, veneers, teeth whitening etc. The reviews and associated star rating will show up in the Google search results, paid advertising results and map listings.
Other channels include Facebook and business directories such as Yell and Yelp but their reach will not work in the same way as Google. As Google reviews will be seen during a search at the exact time when a patient is looking for a practice or specific treatment.
There are other channels such as Trustpilot but this service is not favoured by dentists in general as the platform is a paid service and reviews cannot be moved to another platform. For Maximum results dentists can share their organic reviews across their channels which includes online and offline for patient marketing purposes.
Reviews should be requested at specific touch points and time intervals. This includes after an appointment for example in practice, by email or by SMS. Response rates by channel and time intervals can be measured to increase response rates. Practices should always ask patients to post reviews, and this task should not be performed by the practice and it can be picked up by review platforms which would lead to reviews being removed. Reviews should be requested frequently and automatically to achieve the best possible results.